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Jackie Evancho

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Jackie Evancho
Jackie Evancho, November 2013.jpg
Evancho in November 2013
Background information
Born (2000-04-09) April 9, 2000 (age 15)
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Genres Classical crossover, pop
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 2009–present
Labels JE Touring[1]

Jacqueline Marie "Jackie" Evancho (/ˈvŋk/ ee-VAYNG-koh; born April 9, 2000)[2] is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age and, since 2009, has issued an EP and five albums, including a platinum and gold album and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts.[3][4]

Between 2008 and 2010, Evancho entered several talent competitions; made singing appearances, mostly in Pennsylvania (including singing the US national anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game); issued an independent album, Prelude to a Dream; and attracted interest on YouTube. Evancho impressed composers Tim Janis and David Foster, each of whom included her in his concerts beginning in 2009. Later in 2010, at the age of ten, she gained wider popularity with her performances in the fifth season of the America's Got Talent competition, finishing in second place.

With the 2010 holiday release of her O Holy Night EP, Evancho became the best-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest top-10 debut artist in US history and the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum in the US. She first performed in front of US President Barack Obama at the 2010 National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, D.C. In June 2011, her first full-length major-label album, Dream With Me, produced by David Foster, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, and she became the youngest top-5 debut artist in UK history. Billboard ranked Evancho the top Classical Albums Artist for 2011. Evancho released another studio album, Heavenly Christmas, in November 2011. The same month, she became the youngest person ever to give a solo concert at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of her 2011–2012 Dream With Me Tour. She has made three solo Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) specials.

Evancho is the ambassador for Mission: Humane, a US Humane Society program that encourages children to help protect animals. A national cotillion organization listed her as one of the "ten best-mannered people of 2011". From late 2012 to 2014, she toured the US, performing songs from her fourth full-length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, released in October 2012, which was Evancho's third top-ten album debut. In 2013 she also headlined benefit concerts at Carnegie Hall and the LDS Conference Center. She appeared in the 2013 Robert Redford film The Company You Keep, modelled for Guess Kids clothing, among others, and has appeared on behalf of such charities as One Drop Foundation. Evancho released her fifth full-length album, Awakening, in September 2014, which was her fifth consecutive No. 1 release on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.[5] Since then she has toured in support of the album and released several singles and collaborations in between her public school studies.

Family and early life[edit]

Evancho's parents are Lisa and Michael Evancho.[6] Her father operated a video security business until 2010.[7] She has an older sister Juliet,[8] a younger brother Zachary, and a younger sister Rachel.[6] She and her family are Catholic[7][9] and reside in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[10][11] Evancho began her schooling in the Pine-Richland School District public schools,[12] but in late 2010,[13] because of her touring schedule, she switched to cyber schooling.[10][14] In January 2014, however, she returned to public school,[15] which she continues to attend in 2015.[11][16] Evancho's interests include playing the violin and piano, sewing, swimming, playing with her pets,[17][18] drawing[19] and archery.[20]

Evancho's dedicated singing began after she saw the film version of the musical The Phantom of the Opera in a movie theatre;[14][21] her mother purchased the DVD before her 8th birthday,[22] and Evancho began singing the songs around the family home.[23][24] Her parents have said that they did not recognize that her voice was unusual until her first talent competition.[25] In March–April 2008, Evancho competed in Kean Idol, a local talent contest,[26] finishing in second place to a 20-year-old opera singer.[23][27] She began taking voice lessons after her success in the contest,[26][28][29] and her parents began receiving requests for her to sing at various events,[30] churches and nursing homes, mostly in Pennsylvania.[31][32] She also started a YouTube channel,[33] sang in the Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh during its 2008–09 season,[27][34] and performed the title role in a 2009 school musical version of Little Red Riding Hood.[12]

