11-year-old violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa wowed the judges on America's Got Talent the other night, showcasing his passion and love for the violin.
Tyler was diagnosed with leukemia at 4, and underwent chemotherapy to treat his cancer. After losing his hair from the treatment, he was bullied at school, with kids saying that his illness was contagious and avoiding him. All of that changed once he saw a flyer for free violin lessons as a part of an after-school program. When he was 7, he begged his mother to let him sign up.
"When I play the violin, it helps me forget about all of the bad stuff. I just didn't want to be the kid with cancer, so now I'm the kid who plays the violin," Tyler said before his audition.
Tyler's mother said it was like "sunshine" returned to him, and she "got her son back."
After his powerful rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," notoriously critical judge Simon Cowell went on to say "something on your behalf [of Tyler's] bullies" as he reached over to the Golden Buzzer, a once-per-judge gesture that showered Tyler with golden confetti and sent him straight to the show's season-capping live broadcasts.
Watch Tyler's captivating performance: