It was an emotional night on America’s Got Talent as the show paid tribute to Dr. Brandon Rogers, a contestant who was killed in a car accident shortly after his audition.
“At the request of his family we would like to honor his memory by sharing his audition with you,” producers said in a statement that aired before Rogers’ appearance.
Before his performance, Rogers spoke in the video about what inspired him to become a doctor.
“My inspiration for becoming a doctor was kind of born out of a pretty tough experience when I was about 6 years old when I came home from school one day and found my mom laying in a pool of blood,” Rogers explained.
“We rushed her to the hospital; the doctors were like heroes. They saved her life and it made me want to be the doctor that I am today. ... I feel like I’m in a field where I’m actually making a difference, and there can be some tough days, too,” he said. “My way to cope with the stress has always been music. ... My patients, they’re so supportive and excited. If I could find a way to combine being a doctor and medicine with music and singing, that would be a dream come true.”
The 29-year-old Virginia native performed a version of Stevie Wonder’s hit “Ribbon in the Sky.” After Rogers received a standing ovation, Simon Cowell said that Rogers was one of the year’s best singers.
Watch his soulful performance below: