A 13-year-old LDS girl from Florence, Arizona, caught the attention of Simon Cowell and captured hearts throughout the United States on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night.
All four judges voted for Evie Clair to advance in the competition after her performance of “Arms” by Christina Perri drew a standing ovation from both the audience and the judges. Clair became emotional before she began to sing as she explained that her audition was dedicated to her father, Amos Abplanalp, who has battled stage 4 colon cancer for the last year. The song she chose to sing carries special significance for the father and daughter.
“When my dad is having rough days, then I go to his room and I sing him this song to help him feel better and just to give him comfort and strength to continue fighting,” Evie said.
Evie's name and story may be recognizable to Deseret News readers as she was previously featured following her appearance on the soundtrack for “Once I Was a Beehive.” Evie said she feels help from her Heavenly Father as she sings.
“It seems like every time I perform, I’m nervous only before and after because while I’m singing I know that my singing comes from my Heavenly Father,” Evie said. “(I noticed) that when I prayed before and afterward to thank my Heavenly Father for my talents then I do a lot better in my music.”
Following her father’s diagnosis last year, Evie released a cover of “Eye of the Tiger,” which she recorded with Spencer Jones.
“Amos is an LDS bishop in Arizona and a psychological professional counselor at a prison. His first operation was unsuccessful and left him a colostomy. He has continued as bishop and has been given strength from family and friends and blessings from above to do so,” the video’s description read.
Abplanalp was given a 5 percent chance of surviving.
On Tuesday, the same day his daughter appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” Abplanalp was in the hospital undergoing a procedure to treat the cancer he continues to fight. Updates regarding Abplanalp’s condition can be read on his wife’s blog.
In 2016, Evie told the Deseret News that she hopes she can “touch people with (her) music.
“I want (people) to understand the music,” Evie said. “I just want people to know when they hear my music that they are loved and they can feel the Spirit. Or if they’re not members (of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), then they can know that they feel something special and later on they might feel that again and figure out what it is — the Holy Ghost.”