When Evie Clair first stepped on the stage this season, she dedicated an inspiring song to her father, Amos Abplanalp, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer a year prior to her audition. Every week she continued to move audiences with her emotional tributes to her dad, but her final performances will honor his memory, as Clair and her family mourn his death.
The 14-year-old singer described this past week as the best and worst of her life, having lost her biggest supporter a day after making it to the finale of America's Got Talent last Tuesday.
"I hope I made you proud, Daddy. I've always done it for you and I'll do it for you forever," Clair wrote on Instagram.
"I'm so grateful for the memories I've made with my family in the past year and a half. I'm so grateful for my dad being such a great example of faith and strength. He has endured so much and all that pain has finally come to an end. He is in a place '12 gazillion' times better than this and I know he is so happy there," she wrote.
Clair also thanked her father for teaching her a love of God, and the family's strong faith is apparent in her mother Hillary's explaining the decision to turn off her husband's life-sustaining machines.
"We watched him take his last breaths as he continued to breathe for about 15 minutes on his own. The children burst into tears but are now at home laughing at old home movies of daddy and remembering our great love for the most wonderful man any of us have ever known," she wrote.
Throughout Clair's time on America's Got Talent, she's made it clear that her father has been her biggest inspiration, and the show expressed their support for Clair and her family on Twitter, writing: "We are deeply saddened to hear Evie Clair's father passed away last night. Our hearts are with Evie & her family during this difficult time."
Before her she explained her father's strength after his devastating diagnosis and her decision to sing Christina Perri's "Arms."
"When my dad is having rough days, 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," she said.
Now heading into the finals, she will give what is likely to be her most moving performance yet, connecting to millions of people around the world who can relate to her story.
America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.