Elton John will be cheering for Archie Williams on the new season of hit U.S. reality show “America’s Got Talent” after the soul singer brought the Rocket Man to tears by performing one of his hits.
Williams, who spent almost four decades behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, has emerged as an early favorite on the show, which begins on Wednesday, May 27, and he already has a big fan in Elton.
“AGT” bosses released Archie’s performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to tease the new season and Elton was among those floored by his talent.
“I was moved to tears,” the rocker says. “The courage and forgiveness shown by him is truly inspiring. The same spirit that the world found so inspiring with Nelson Mandela.”
Williams was accused of raping and stabbing a white woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when he was 22 and sentenced to life in prison without parole even though he maintained he was at home asleep when the crime took place.
His case was picked up by bosses at the Innocence Project in the mid-1990s, and Archie was finally exonerated by DNA evidence in early 2019 after spending over 36 years in a Louisiana prison.
Meanwhile, “AGT” judge Simon Cowell was so moved by Williams’ story he has agreed to become an ambassador for the Innocence Project, which aims to aid those who have been imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.
“What happened to Archie is tragic,” Cowell wrote on Instagram. “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 realise. I’m honoured to become an Ambassador for the @innocenceproject and want to do what I can to help more people like Archie.”