In January 2009, Evancho competed in Las Vegas in the 15th annual U.S.A. World Showcase Talent Competition, where she also finished in second place.[11][32][35] She entered the 2009 Kean Idol contest and was again runner-up.[26][36][37] She entered other talent contests,[38] winning the Golden Ribby Award – WonderworldTV in April 2009[34] and the Talent Quest TV Show in June 2009 (both in Massachusetts).[39][40] Also in 2009, she sang "Ave Maria" in composer and conductor Tim Janis's PBS television special "Celebrate America"[41][42] and performed in other concerts and TV shows with Janis,[33] who sought her out after seeing her on YouTube.[35][42] She also made various singing appearances around Pennsylvania in 2009 and 2010.[31][43]


David Foster and Prelude to a Dream[edit]

Evancho in her concert with David Foster, December 29, 2011

Evancho first caught record producer David Foster's attention in 2009.[26] After sending a video to him, she was selected for the regional semifinals of his “Hitman Talent Search Contest”,[27] finishing as runner-up,[44][45] and in October 2009 she sang in the "David Foster & Friends" concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.[35][46]

In November 2009, Evancho released her independent debut album, Prelude to a Dream.[47][48] The album featured mainly covers of classical crossover songs such as "Con te partirò", "The Prayer", "To Where You Are", "Concrete Angel" and "Amazing Grace". It debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 121, and at No. 2 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart, in August 2010,[49] after Evancho's first performance on America's Got Talent.[50] Evancho's parents withdrew the album later in the same month, citing Evancho's vocal progress since its release.[51] Since Evancho's success on America's Got Talent, the album has become a collector's item.[3][52]

America's Got Talent[edit]

After two earlier unsuccessful auditions for the show,[22][38][53] Evancho was accepted as a contestant on the fifth season of the America's Got Talent TV show (AGT) by placing first in its 2010 YouTube competition.[21][54] On August 10, 2010, Evancho performed the aria "O mio babbino caro" in the show's quarter-final round.[55][56] She received a standing ovation after her performance and was awarded a family trip to Universal Studios Florida for receiving the most fan votes of all the YouTube submissions to the show.[57] Judge Howie Mandel said in his critique that the show sought to "find that one moment, that one gem, that one star from a place we've never looked before. ... This is the moment. You're the star."[58] After Evancho's performance, commentators queried whether her performance had been lip-synched.[29][59] On the next evening's live show, Evancho sang an impromptu voice exercise to demonstrate that the broadcast was of her live voice.[45][59] In an interview, Mandel addressed the issue: "what people are ... really saying [is] that it's really too good to be true. You are so perfect and so wonderful that people have never heard a talent like this. ... You've got to take that as a compliment. ... Even if you don't love that kind of music, you can't deny that [it] is perfection."[60]

Her semifinal performance was "Time to Say Goodbye", on August 31, 2010.[61] She advanced to the Top 10 round where, on September 7, 2010, she performed "Pie Jesu" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem and was voted into the Final 4.[62][63] Pittsburgh leaders declared the following week "Jackie Evancho Week" in appreciation "for her positive representation of our city" showing "poise and determination well beyond her years".[64] Her final competition performance was of Gounod's "Ave Maria" on September 14. The following evening at the AGT season finale, Evancho sang "Time to Say Goodbye" together with guest artist Sarah Brightman;[65] then Evancho was announced as the runner-up, finishing second to singer Michael Grimm.[66] Many viewers and commentators felt that Evancho should have won,[67] and even Grimm expressed surprise.[68][69] The show brought Evancho wide exposure to American audiences, as up to 16 million viewers watched her performances each week.[58] The finale show was AGT's highest-rated episode in three years.[70] Evancho became one of the two most successful AGT alumni.[71] She was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno a week after the finale, where she sang and gave her first late-night interview with Jay Leno.[72] Evancho was subsequently profiled and interviewed in the 2013 book Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent.[73]

