Jackie Evancho’s Courage Under Fire

Young performer stands tall, along with Big & Rich, ahead of presidential inauguration

by Zachary Leeman | Updated 10 Jan 2017 at 1:31 PM

Michael Moore is planning a “resistance.” Liberal feminists are planning a march. Left-leaning celebrities continue to cling to Obama in the waning days of his presidency, wringing their hands because he’s leaving the White House.

And too many entertainers and performers have brought negative attention to themselves by refusing, for political reasons, to perform at the Jan. 20 inauguration of the next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Yet singer Jackie Evancho, a former contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” has stood tall. The young performer has placed her willingness to share her art and her abilities above pettiness — despite the negativity sent her way since the announcement of her performance on the 20th.

“A presidential inauguration is a uniquely American event, so we are honored to be a part of it and hope to help make it a memorable event.”

“My family is kind of a big target. I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us,” she told People Magazine about the criticism and harassment from those trying to shame her for refusing to back down from her planned performance.

“I also get a lot of love. So we pay most attention to that. Sometimes we get really annoyed with the hate, everyone does, we have to admit it but we just ignore it,” she added.

Evancho’s courage under fire is paying off. The singer’s album sales have quadrupled, according to TMZ.

Evancho has also been reportedly fielding multiple record deal offers since the inauguration announcement. “Three record labels were suddenly courting her,” Kim Jakwerth, Evancho’s publicist, told the New York Post’s Page Six. Jakwerth revealed Evancho is still excited to perform, despite the controversy surrounding other performances.

“She’s doing it for her country. She’s 16. She can’t vote. It’s an offer that came to her, and she’s excited.”

Related: Getting to Know Jackie Evancho

Evancho’s success comes in the wake of rumors that singer Andrea Bocelli backed out of an inauguration performance due to bullying and a potential boycott from fans, as well as rumors about Rockette dancers being unwilling participants (turns out, they are all volunteers).

A singer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir also resigned due to political issues with the president-elect.

Related: The Celebrities Who Aim to Disrupt the Inauguration

Evancho, meanwhile, has been unwavering in her excitement and willingness to participate.

Two other musical performers to rise above the divisiveness and politics are Big & Rich. The country singers were announced last week to be playing at a pre-inaugural gala on Jan. 19. The duo will perform with rapping country star Cowboy Troy at the Great American Alliance Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.

John Rich, half of Big & Rich, won the 2011 edition of Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" and said in a statement, "A presidential inauguration is a uniquely American event, so we are honored to be a part of it and hope to help make it a memorable event."

The singer hit a very different and far more positive note than those protesting the idea of performing at the presidential inauguration. "We're thrilled to be performing in our nation's capital during this historic moment in time."

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