Jane Marczewski, the singer who became famous after her America’s Got Talent (AGT) performance last June, tragically passed away from breast cancer on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at age 31.
Marczewski went by the stage name Nightbirde and inspired people with her story as much as she did with her voice. The former Liberty University student shared her years-long cancer battle and grim prognosis with the AGT audience. Her beautiful voice earned Simon Cowell‘s Golden Buzzer, an award that automatically advanced her into the live portion of the show.
The singer inspired her fans with words in her songs like “It’s Okay,” keeping a positive outlook on life although she was dying from her incurable illness. Marczewski also blogged and spoke about her faith in God and the relationship she had with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Earlier this week, Marczewski’s family posted a message recorded before she died. “It’s like JANE knew the words she needed to leave us with before she left. We hope her words comfort you all as you mourn,” the post on Nightbirde’s Instagram page reads.
“Those who knew her enjoyed her larger-than-life personality and sense of humor. She had a witty joke for every occasion—even if the joke was on her,” Marczewski’s family said. “Her lasting legacy will be the gift of hope she gave to so many through her music and the strength she found in Jesus.”
In the video, Nightbirde looks frail, but unexplainably joyful, with her patented smile. She told her fans, “Just because you’re sad or grieving doesn’t mean you’re not grateful, and it doesn’t mean you’re not hopeful. It doesn’t mean that you still aren’t fighting for your life—that you still don’t have it in you to keep going.”
“But sadness and grief, and mourning, and lamenting, and crying, and screaming, and being angry,” Marczewski said, “these are ways that we honor what we’ve lost.”
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“I heard a quote saying, ‘Sadness is the soul’s way of saying this mattered,’ and I think grieving and feeling through all the emotions that you feel—the sadness and the grief and the injustice and the anger and the loss and the bargaining—I think it’s a holy work,” the singer said. “It’s scary to go down those dark roads, but you know what? Those feelings don’t leave you [and] you can’t fake the rest of your life like nothing bad happened and whistle a happy tune all day. That’s not what it is to be human.”