Frequently bullied by friends and in the guilt, Tyler Butler-Figueroa was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4.
“People used to make fun of me and laugh at me because I was different,” he says. “They would spread rumors to say that my cancer was contagious and they all wanted to stay away from me.”
Tyler’s life took on a whole new meaning when he discovered his passion for playing the violin. Music became his source of self-confidence and joy amid his fight against cancer and the bullying he unfortunately faced. Instead of feeling like “the kid with cancer,” he says he’s now “the kid who plays the violin.”
At 11 years old, the young violinist from North Carolina auditioned for the new season of America’s Got Talent and delivered what many viewers are calling one of the most inspiring auditions in the show’s history.
After performing his touching cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” Tyler earned a standing ovation and revealed he’s been in remission for nearly four years.
Maybe you are interested: 14 film actors have achieved unexpected success in their first performance
Watch: My Reaction to Tyler Butler-Figueroa earning a Golden buzzer from Simon Cowell
And no one was more touched by Tyler’s story and talent than Simon Cowell. “We hear too many stories about people being bullied,” Simon said, according to People. “But I can tell you one thing, most people are bullied because they are better than the people who bully them. I think you have such an amazing talent, such a personality, and I would like to say something on your behalf to the bullies.”
And with that, Simon stood up and slammed the coveted Golden Buzzer.
Watch: Simon Cowell Gives Golden Buzzer to 11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor
Maybe you are interested: Everything coming to Netflix UK in June 2019, including Glee