He was bullied at school because kids thought his Cancer was contagious, and they made fun of the fact that he didn’t have hair but along the way, he found the Violin… and a Golden Buzzer moment on America’s Got Talent!
The United States of America – Tyler Butler-Figueroa, an 11-year-old violist, took to the stage and auditioned with Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” Not only did the young musician get a standing ovation, but judge Simon Cowell also hit the golden buzzer, landing the boy a spot in the live shows in Hollywood.
The 11-year old’s violin has an orange ribbon on the body to signify and honour his fight with leukaemia when he was just four years old.
Tyler’s mother said she noticed he looked pale when they were eating dinner.
“A mother’s instinct said, ‘Let me get him to the emergency room,’” she said on the show.
Blood tests revealed Tyler had leukaemia.
“It was the worst day of my life,” his mother said.
Tyler underwent chemotherapy and lost his hair. Classmates thought his cancer was contagious and avoided him, he said.
“When I lost my hair, I was really sad and embarrassed at the same time to go to school,” Tyler said.
“They used to make fun of me and laugh at me because I was different.”
When he was 7, he saw a flyer at his school for free violin lessons and immediately wanted to play.
“I would just practice in my bedroom, and the more I did it, the better I got,” Tyler said.
He’s been in remission for about four years, he said.
“When I play the violin, it helps me forget about all of the bad stuff,” Tyler said. “I just didn’t want to be the kid with cancer. So now I’m the kid who plays the violin.”
Before he began his audition, he cued the audience members to clap their hands. They followed suit, cheering, and when he started playing “Stronger,” by Kelly Clarkson, the crowd cheered louder. He danced to the music while playing and added a flourish to some notes.
Watch his audition below: