FLORENCE — Amos Abplanalp, father of “America’s Got Talent” star Evie Clair, lost his battle with colon cancer one day after his 13-year-old daughter sang her way into the show’s semifinals.
Evie sang “Yours” by Ella Henderson on Tuesday as her semifinals performance for “America’s Got Talent.”
“Her heart was particularly heavy as her dad was placed on life support earlier that day,” her website, www.evieclair.com, says. “She gathered the strength to give another touching performance while keeping her emotions in check.”
After the Wednesday night elimination round, Evie flew home to be with her father, who was taken off life support on Thursday.
“He was surrounded by his wife and five children when he was taken off life support and passed away at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 7,” Evie’s website said.
On the family’s blog, www.familymann.org, Evie’s mother, Hillary, who is also a singer and songwriter, documents Amos’ battle with cancer.
Removing him from life support was an act of faith after struggling to understand God’s will, she wrote.
“After some pondering we came to the conclusion that faith is action. We wanted to show our trust in God and His will for Amos,” she wrote.
Amos Abplanalp served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a bishop and worked as a prison counselor.
Evie is one of his five children. Each of the children had alone time with their father before life support machines were turned off, Hillary wrote. The family was together, gathered around his hospital bed, as Amos took his final breath.
“He continued to breathe for about 15 minutes on his own,” Hillary wrote on the family blog. “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. We find constant peace and joy in the knowledge that Jesus Christ paid the price of death so that it has no lasting victory. We will be with Amos again and we feel he can now be with us without the restrictions of his mortal body. Our faith in the savior has grown today and our family has been strengthened forever.”
Evie’s rise to fame began earlier this year when her audition video for “America’s Got Talent” went viral and was viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube and Facebook.
In the video, Evie introduces herself and talks about life in Florence and fights back tears as she talks about her father’s illness before singing “Arms” by Christina Perri.
Evie, a singer, songwriter and pianist, reportedly sang often to her father to bring him comfort.
“America’s Got Talent” is a televised competitive variety show featuring acts of all ages and talents.
Evie was one of 36 contestants to make the final cut for season 12 of the show, which began airing in late May.
Each week, contestants are voted off the show. On Wednesday, after her Tuesday performance, Evie advanced to the show’s finals.
An eighth-grader, Evie has been performing since age 8. She has performed the national anthem at an Arizona Diamondbacks game and during the Florence Fourth of July celebration.
She’ll compete in the “America’s Got Talent” finals next week.