Evancho performed in 10 of the 25 cities in the America's Got Talent: Live Tour from October 1 to November 5, 2010.[74][75] On October 8, 2010, Evancho signed a record deal with SYCO music and Columbia Records.[70] One week later, she performed in Las Vegas with David Foster.[76] From June 2010[59] until mid-2011, Evancho was coached by voice teacher Yvie Burnett, a mezzo-soprano from Scotland, who has worked with many of the singers appearing on AGT.[7][12][77] Tim Janis scheduled Evancho to perform in his show at Carnegie Hall in New York City on December 2, 2010,[26][29] where she would have been the venue's youngest female vocal soloist.[78] During the AGT tour, however, her parents withdrew her from the Carnegie Hall event;[79] by the time of that event, Evancho had begun making promotional appearances for Columbia Records.[27]

O Holy Night[edit]

Evancho in February 2011

Evancho's first release on a major record label was a Columbia Records EP entitled O Holy Night. It was released on November 16, 2010 and entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2,[22] making Evancho the top-selling debut artist for 2010 and the youngest solo artist ever to debut in the top 10.[27][80] It also launched at No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Albums chart.[80][81] It was No. 2 on Billboard's Holiday Albums Chart.[82] The album sold 239,000 copies in its first week.[83] On December 10, 2010, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA, shipping in excess of a million copies in the US,[84] making Evancho the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum in the US.[45][85][86]

Evancho promoted the album on TV beginning with The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 19, 2010, where she sang "Pie Jesu".[74] Among several other talk shows, QVC appearances and holiday singing appearances, Evancho performed songs from the album and was interviewed on The Today Show and Fox & Friends,[87] The View[88] and Martha Stewart Living.[89][90] In November 2010, Evancho sang "O Holy Night" in the My Macy's Holiday Parade in Pittsburgh[74][91] and again on NBC's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting special, Christmas in Rockefeller Center, where she also duetted with Katherine Jenkins, singing "Silent Night".[92] Such a duet had been anticipated since Piers Morgan commented on the similar appearance of the two singers.[93] On December 9, 2010, Evancho performed at the National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington, D.C., singing "O Holy Night",[94][95] where she met President Obama and his family.[96] Also in December, she returned to the Tonight Show[97] and performed at the 27th annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, on ABC television.[98]

In its 2011 year-end charts (including releases from November 2010), Billboard ranked O Holy Night at No. 1 on its Classical Albums chart.[99] It also ranked the album as the No. 15 best-selling album of 2011 in the US.[100] O Holy Night also ranked as the No. 31 Canadian Album of 2011.[101]

Dream with Me[edit]

Main article: Dream With Me
Evancho waving at the audience at Lincoln Center, November 2011

Evancho's second full-length feature album (her first on a major label), Dream with Me, produced by David Foster for Sony and Syco Music, was released on June 14, 2011.[102] The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart,[103] reached No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Albums Chart,[104][105] and was certified gold by the RIAA.[106][107] The album also performed well internationally,[108] with Evancho becoming the youngest artist ever to debut in the UK in the top 5.[109] The album includes 14 tracks ranging from popular songs ("Angel") to classical arias ("Ombra mai fu"), and original songs, including the title track, for which Evancho contributed to the lyrics.[110] Evancho sings duets with Barbra Streisand ("Somewhere") and Susan Boyle ("The Prayer"). A deluxe edition of Dream with Me available only at the Target website includes four bonus tracks: "Someday", "Mi Mancherai", "The Impossible Dream" and "A Time For Us".[111][112] Allmusic gave the album 3-1/2 stars out of a possible five, commenting: "Dream with Me hits all of the right notes, though there are few surprises or big moments to be found ... resulting in a solid "official" debut from a rising star at the dawn of her career."[113]USA Today rated the album 2-1/2 stars out of four: "[Evancho's] sweet, unblemished vocal tone and slow, careful vibrato hardly betray her young age. ... But Dream's predictable and often bombastic odes to love and faith can undermine the tween's most appealing quality: innocence. I'd have preferred a little less pomp and Puccini and more youthful wonder."[114]

Evancho promoted the album on talk shows and at concerts in the US and in Toronto.[115][116] She recorded a solo concert television special for the 2011 PBS Great Performances series that includes nearly the same songs as the album.[117] The special, titled Dream With Me In Concert, was the most broadcast program of the year on the PBS network.[118] Evancho was the youngest person ever to have a special on the series.[119] It "became one of the most viewed specials in the 38-year-history of the Great Performances series [and] raised record amounts of money for PBS stations."[120] The concert was co-hosted by David Foster, who played the piano in the orchestra for many of the selections,[121] while Conrad Tao played piano and violin, respectively, for two songs.[122][123] The special was shown on PBS stations beginning in June 2011[124] and was released as a CD/DVD set in September 2011, Dream With Me In Concert,[125][126] reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Top Music Video chart.[104][127] Allmusic noted: "the concert version ... sounds nearly identical (outside of the waves of applause) to the studio album ... but the accompanying DVD, which features the heavily choreographed performance, as well as an extensive photo gallery and interviews with both Evancho and Foster, should provide enough eye and ear candy to appease fans of the gifted young vocalist until a proper follow-up appears."[128] The Sun wrote that the "classical crossover set ... showcases the extraordinary beauty of the child's pipes."[129]

Evancho in concert in June 2012

In July 2011, the singer began her first solo tour across the United States, to promote the album.[130] It consisted of 18 performances with symphony orchestras, beginning with eight stops in the US during 2011,[122][131] including one with her hometown Pittsburgh Opera on October 16.[132][133] Evancho made her New York City solo concert debut at Avery Fisher Hall in November 2011,[21][122] becoming the youngest person ever to sing a solo concert at Lincoln Center.[95][119][134] Her last appearance in 2011 was in Las Vegas on December 29, 2011, where Evancho headlined a concert with David Foster and Kenny G, featuring mostly songs from Dream With Me.[135] In 2012, she continued her US tour to promote the album, together with tenor Josh Page,[136] who sang a duet of "The Prayer" with her and performed two solos to break up Evancho's sets.[137][138] After a concert in Tokyo in January 2012 with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra,[139] she made seven concert stops from January to March 2012 in California[140][141] and Utah.[142][143] Evancho's three February tour stops constituted the tenth top-grossing tour reported by Billboard for the relevant week.[144] In June 2012, Evancho concluded the tour with performances on the East Coast.[145][146]

On its 2011 year-end charts, Billboard ranked Dream With Me as the No. 2 best-selling Classical Album for the year[99] and as the No. 45 US album of 2011.[100] Dream With Me was listed on the Billboard 200 for 28 weeks[147] and the Classical Albums chart for a total of 74 weeks.[148] Billboard ranked Dream With Me In Concert the No. 21 music video album of 2011[149] and the No. 16 music video album of 2012.[150] Dream With Me In Concert was ranked on the Top Music Video chart for 64 weeks.[151] Dream With Me, and Foster's production of the album, are discussed in detail in the 2013 Ph.D. dissertation of Evancho's uncle, composer Matthew Evancho.[152]

Heavenly Christmas[edit]

Main article: Heavenly Christmas

Evancho's 2011 Christmas album, Heavenly Christmas, has twelve tracks and was produced by Rob Mounsey,[153][154] who conducts the Orchestra of St. Luke's on the album.[154] The selections include traditional Christmas carols like "The First Noël" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem", standards like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "White Christmas", and newer songs, such as "Walking in the Air" (from the 1982 animated film The Snowman) and "Believe" (from the 2004 movie The Polar Express).[154] The album was released on November 1, 2011, exclusively at Walmart in the US[155][156] and at other US retailers in October 2012.[157]

Evancho in December 2011

The album entered the Billboard Classical Albums chart at No. 1, the Holiday Albums chart at No. 3, and the Billboard 200 at No. 16, peaking at No. 11.[158][159] It peaked at No. 9 on the Canadian Albums chart.[160] Allmusic's review gives the album three stars, commenting, "Evancho's vocals are impressive as always, and the arrangements are mostly tasteful, with only occasional moments of bombast".[161] The Salt Lake City Tribune rated the album "A-", writing: "some of us are still taken aback when we hear such a strong, womanly voice float out of an 11 year-old child. ... Her best offering is the cherubic 'Believe'."[162] Christopher John Farley of The Wall Street Journal wrote, "when she sings, she sounds like she’s channeling a past life, a future self, or possibly an actual angel."[163]

As with her previous albums, Evancho made talk show appearances on all major television networks to promote Heavenly Christmas, singing "The First Noël" on The View[164] and The Talk,[165] and "Believe" on The Tonight Show.[166] She gave concerts that featured songs from the album in December 2011 in Buffalo, New York; Atlantic City, New Jersey;[167][168] and Pittsburgh, all with duet partner tenor Christopher Dallo.[169] As of January 2012, more than 300,000 copies of Heavenly Christmas had been sold in the US.[170] On its 2011 year-end charts, Billboard ranked Dream With Me as the No. 4 best-selling Classical Album of the year.[99] It ranked the album No. 41 on the 2012 year-end Canadian Albums chart.[171]

Songs from the Silver Screen[edit]

Evancho in concert, November 2012

Evancho's fourth full-length album, Songs from the Silver Screen, was released on October 2, 2012.[172] The album is composed of 12 songs used in popular films, arranged by Bill Ross. The tracks range from the whimsical ("Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) to Disney songs ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King and "I See the Light" from Tangled) to inspirational anthems ("My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, featuring Joshua Bell, violin), to romantic standards ("Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific). Other collaborations on the album are "The Summer Knows" from Summer of 42, featuring Chris Botti, trumpet, and "Come What May" Moulin Rouge!, featuring The Canadian Tenors. An Allmusic review awarded the album 3-1/2 stars out of five, stating that the CD "finds Evancho more than up to the task, displaying maturity and poise."[173]

A PBS Great Performances special called Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies, filmed at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, features nearly the same selections as the album.[174] It was directed and co-produced by David Horn and Humberto Gatica, and conducted and arranged by Bill Ross. The special aired on PBS stations beginning on August 11, 2012.[175] A review of the special commented that the songs fit Evancho's classical crossover style.[21][120]

Evancho in concert, April 2014

Evancho began a live 42-stop tour to promote the album in August 2012, giving her first solo concert featuring songs from the album in Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.[176][177] She continued the tour in the US, appearing first with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.[21][178] The first leg of the tour included concerts in two dozen North American cities[157] between September 2012 and June 2013.[179] Evancho also appeared on television shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and CNN in October and November 2012, where she sang songs from the album and was interviewed.[180][181] She resumed touring from October 2013 to January 2014, with appearances in a dozen more cities,[182][183] and the last six concerts in the series were from April to August 2014.[184][185]

The album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200,[186] No. 1 on the Classical Albums chart[187] and No. 22 on the Canadian Albums chart.[188] The debut made the 12-year-old the second artist who ever "amassed three top 10 albums [on the Billboard 200] at such a young age."[189][190] The album remained on the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks and appeared on the Billboard Classical Albums chart in 72 weeks.[191] Songs from the Silver Screen was the No. 4 Classical Album of 2013[192] and the No. 36 Classical Album of 2014.[193]


Evancho released her fifth full-length studio album, Awakening, on September 23, 2014 on Sony Masterworks' Portrait Records label.[194] Evancho is promoting the album with a concert tour that began in November 2014 and is scheduled to continue into 2016, and a third PBS special based on the album that debuted the same month.[195] The album consists of 12 tracks, including a mix of classical pieces, like Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise", the art song "Dormi Jesu" and the Vavilov version of "Ave Maria"; classical crossover covers of more contemporary pieces like U2's "With or Without You", Ennio Morricone's "Your Love", Lara Fabian's "Je t'aime" and Within Temptation's "Memories"; and several original songs.[196][197] Walmart offered a deluxe edition with six bonus holiday songs.[198] Evancho's cover of "My Immortal" by Evanescence was included as a bonus track exclusively on the version of the album sold in Japan.[199]

Evancho promoting Awakening at the WSJ Cafe

In June 2014, Evancho released her first single from the album, a cover of "The Rains of Castamere" from Game of Thrones.[200] A writer for the Orlando Sentinel said of the song that Evancho's "mature voice sounds stunning."[201] Evancho released a shadow-art video for the single in July 2014.[202] She offered a second track, "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera, in July 2014.[203] A video for the song was released, together with a feature piece on Evancho, by People, in September 2014.[204] The same month, Evancho released a digital download of a track called "Go Time" promoting Justice clothing stores, which displayed it on their website, made it available for free download to their shoppers, and played it in their stores on the video monitors.[205][206] In September, Billboard streamed Evancho's third single from the album, "Your Love", which became available on the day of the album's release.[207] A last single and corresponding video from the album of "Ave Maria" was released in November 2014.[208][209]

Evancho began her television promotions of the album with a return to America's Got Talent as a guest artist, singing "Think of Me" at Radio City Music Hall, in September 2014 during the show's ninth season.[210] Other September television performances included The Today Show, where she sang "Your Love".[211] Among other television and media appearances, she performed on The Queen Latifah Show[212] and was profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Network, both in October.[213] Evancho made a third PBS special to promote the album: Awakening: Live in Concert. The special was filmed at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and began airing on PBS stations on November 29, 2014; Cheyenne Jackson co-hosts and sings "Say Something" as a duet with Evancho. The special includes all of the songs from Awakening, as well as "My Immortal", and two additional songs ("Say Something" and "O Mio Babbino Caro").[195][214] Evancho appeared on the Dr. Phil show in December, singing "Ave Maria".[215]

Her Awakening: Live in Concert tour began in November 2014.[216] The tour includes stops across the U.S. and one in each of Costa Rica and Canada. For this tour, for the first time, Evancho usually uses an ensemble of about a dozen live musicians enhancing a pre-recorded soundtrack.[217]

Awakening debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 chart[218] and No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.[219] This was Evancho's fifth consecutive release at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.[5] Markos Papadatos of Digital Journal gave Evancho's album an A rating, calling it "stunning from start to finish thanks to her warm classical vocals." He called her renditions of the songs "ethereal", "crystalline" and "haunting".[220] On its 2014 year-end charts, Billboard ranked Awakening as the No. 11 best-selling Classical Album of the year,[193] and in 2015 ranked it as the No. 3 best-selling Classical Album of the year.[221] The album has been listed on the Classical Albums chart for more than 70 weeks.[222]

Other music performances and philanthropy[edit]

2009 to 2011

Evancho performed the American national anthem at various events in 2009 and 2010, including the September 2009 memorial ceremony for the victims of United Flight 93,[6][28] the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team's 2010 home opener,[31] and the NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2011, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.[27][223] In January 2011, she performed Nella Fantasia at the Beverly Hills Chefs for Seals event in support of efforts to end the annual Canadian seal hunt.[224] The event was sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, of which Evancho is the ambassador for Mission: Humane, a program that encourages children to help protect animals.[225] In February 2011, she performed her first full-length concert as a headliner, in Houston Texas with the Houston Chamber Choir.[13][226] In March, she sang at the 2011 Festival of the Arts Boca, along with young stars of the Metropolitan Opera.[227][228] Evancho sang at Muhammad Ali's "Celebrity Fight Night" charity event to battle Parkinson's Disease, in Phoenix, Arizona, later the same month.[229][230] She also sang the introduction to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on Oprah's farewell special broadcast on May 25, 2011.[231][232]

In June 2011, Evancho performed as a guest artist at the season finale of Britain's Got Talent.[38][233] After touring over the summer, in September, she returned to America's Got Talent as a guest artist, performing "Nessun dorma" during the finale of the sixth season.[234] She recorded a duet with Tony Bennett of the song "When You Wish upon a Star", which appears as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his 2011 album Duets II[235] and she lent her voice to a "happy birthday" tribute to Bennett as part of a 2011 Target advertisement.[236] She also sings "Pie Jesu" on the 2011 album Hit Man Returns: David Foster & Friends (2011).[237] The album was recorded live in Las Vegas in October 2010, and PBS broadcast the concert, including Evancho's "Pie Jesu" and "O Mio Babbino Caro", beginning in March 2011.[238] Her recording of "Silent Night" is included in the 2011 Sony album 30 Stars of Christmas.[239] She sang in two David Foster & Friends concerts in October 2011, in Tokyo, where she also appeared in several Japanese television interviews.[240]

