13-Yr-Old Returns to “America’s Got Talent” After Dad Dies, Sings Heartbreaking Tribute in His Honor

“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.”

Those are the words of 13-year-old Evie Clair, just days after her father died.

This brave teen may come in small packaging, but her fight and her faith are fierce.


After losing her dad to colon cancer on September 7—just before the America’s Got Talent finale, Evie made the bold decision to return to the show last night to finish what she started.

The aspiring singer attributes the strength she found to move forward to her daddy, the man who showed her how to dream big, fight fearlessly, and most importantly, love the Lord with all her heart.

“This week has been the best and worst week of my life,” she wrote on Instagram the day he passed. “I’m so grateful for the memories I’ve made with my family in the past year and a half. I’m so grateful for my dad being such a great example of faith and strength. He has endured so much and all that pain has finally come to an end. He is in a place ’12 gazillion’ times better than this and I know he is so happy there. Thank you to all the people who have supported my family along this journey. I love you all. I’ll miss you so much, Daddy. Thanks for teaching me to love salsa and chicken wings and most of all the Lord.”

As Evie sweetly serenaded America with “What a Wonderful World” in tribute to her late father, you could hear a pin drop in the completely awestruck stadium of supporters.

The powerful rendition of the Louis Armstrong classic brought the audience to tears and all four judges to their feet.

“Our hearts and our souls go out to you, Evie,” said judge Howie Mandell. “I know that your father passed this week, and I cannot believe the strength that I’m seeing in such a beautiful young girl.”

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Mel B, who had recently lost her father as well, was equally moved by the emotional performance.

“I know your dad’s up there, looking down on you, and he must be so, so proud,” she said. “Because what you just did was beautiful. It was so pure and so raw.”

As for Evie, though the accolades from the judges and her peers were appreciated, there’s just one man she hoped to impress.

Her papa in heaven…

“‘Say a prayer, a prayer on forever Time is only now, Soon we’ll be together.’ I hope I made you proud, Daddy. I’ve always done it for you and I’ll do it for you forever.”❤️

Evie’s warrior spirit and enduring faith are nothing short of inspiring. I pray this sweet girl may continue to use her gift to fight the good fight in honor of her father, and to the glory of the King.

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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.