Meet Archie Williams, the wrongly convicted singer who stunned the audience and judges when he performed on "Americas' Got Talent."
For Archie Williams, the dream of performing on the famous "America's Got Talent" stage, seemed further away than for most people.
You see, Archie was serving a life sentence of 80 years without the possibility of parole or probation, all for a crime he did not commit.
The sensational singer first started his audition by telling his life story and revealed that for 37 years, he had been imprisoned for the rape and stabbing of a 30-year-old white woman.
Despite three people testifying that he was at home as well as a lack of evidence, he was unable to afford a strong defense and was incarcerated. When asked how he survived, he said,
"When you know, you’re faced with dark times, what I would do is I would pray and sing. That is how I got peace."
Archie revealed that while he was in prison he watched episodes of "America's Got Talent," and would visualize being up on the stage performing.
And just seven months after his release, he found himself on stage at The Apollo Theatre, adding that music helped him get through his sentence.
New DNA techniques were used to prove that the fingerprints found at the scene did not belong to Archie.
Williams who was placed in Angola prison, one of the worst in the country, ultimately owed his freedom to "The innocence project", who took on his defense despite the State blocking access to evidence that could prove him innocent.
Eventually, new DNA techniques were used to prove that the fingerprints found at the scene did not belong to Archie, and after almost four decades, he was a free man. He said,
"I knew I was innocent, I didn't commit a crime. But being a poor black kid, I didn't have the ability to fight the state of Louisiana. They wanted someone to pay."
When he finally took the stage, Archie managed to wow the entire theatre and judges after performing Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.”
Judge Simon Cowell moved by both his performance and life story decided to join "The Innocence Project," and has decided to become an ambassador for the non-profit organization.
Archie can now count Elton John as a fan, after the superstar tweeted a video his audition, saying that he was moved to tears. In the post, Elton commended his "courage and forgiveness."
Cowell joins a string of big names who have been made ambassadors for the organization, including Busta Rhymes, Niecy Nash, and Ryan Phillippe.