Archie Williams Discusses His Beautiful 'America's Got Talent' Performance

One of the most moving performances from last night's America's Got Talent broadcast was Archie Williams' heart-wrenching take on Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," accompanied with his story about being wrongfully imprisoned for over 30 years.

When Williams walked onstage, he told the judge his story very briefly. "I was just incarcerated for 37 years for somebody else's crime," he said. "DNA freed me."

Before his performance, he said that singing helped him get through the time that he was in prison. "When-you know-you're faced with dark times, what I'd do was I would pray and sing," he said. "This is how I got peace."

Williams' performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" was incredibly moving. Williams told Newsweek he chose the song, because he felt it was the one that best told his story. "I was confronted with a few songs that were requests to do, but that song there, it fitted my life, and I'm always a fan of Elton John. I always loved Elton John and just felt like that song fitted my life more than any song than any of the other songs that were presented to me. I knew the song already, and it was one of my songs," he told Newsweek.

Before performing, Williams said the he would watch AGT while he was in prison and would visualize himself performing on the show when he was released. He told Newsweek that "it felt like a dream" to finally be able to perform on the show.

After performing a beautiful rendition of the song, AGT judge Simon Cowell told him that he would always think of Williams when he heard the song. When asked how that felt, he said, "It brought tears to my eyes. It really did-tears of joy."

After the performance, Cowell was so moved by the performance that he became an Ambassador for the Innocence Project. "What happened to Archie is tragic. 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," Cowell wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Williams said he thought that Cowell would have a "major impact" as an ambassador for the Innocence Project.

Williams said he was happy to have a role in helping other people. "I'm just glad to be a part of helping people in this life, that's my major goal to help people, to help my people. I'd just encourage my people to keep their head up and keep the faith and you can overcome anything. There's nothing that you cannot overcome in this life. Just keep the faith. That's a big word, and people use that word and throw it around a lot, but keeping the faith is a big word," he said.

archie williams
Archie Williams performs during auditions for "America's Got Talent" Season 15. NBC/Trae Patton/NBC
Archie Williams Discusses His Beautiful 'America's Got Talent' Performance | Culture