Evie Clair told judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mendel, Simon Cowell and Mel B that her father was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer last year. “They gave him a 5 percent chance to live, and he still continued working and supporting our family,” Clair explained. “So tonight, I’m here to sing for him.”
She said she chose to sing “Arms” due to its special meaning to her and her father. “When my dad is having rough days, then I go up to his room and I sing him this song to help him feel better and just to give him comfort and strength to continue fighting,” she said.
Her rendition of the ballad brought tears to audience members’ eyes, and all four of the judges stood at the end to applaud.
Clair’s parents, who were watching from the wings with host Tyra Banks, also cried and kissed as their daughter sang.
The Arizona native described her hometown of Florence, Arizona, as a town with “five prisons” and “not even a grocery store. There’s a fast food place and the high school and that’s it.”
Clair noted that performing on America’s Got Talent has been her dream since she was little, and given the reaction she received, it’s fair to say that dream has been realized.