Musician Andy Grammer was so blown away by the performance of 11-year-old America’s Got Talent phenom Tyler Butler-Figueroa that he has invited the violin virtuoso on tour with him this fall.
In an Instagram post, Grammer noted the talent of the preteen musician and asked him if he would like to join him on tour this fall to play a violin version of Grammer’s tune, “Don’t Give Up On Me.”
The New York Post reported that the young violinist was bullied in school by children who made fun of him for his hair falling out during his battle with cancer. He was only 4-years-old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
At the age of seven, Tyler saw a flyer for after-school violin lessons and he asked if he could try to learn to play the instrument. His mother revealed that the lessons turned into a real passion for the instrument and she quickly noticed a change in her son, who faced heartbreak from those at school who didn’t understand his disease, per the New York Post.
Tyler’s determination to not allow the ramifications of his disease to take the joy out of his life was evident in his pretaped package prior to his performance, as well as his determination to set an example for other children who are battling something that is out of their control.
“When I play the violin it helps me forget about all the bad stuff,” Tyler said on the series. “I just didn’t want to be the kid with cancer, so now I’m the kid who plays the violin.”
Tyler also happily noted that he has been in remission for the past four years.
Tyler explained that he was both sad and embarrassed to go to school because he knew at the time he was different from the other kids who did not have to endure the hardships he would later overcome.
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Tyler... incredibly moving and man you can really play that VIOLIN! I am personally inviting you to come play a violin version of Don’t Give Up On Me this fall on tour. You are amazing and an extremely inspiring dude. Let’s make it happen ???? ???? ???? (SWIPE RIGHT TO HEAR IT)
It was shortly after Tyler began playing his version of the Kelly Clarkson hit song “Stronger” that the panel of judges — including Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, and Simon Cowell — was left speechless.
Cowell seemed to be most impressed by Tyler’s skills on the instrument and his story of perseverance, stating, “I would like to say something on your behalf to the bullies.” He then hit his only Golden Buzzer of the season for Tyler, sending him straight to the live shows.
Andy Grammer’s social media post was liked over 21,000 times.
Grammer is currently promoting his Don’t Give Up On Me Tour. He will hit the road beginning in September of this year, with an inaugural show at The House of Blues in San Diego, California, and will continue through the fall with a final show November 1 at The House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts.
His latest album, Naive, will be available on July 26. The first single is called “My Own Hero.”