Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, and more are deeply moved by Nightbirde's Golden Buzzer-winning performance.

By Joey Nolfi
June 09, 2021 at 10:16 AM EDT
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Get your hankies ready: America's Got Talent just debuted one of the most moving performances in its 16-season history.

Taking the stage during Tuesday night's auditions show, 30-year-old Ohio native Nightbirde moved the series' panel of judges into emotional ruin with her powerful story of battling cancer coupled with a powerful rendition of an original tune, "It's Okay," which chronicles her struggle.

After revealing that she has "some cancer" lingering in her lungs, spine, and liver, she told panelists Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel that "it's important that everyone knows that I'm so much more than the bad things that happen to me."

She then performed the song - which details the last year of her life - and received a standing ovation from the judges and the audience.

"That felt like the most authentic thing I've heard this season," Mandel said, while Vergara wiped tears away from her face during the set and Klum admitted that Nightbirde gave her "chills."

"Your voice is stunning, absolutely stunning. I totally agree with what Howie said about authenticity. There was something about that song, you almost casually told us what you're going through," Cowell added, before promising that he was "not going to give [her] a 'yes'" for her performance, but rather smashed the Golden Buzzer to send her straight through to the final live shows.

America's Got Talent
Simon Cowell gets emotional over Nightbird's 'America's Got Talent' Golden Buzzer audition.
| Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

The singer-songwriter celebrated the achievement on social media shortly after the airing, thanking Cowell for "the most unforgettable moment of my life" in a sweet Instagram post.

America's Got Talent auditions continue next week on NBC. Watch Nightbirde's stirring performance above.

Hear more on all of today's must-see picks, plus The Sky Blues author Robbie Couch on why he loves Netflix's Special, in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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America's Got Talent

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  • 14
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