June 9, 2021 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
On Tuesday night, Liberty University alumna Jane Marczewski (’13), who goes by her stage name “Nightbirde,” was awarded the Golden Buzzer after singing her original song, “It’s OK” on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
The Golden Buzzer, which automatically sends Nightbirde to the live shows, brought the crowd and every judge to their feet in a standing ovation.
“That felt like the most authentic thing I’ve heard this season,” “America’s Got Talent” television host Howie Mandel said following Marczewski’s performance.
Despite battling cancer off and on since 2017 and having been out of work for the last several years due to her health, Marczewski has not allowed her tragedy to become her identity.
“It’s important that everyone knows I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me,” she said from the stage.
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” she added. “I have a 2 percent chance of survival, but 2 percent is not 0 percent. Two percent is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is.”
On April 6, 2019, Marczewski returned to her alma mater to open for Grammy Award-winning recording artist Tori Kelly.
It was during Marczewski’s time as an advertising and public relations student that she was first encouraged to pursue music as a career.
“At Liberty, I was constantly challenged with the question, ‘If you could do anything for this world and you knew that you would succeed, what would you do?’” she said in a feature in the Liberty Journal in 2019. “For me, the answer to that question was always music, but music was never on the radar for me as a career path. If I had not come to Liberty, I don’t think that I would be doing this. It was pounded into my head that I needed to pursue what I was passionate about.”