AGT: Elton John Cries on Phone With Ex-Prisoner Archie Williams

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Auditions 1" Episode 1501 -- Pictured: Archie Williams -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Pictured: Archie Williams — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Elton John Reacts to Wrongfully Imprisoned AGT Contestant Archie Williams After He Covered His Song

During the Tuesday night premiere of America’s Got Talent, Archie Williams gave an emotional performance of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” after sharing the story of his wrongful imprisonment.

In 1983, Archie was convicted of a rape he didn’t commit, despite the fact that fingerprints from the crime site, did not match his own, and witnesses testified that he was at his own home the night of the attack.

After watching Archie’s performance, which brought the house down, and judges Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara to tears, Elton shared his thoughts on Twitter. 

“I was moved to tears when I heard Archie’s story and saw him perform “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me,” Elton wrote, “The courage and forgiveness shown by him is truly inspiring. The same spirit that the world found so inspiring with Nelson Mandela. Love, E xx.”

Elton Called Archie, Crying, and Invited  Him to Share the Stage at His Next US Concert

What’s more, Archie told Access Hollywood in a recent interview that Elton called him on the phone, and invited him to sing the song with him on stage. “He gave me an invitation to perform at his show when he comes back to the United States,” Archie said. “Out of all the people that ever sung his song, that song there, he said I brought true meaning to it even with him. He started crying at the time he was talking.”

AGT Executive Producer Simon Cowell Joins Innocence Project as Ambassador

It was the work of the Innocence Project that finally freed Archie. The organization investigated his case for years. Finally, new fingerprint technology matched the fingerprints found at the scene of the crime to a serial rapist. Archie’s conviction was overturned, and he was finally released in March 2019 after more than 36 years in prison.

America’s Got Talent judge and executive producer Simon Cowell was so moved, that he has teamed up as an ambassador with the organization. He’s tearful re-watching Archie’s audition online. “Something about watching that clip back again is just this feeling of total injustice,” Simon tells Vanessa Plotkin and Barry Scheck from the organization. “If there’s anything we can do through the process, through the show, or what I can do personally to spread the message from this point on, I’m in. I couldn’t be more honored.”

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!