AGT's Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, And Terry Crews Pay Tribute After Golden Buzzer Contestant Nightbirde Dies At 31

While this was initially intended to be a largely positive and exciting week for all things America's Got Talent, with NBC debuting the highly anticipated Extreme spinoff, things instead took a more melancholy turn when the news went public that former contestant and viral inspiration Nightbirde passed away after a long battle with cancer. While none of the AGT judges that showered the late talent with praise were able to voice their condolences on the pre-taped Extreme premiere, stars Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, Terry Crews and Heidi Klum all shared heartfelt responses to the sad news.

Though Simon Cowell was arguably Nightbirde’s biggest champion during her audition back in 2021, granting her his Golden Buzzer in that episode, the America’s Got Talent creator has yet to share a public reaction to the news of her death. However, everyone else from the show took to social media soon after the news broke. 

On Twitter, Howie Mandel shares how much of an inspiration Nightbirde was and is, despite not being such a major part of everyone’s lives during her brief AGT journey, and he’s grateful for the time he had, saying:

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Meanwhile, Mandel’s America’s Got Talent co-judge Sofia Vergara took to her Instagram Stories to share the pic and message below. 

Sofia Vergara's post about Nightbirde on Instagram Stories

(Image credit: Sofia Vergara Instagram Stories)

Terry Crews, who balanced AGT hosting duties with his Brooklyn Nine-Nine starring role until the cop-centric comedy ended in 2021, took to Instagram with a loving post in Nightbirde’s memory.  

While she may have had the least to say, message-wise, the pie-loving Heidi Klum made up for it in style, sharing the imagery below on her Instagram Stories:

Nightbirde in Heidi Klum's Instagram Stories

(Image credit: Heidi Klum Instagram Stories)

Not to be outdone by all of the show’s stars, the official America’s Got Talent Twitter page also posted a touching message on Twitter spotlighting Nightbirde’s memory.

Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane.

It was announced by someone close to the singer that Nightbirde passed away on Saturday, February 19, after her cancer had spread to her spine, liver and lungs. She’d been receiving treatment for the disease for months, but sadly was not able to pull out ahead this time, despite having gone cancer-free temporarily in the past. She’d gained national attention after her successful AGT audition aired, but sadly had to pull out of the competition due to health concerns, with Simon Cowell offering a public update on her situation during that season’s finale back in September 2021. 

With its previously injured contestant now back on the healthy side of things, America’s Got Talent: Extreme airs Monday nights on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET, while fans can revisit Nightbirde’s memorable performances via YouTube clips. Check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.