11-year-old cancer survivor beats his bullies by winning Simon Cowell's golden buzzer

11-year-old cancer survivor beats his bullies by winning Simon Cowell's golden buzzer

Tyler Butler-Figueroa is only 11 years old, but has gone through more than some people will in a lifetime.

The young boy is a cancer survivor who was targeted by bullies for his illness in school. But he showed his tormenters what he's made of when he wowed judges with a breathtaking performance on America's Got Talent this week.

Get the tissues out and watch Tyler's astonishing performance:

Tyler, from North Carolina, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of four. After undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy treatment, his hair fell out and children attacked him by spreading rumours that his condition was contagious, warning people to stay away from him.

However, life got better when he spotted an afterschool program for free violin lessons. He started playing at age seven and learning the musical instrument allowed him to forget all of the pain he was going through.

His talent for the violin was finally shown to the world on Tuesday night's episode of America's Got Talent, with the 11-year-old beating his bullies by choosing a fitting song for his audition: Kelly Clarkson's Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You).

Tyler Butler-Figueroa Credit: America's Got Talent/NBC

Tyler Butler-Figueroa Credit: America's Got Talent/NBC

When he was finished with his flawless rendition, all four judges on the reality TV show were left stunned, with Simon Cowell naming him "an extraordinary young man".

"You know what, you are an extraordinary young man," the 59-year-old said. "We hear too many stories about people being bullied, but I can tell you one thing: most people are bullied because they're better than the people who bully them."

He continued: "I think you have such amazing talent, such a personality, and I would like to say something on your behalf to the bullies." - and that's when the music mogul slammed the golden buzzer, sending Tyler straight through to the live show in Hollywood.

Tyler Butler-Figueroa Credit: America's Got Talent/NBC

Tyler Butler-Figueroa mother and Terry Crews Credit: America's Got Talent/NBC

Speaking about his cancer battle before his performance, Tyler said: "When I lost my hair, I was really sad and embarrassed at the same time to go to school. They used to make fun of me and laugh at me because I was different. They would spread rumours to say that my cancer was contagious and they all wanted to stay away from me.

"I would practice in my bedroom and the more I did it, the better I got. When I play violin, it helps me forget all about the bad stuff. I just didn't want to be 'the kid with cancer'. So now I'm 'the kid who plays the violin'."

His mother, who was there to cheer him on, also told the cameras about the "worst day of her life".

Tyler Butler-Figueroa Credit: America's Got Talent/NBC

"One day we were out to dinner and we said 'Something doesn't look right with Tyler,'" she explained. "He turned kind of pale, so a mother's instincts said 'Let's get him to the emergency room'. So they were like 'Let's take some blood work and we'll be back'. The doctors came in and said 'Yeah he does have cancer'. And it was the worst day of my life."

Speaking out about her son's talent on the violin, she added: "He was like 'Mom, I wanna do it! Mom, I wanna do it!' I was like 'But no one in our family plays an instrument - and violin?' Once he started that class, it was like a sunshine. He was full of energy, happy. I was like 'Oh my God, I got my son back'."

What an incredible young man! We can't wait to see you play again, Tyler!