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.
“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.”
I was moved to tears when I heard Archie’s story and saw him perform "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me". 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 https://t.co/oYxM3IyvWB
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) May 26, 2020
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.”
We're proud to announce that @SimonCowell is now an Innocence Ambassador. Watch @Archieisfree's audition for @AGT and the life-changing impact it had on Simon. https://t.co/JoAsTwR2Nd pic.twitter.com/9anXjz9tkw
— The Innocence Project (@innocence) May 26, 2020