'AGT' Contestant Brings All Judges To Tears! Meet Wrongly Convicted Archie Williams
Archie Williams' audition blew the judges and audience away, his heart-wrenching story of being jailed for 37 years for a crime he didn't commit gave new meaning to his Elton John song.
Archie Williams, America's Got Talent Standout Star
Archie Williams left the audience swimming in tears after his gorgeous performance of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" on the season 15 premiere of America's Got Talent. While introducing himself to the judges he explained how he was just released from prison last year after 37 years, serving time for a crime he did not commit.
In 1983, when he was only 22 years old, Archie was convicted of aggravated rape and attempted murder even though his fingerprints did not match those from the crime and he had witnesses who testified that he was at home. The victim didn't even identify him at first until the police officers looking for someone to blame repeatedly showed her his photo.
"You had the choice to be either strong or weak, because you will be tried, and tested. Days turned into weeks, into months, into years and into decades. It's like a nightmare."
The Innocence Project took on his case and using DNA evidence, Archie was finally released in 2019. He sung for years while in prison and even watched America's Got Talent hoping to be on the show one day.
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While his voice is extraordinary, unfortunately his experience of being sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit is more common than people realize. I'm honored to become an Ambassador for the @innocenceproject and want to do what I can to help more people like Archie. @archiewilliamsofficial's story is one of courage and hope - and I hope that by knowing more about his story and the Innocence Project, it will encourage more people to support the incredible work they do. These guys don't just talk; they actually do something about it. The Innocence Project doesn't just change people's lives, they save people's lives.
When his dream came true the judges were blown away by his performance, Heidi Klum saying "I don't cry for a whole lot of things, but that really did it to me." Tough Simon Cowell seemed especially touched and said "This is an audition I will never forget for the whole of my life." He has been so inspired by Archie's story of courage that he is now an ambassador for the Innocence Project!
Get your tissues ready and check out his tear-jerking performance here: