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Nightbirde, 'America's Got Talent' Singer, Dies From Cancer

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 19

    Nightbirde, 'America's Got Talent' Singer, Dies From Cancer

    Jane Marczewski, professionally known as Nightbirde on America’s Got Talent, has died. She fought cancer for four years and passed away on February 19, 2022. Nightbirde sang an original composition, titled “It’s OK,” during a stunning audition last year for the NBC talent search show. She disclosed to the judges and the audience that she had been battling cancer that had spread to her lungs, spine, and liver. Marczewski was given a 2% chance to survive but she said that was better than nothing.

    Nightbirde America’s Got Talent Diagnosed With Cancer

    Nightbirde grew up in the town of Zanesville, Ohio. She always wanted to be a singer. She shared that with her parents when she competed in Y-City Star at 11-years-old. “After I performed in that competition, that’s when I started vocal lessons and learning guitar, and that was the catalyst for real,” she said in a WBNS interview.

    She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2017. The cancer went into remission in 2018. She was diagnosed with a recurrence in 2019 and given 3-6 months to live. Nightbirde was given a 2% chance of survival. In 2020, she was again declared cancer-free.

    Nightbirde told the America’s Got Talent judges last year that the cancer had spread to her lungs, spine, and liver. She left the competition in August 2021 when her health had taken a turn for the worse. CNN interviewed her in November 2021, and she shared results of a scan that showed some improvement.

    Breast Cancer Symptoms

    Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. After skin cancer, it is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women but it’s more common in women.

    Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

    • A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
    • A change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast
    • Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
    • A newly inverted nipple
    • Nipple discharge
    • Peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
    • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast. Similar to the skin of an orange

    Have you noticed any signs and symptoms? Take the screener here.

    Causes of Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally and divide more rapidly than healthy cells do. These cells accumulate to form a lump or mass. The cells may spread or metastasize to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

    This type of cancer usually begins in the milk-producing ducts. It may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules. Breast cancer can also start in other tissues or cells within the breast.

    Studies indicate that breast cancer survivors can experience heightened levels of fatigue. One study published in 2000 notes that a subgroup of breast cancer survivors reported more severe and persistent fatigue relative to women in the general population.

    A study published in 1996 points out that breast cancer survivors seem to recover approximately a year after surgery. The physical and psychological trauma of cancer treatment is often very taxing. A number of aspects of their quality of life and rehabilitation problems can worsen after that.

    Golden Buzzer Winner

    Nightbirde wowed the judges and fans worldwide with her earnest performance of her original composition last year. Not even notoriously brutal judge Simon Cowell was immune from the sincerity of her performance. She famously said, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

    After paying Marczewski a compliment, Cowell awarded her a golden buzzer. That meant she would automatically advance to the next round of the competition. She ultimately had to drop out because of her health.

    Marczewski said in a virtual interview aired on America’s Got Talent that it was “beautiful to see the world welcome that song into their own dark night.”

    Key Takeaways

    Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. She gained prominence last year when she performed her original composition “It’s OK” on America’s Got Talent. The audience and judge Simon Cowell gave her a standing ovation for her performance. Cowell awarded her a golden buzzer advancing her to the next round of the competition. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2017 but it went into remission a couple of times.

    For more on Breast Cancer, click here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 19

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