It was a tearful final performance for Dr. Brandon Rogers, whose audition for America’s Got Talent was posthumously aired, just weeks after he was killed in a car accident.
Rogers, 29, of Portsmouth, Va., was featured on the show Tuesday evening, performing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s "Ribbon in the Sky."
“Your vocal is stunning, stunning,” judge Simon Cowell said following the breathtaking performance. “You are one of the best singers we’ve had in the competition so far, I’ve got to tell you.”
Judge Heidi Klum added, “There’s something so special about your voice.”
Rogers was unanimously voted to continue onto the following round, and could be seen in the tape calling his mom after the audition.
“I have some good news,” Rogers says. “I made it! I made it! I made it!”
Unfortunately, the episode didn't air until after his death.
“At the request of his family, we would like to honor his memory by sharing his audition with you,” the show said in a statement that aired before the audition.
Authorities said Rogers was in the front passenger seat of a car at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. His friend, who was driving, nodded off behind the wheel after a long work shift and crashed into a tree, cops said. While the driver was not injured, both Rogers and another passenger in the car were hospitalized.
Rogers succumbed to his injuries the following day.
In a tearful video posted to Instagram the day after his death, his brother Danni Rogers says, “I want to thank everybody for the kind words and the phone calls and the messages. It’s a testament to how many lives my brother has actually touched.”
Rogers explained in his audition tape that he dreamed of becoming a family doctor after finding his mother in a pool of her own blood at a young age.
“We rushed her to the hospital, and the doctors were like heroes,” he said. “They saved her life. It made me want to be the doctor I am today.”
He was chosen to be on America’s Got Talent after gaining internet notoriety for his singing. Rogers went viral in December after he posted a clip of himself singing Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee." The group even invited him to perform with them for three nights in their Las Vegas show earlier this year.
“Today our hearts are deeply saddened to learn about the sudden death of Dr. Brandon Rogers,” Boyz II Men posted to the group's Facebook page. "Just a genuinely nice person and a really good singer! Gone too young and gone too soon."