Jackie Evancho Takes Center Stage
Jackie Evancho is going places--in fact, with a platinum-selling EP and seven albums under her belt, the 19-year-old’s star status is already solidified. At age ten, Evancho received national attention after dazzling the audience with her opera skills on Season 5 of America’s Got Talent, ultimately landing her in second place. After the competition, Evancho released her EP O Holy Night, propelling the singer to become the best-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest top-ten debut artist in U.S. history, and the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum in America. The following year, she launched her first full-length album Dream With Me, which charted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart and also made her the youngest top-five debut artist in U.K. history. Evancho also released another holiday album that year called Heavenly Christmas, which she performed at Lincoln Center (she was the youngest person to ever have a solo concert at the iconic New York City venue). Following a multitude of album releases, a sold-out show at Carnegie Hall, and song collaborations with fellow superstars (Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Plácido Domingo, and more), Evancho performed the U.S. national anthem at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2016. Three years later, she returned to the small screen in America’s Got Talent: The Champions; although she did not make it to the finals, her powerhouse vocals still wowed viewers worldwide. After a recent album release (The Debut), Evancho’s talent is shining brighter than ever before.
When did you first know you wanted to be a singer?
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. I never thought that singing was something I could actually do until the first time I sang on stage at eight years old. I truly decided then, after hearing the applause and thinking back on the experience, how much I adored it all.
What about classical music is so special to you?
When I heard it for the first time, it really resonated with me, and my voice clicked with it. It became something I truly adored.
Why did you decide to audition for America’s Got Talent at age 10?
I had tried to get on the show two times prior, and I guess my third time really was a charm! I decided, “eh why not?” And it was the right choice!
How did you feel when you were the runner-up?
I felt wonderful. I had come so far, and for me, winning was never something that I needed. It would have been really cool, yes, but I was just glad to have been a part of something so big.
What was it like dealing with being in the spotlight at such a young age?
It was tricky. I had a lot of conflicted feelings. I wanted to be a kid and play with my siblings and animals, but there was that little adult in me that still wanted to sing and work. It ended up working out but not unscathed.
What/who inspired your platinum-selling EP?
I was finally an adult with the keys to my career and image, and I really wanted the world to know who I truly was and still am. I wanted my life to be as honest as it could be, and since my music is my life, why not start there?
Why did you decide to come back for America’s Got Talent: The Champions?
I wanted to introduce the new Jackie to the AGT crowd. They all remembered me as this tiny ten-year-old, but now that I’m older, I’m different, and I have so many thoughts and opinions on my music that I wanted the world to know.
What/who was the inspiration behind your newest album?
My new album, The Debut, was inspired by the world of Broadway that I fell in love with. I loved the music and the fact that it was written by all these new, talented, young musicians. I wanted to honor them but also put my own personal spin on their work.
What’s up next for you?
Hopefully, I will be broadening my business to other horizons as well as the music I adore. I would also love to launch a makeup, clothing, or jewelry line. It would be great to do some acting as well. I really want my career to be whatever I can imagine.
This or That:
Howie Mandel or Simon Cowell? Well, that's hard, but since I am loyal to my younger self who only knew Howie, I’ll say Howie!
Fashion or beauty? Beauty.
Sushi or pizza? Sushi.
Dogs or cats? Both!
New York or Los Angeles? New York, duh! It’s my new home. I love it!
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