Jessica Nunez
Source: NBC

'AGT' Star Jayy Paid Tribute to Her Parents Who Were Murdered 10 Years Ago

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Jul. 6 2021, Published 7:48 p.m. ET

Season 16 of America’s Got Talent is just getting started, but fans have already chosen their favorite contestants.

In addition to the stand-up comedy duo, The Sklar Brothers, viewers have also fallen in love with Canadian dog trainer Alexandra Cote and her furry friends, Tesla and Louka. 

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But one of the most heartwarming acts to hit the AGT stage this summer was Jessica Núñez, AKA Jayy, who brought tears to everyone’s eyes after she shared the story of how her parents were murdered right in front of her in West Philidelphia, Pa. at only 19-years old.

Jessica Nunez
Source: NBC
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What happened to Jessica's (aka Jayy) parents?

Jessica Núñez and her family made headlines after her father, Porfirio Núñez, mother, Juana Núñez, and aunt, Lina Sanchez were tragically killed in a robbery-turned-homicide at her father’s bodega.

The suspects in question were later identified as Muhammed and Nalik Scott, who Jessica later testified against in court. 

In the June 6 episode of America’s Got Talent, Jessica opened up about the day that she and her younger siblings became orphans.

She previously told The Philadelphia Inquirer, "They thought that the little girl they left alive was not going to be able to get on that stand. I was able to stand there and say everything that they did to my family. I did it."

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porfirio-nunez-juana-nunez
Source: Instagram

Although defense attorneys argued that the men had been subject to a case of mistaken identity, both Muhammed and Nalik were sentenced to life in prison five years later. Today, nearing the 10-year anniversary of her parent’s death, Jessica is keeping her their legacy alive through her passion for music, which she and her family shared. 

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Ahead of her AGT audition, Jessica tells judges, "I finally decided to, you know, focus on my music that I know they loved to see me doing all the time. And I really hope that they are happy today seeing me here."

Jessica Núñez stunned judges with her rendition of "Lost Without You," a tribute to her late parents.

Jessica’s story was touching to both viewers and judges, who gave the singer rave reviews. Jayy closed the show with her rendition of Frida Riding’s “Lost Without You,” and although she didn’t get a golden buzzer, even television’s toughest critic, Simon Cowell, gave her performance five stars

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Following her performance, Simon told Jayy, "I think what you just did was, I mean, incredible. To be able to sing a song like that, with that lyric, with all those memories, you know, in your head, I think, is extraordinary.”

Simon’s fellow judge, Sofía Vergara, also offered Jay a few words of encouragement. Sofía shared, “I'm sure they're happy, and they're proud that you're here.”

"Just by having the strength to survive something so horrific, it says a lot about you. And we're happy that you're here. We can't wait to hear you sing," she added. 

To see who wins Season 16 of America’s Got Talent, tune in Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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