America's Got Talent/YouTube
In one of the most emotional moments America’s Got Talent has seen, 12-year old Evie Clair walked on stage Tuesday night (September 19) to honor her late father. The singer’s dad passed away from cancer just one day after learning that Evie Clair made it to the AGT Season 12 finals.
It was unclear whether or not Evie Clair would return for the finale. Judge Simon Cowell gave the teen the option to return next season so that she could be with her family during this difficult time, but she chose to use the opportunity to honor her dad and his memory by “finishing what she started.”
“My dad was one of the bravest people I knew. He always taught us to follow our dream,” Evie Clair said in a pre-taped package that aired prior to her performance. “My dad taught me, after I started something, to always finish it. That’s why I’m fighting to the end, just like he did.”
Throughout Evie Clair’s America’s Got Talent journey she has shared her father’s story and opened up about singing to comfort him as he battled colon cancer.
For her final AGT performance, the singer chose to honor her father’s memory with an touching cover of Louis Armstrong’s hit song “What a Wonderful World.” The audience sat in complete silence as Evie Clair’s crystal clear voice sang the familiar lyrics.
The performance earned Evie Clair a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges, who were clearly impressed with her strength after suffering such heartache.
“Our hearts and our souls go out to you, Evie,” Howie Mandel said. “I know that your father passed this week, and I cannot believe the strength that I’m seeing in such a beautiful young girl.”
Simon Cowell called the performance “a perfect tribute” to her dad.
“Your voice was beautiful, your song was beautiful and I’m very proud of you for what you’ve just done,” Cowell shared.
The winner of America’s Got Talent will be crowned Wednesday night (September 20) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Watch Evie Clair sing “What a Wonderful World” in the video below.