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'America's Got Talent' pays tribute to contestant Brandon Rogers after tragic death


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/12/2017 

America's Got Talent chose to air the audition of Brandon Rogers to pay tribute to the doctor who sang a Stevie Wonder hit on Season 12 but sadly died in a car accident not long afterwards.

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Brandon auditioned for America's Got Talent at age 29, revealing he was a family medicine doctor from Portsmouth, VA.

Just as his audition was about to air during Tuesday night's July 11 episode, America's Got Talent flashed the following disclaimer on the screen: "On June 11, one of our contestants, Brandon Rogers, tragically passed away in a car accident. At the request of his family, we would like to honor this memory by sharing his audition with you."

During a brief video package that aired before his performance, Brandon explained, "My way to cope with the stress of [work] has always been music... My patients, they're so supportive and excited. If I could find a way to combine singing with being a doctor and medicine, that would be a dream come true."

Brandon -- who often posted Instagram videos of himself singing R&B or soul songs -- then walked out onstage and sang "Ribbon in the Sky" by Stevie Wonder, and all the judges gave him a standing ovation.

The doctor is really handsome and the doctor can sing. I really enjoyed that. There is something so special about your voice," America's Got Talent judge Heidi Klum said, before fellow judge Melanie "Mel B" Brown agreed he was fantastic.

"You have so much control and passion, and you can be a star," judge Howie Mandel noted. "You spent so much time going down that medical road; I think it was a waste of time and schooling because you should be a singer. But it's good to have something to fall back on."

"Your vocal was stunning -- stunning," judge Simon Cowell added. "I've never said this before to a doctor -- you're sick. You're really sick. You're one of the best singers we've got in the competition so far, let me tell you."

Once Brandon walked offstage, Simon commented to the judging panel how Brandon seemed like "a very nice guy" and his voice was "incredible."

America's Got Talent then concluded Brandon's audition by writing on the screen, "Brandon Rogers: October 30, 1987-June 11, 2017. Thank you for sharing your talent."

Brandon was working as a medical resident at the time of his death after graduating from medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015.

According to TMZ, Brandon was riding in the front passenger seat of a car when it veered off the road and crashed into a tree last month. Maryland State Troopers informed the website that officers responded to the scene of the crash around 4:30AM on that Saturday, but it wasn't until the next day the talented singer died from his injuries.

Brandon was reportedly one of two passengers in the vehicle, and the other passenger was hospitalized after the accident. TMZ reported that the driver walked away unscathed. Officials reportedly said drugs and alcohol were not involved.

After news of Brandon's death surfaced, America's Got Talent released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Dr. Brandon Rogers, who graced the America's Got Talent stage as a contestant. Our thoughts are with his family."


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