Sad news. America’s Got Talent contestant Jane Marczewski, known as Nightbirde, has died after a long battle with cancer.
A source with direct knowledge tells TMZ that the singer-songwriter passed away Sunday, Feb 20, after months of receiving treatment for the disease which had spread to her lungs, spine and liver.
Nightbirde withdrew from America’s Got Talent before the live shows when she announced she’d be focusing on her health full-time. She had previously survived breast cancer after being diagnosed in 2017, but it eventually returned, coming back in a metastatic state.
She’d said doctors gave her a slim chance at survival just 2% and the remainder of her life had been given a small window in 2019, just 3-6 months. Incredibly, she beat those odds and was declared cancer-free the following year only to have it return in 2021.
Nightbirde’s story and determination moved Simon Cowell so much when she auditioned for America’s Got Talent last summer with an original song, “It’s OK” that he chose her for his “Golden Buzzer” contestant, which allowed her to go straight through to the live shows. Before she withdrew later in the competition, Nightbirde was a favorite to win it all.
Nightbirde called her time on America’s Got Talent a “dream come true”
“Sharing my heart with the world on AGT has been an honor and a dream come true,” Nightbirde wrote after she dropped out of the competition last summer. “My point of view this summer has been astounding. What a miracle that the pain I’ve walked through can be reworked into beauty that makes people all over the world open their eyes wider.”
“Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention. I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on this season of AGT. Life doesn’t always give breaks to those that deserve it—but we knew that already.”
Shortly after she withdrew from AGT, Nightbirde shared on CNN’s Chris Cuomo show that “It’s just been a bad bad month. Been really pretty devastating .” She explained, “I got shocking news less than a week ago about cancer regrowth that’s taken over my lungs and liver.” She added, vividly, “So my liver right now is mostly cancer, more cancer than liver in there right now.”
But Nightbirde never gave up hope
While the competition went on without her, the singer kept her fans updated on her life. Last November, she appeared on CNN’s Chris Cuomo show again to share some good news. “You know what? I wish we would get a faster miracle,” Nightbirde said. “But it’s happening slow, little by little day by day, I’m getting a little better. I did get a scan result back and a bunch of stuff that was there has now disappeared. And a bunch of the really big stuff has gone down in size. So we’re on the way.”
At the time of her death, Nighbirde was writing for an upcoming record. “I’m so proud of everything I’m writing right now,” she said. “Pain can be a gift because it really really drives you to deep places to dig for gold.” She continued, “Sometimes you’ve got to dig really really deep for gold. And that’s what I’ve been doing.”