June 17, 2019

11-year-old cancer survivor earns Golden Buzzer on ‘America’s Got Talent’

13 June 2019, 02:46 | Elsie Buchanan

'America's Got Talent': Simon Cowell Celebrates 11-Year-Old Violinist and Cancer Survivor With Golden Buzzer

Tyler Butler Figueroa on 'America's Got Talent'

It takes a lot of talent to get a seal of approval from celebrity judge/producer Simon Cowell but that's just what one 11-year-old got on a recent episode of America's Got Talent.

The golden buzzer means he will automatically perform at the live shows in Hollywood.

A talented violinist, Butler-Figueroa turned to the classical instrument as an escape from bullying by his peers over his leukemia diagnosis.

Tyler said that after he started losing his hair from chemotherapy treatments, he felt sad and embarrassed to go to school.

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And the song choice, Stronger by Cowell's original American Idol Kelly Clarkson, couldn't hurt!

"One day we were out to dinner", his mother explained.

"They used to make fun of me and laugh at me", Tyler said of the other kids at school.

Before giving his feedback, Simon asked how Tyler is feeling now, to which the hopeful declared, "I'm feeling really proud of myself", eliciting another standing ovation and bringing his mom to tears. "I just didn't want to be 'the kid with cancer.' So now I'm 'the kid who plays the violin'".

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"The doctors came in [and] said, 'Yeah, he does have cancer, '" she added. We hear too many stories of people being bullied, but I could tell you one thing: "Most people are bullied because they're better than the people who bully them". "I was like, 'I've got my son back'".

Before his performance, Tyler told the judges that he nearly died after he was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of four, and was bullied because of the disease. "So now I'm the kid who plays the violin". "I would like to say something on your behalf to the bullies".

America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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