merica’s Got Talent (AGT) judges have paid tribute to series star Jane Marczewski, who has died following a battle with cancer, aged 31.
The singer, who used the stage name Nightbirde, earned a coveted Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell on the US variety show after sharing her emotional story and delivering a stunning audition performance.
She was forced to withdraw from AGT mid series in order to focus on her health full-time.
Sofia Vergara wrote on Instagram: “Rest in power @_nightbirde. We lost a shining star today.
“You were a true inspiration to all. Sending so much love to Nightbirde’s family and friends.
“She was something special.”
Howie Mandel said Ms Marczewski was a “bright inspirational light” and that he felt “lucky” to have met her.
“@_nightbirde was such a bright inspirational light in all our lives,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We must continue to live and learn from her words and lyrics.
“As much as I feel horribly about her passing I feel lucky to to have met, heard and known her.”
During her AGT audition Ms Marczewski’s story and positive outlook moved Cowell so much that he pushed the Golden Buzzer, which sends performers straight to the live shows.
Following her performance of her original song It’s OK, she told Cowell: “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard any more before you decide to be happy.”
Heidi Klum and the show’s host Terry Crews also expressed their sadness at the news online.
Crews wrote: “We are saddened to learn about @_nightbirde’s passing.
“Our Condolences goes to her Closest Family & Friends at such a difficult time. We Love you, Nightbirde.”
In a tribute online the show’s official account said Ms Marczewski’s story had “touched millions”.
“Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions”, the account tweeted.
“Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane.”
Following her first audition Cowell said Ms Marczewski was a “true inspiration”.
“Hello Everyone, I want you all to meet @_nightbirde,” he wrote.
“She’s my Golden Buzzer act on @AGT this year. She is a true inspiration, this was a very special moment.”
Ms Marczewski was very open about her struggle with cancer online and was known for retaining a positive outlook.
In the weeks before her death she posted: “Honestly, things have been pretty brutal.
“But this is a photo of myself from last week where I felt pretty, and alive, and awake, and human, and real.
“I needed that. We’re all a little lost and it’s alright.”