2012 to 2013

Evancho returned to Japan to participate in the newly reopened Bunkamura Orchard Concert Hall's program, called "Musical meets Symphony",[241] and to give her own concert there with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2012.[139] While there, she sang for the Imperial family.[27][242] In February 2012, Evancho sang at the US National Prayer Breakfast before President Obama and congressional and international leaders.[243][244] In April, Evancho appeared on Dancing with the Stars. She sang "Ave Maria" and "Dark Waltz"[245] to accompany two dance teams.[246] She performed as a guest star on the May 2012 season finale of Canada's Got Talent.[247] In June, she sang in Russia at the opening ceremonies of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The outdoor concert in Palace Square, billed as a "Bouquet of Opera", also featured Dmitry Hvorostovsky and Sumi Jo.[248][249][250]

Evancho with conductor John Mario Di Costanzo at her concert with Tony Bennett in August 2012

Evancho sang in August 2012 at the annual So The World May Hear Gala to benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which supplies hearing aids to people in need in the US and other countries.[251][252] She sang in Hiroshima, Japan, later in August, in the "Peace for World" concert, with Christopher Cross and others.[253][254] At the end of the month, Evancho performed together with Tony Bennett at the Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys, California, where she was accompanied by members of the Stockton Symphony.[255][256] In October, she performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as part of the opening celebrations for Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas.[257][258] In late 2012, Evancho partnered with WhyHunger, and Sephora to offer a bath product, to believe, inspired by the lyrics of her song "To Believe". All net proceeds from the product support WhyHunger's efforts to end world hunger.[259][260]

Evancho participated with over 200 Cirque du Soleil performers and others at Bellagio in Las Vegas in March 2013 in the event "One Night for One Drop on World Water Day". Evancho's water and aerial performances benefited the One Drop Foundation's worldwide clean water access and education programs. Robin Leach wrote: "12-year-old superstar singer Jackie [Evancho] stole the night with her "Bridge Over Troubled Water" sung barefoot in the water of the giant stage alone except for the background pianist. She also dominated the fantastic finale flying in as an angel on a harness from the theater rooftop."[261][262] The following month, she sang in concert in Taiwan with José Carreras.[263][264] She performed another concert with Tony Bennett in May, in Alpharetta, Georgia, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Of performing with Evancho, Bennett said: "She’s just wonderful ... my own reaction is, 'How the heck am I going to follow that?'"[265][266] On July 4, Evancho was a featured performer in the televised annual show A Capitol Fourth, singing the national anthem and '"Can You Feel the Love Tonight", from her album Songs from the Silver Screen.[267]

Evancho headlined a benefit concert, called Jackie Evancho & Friends: We are Hope, at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City in November 2013, for the Muzart World Foundation's programs to encourage the teaching of music and art in US public schools.[268] She sang the US national anthem on Thanksgiving Day, at the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions football game, broadcast on Fox.[269] She headlined a Christmas-themed benefit concert at Carnegie Hall produced by her old mentor, Tim Janis, and featuring James Galway, in December.[183][270]

2014 to present

Evancho was the performer for Susan G. Komen's Perfect Pink Party in Palm Beach, Florida, in January 2014, to benefit breast cancer research.[271][272] In March, Evancho headlined a concert with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, to benefit the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.[273] She appeared in May 2014 at the annual gala to benefit Chicago's WTTW television and WFMT radio stations[274][275] and in Washington DC at the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert, broadcast by PBS.[276][277] Evancho performed at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 2014 awards dinner in June singing "Over the Rainbow".[278] In September 2014, Evancho performed at a David Foster Foundation concert to benefit families with children who need a major organ transplant.[279][280] In November, she sang a "touching rendition" of John Lennon's song "Imagine" at the United Nations to introduce the UNICEF #Imagine program.[281] Also in 2014, Evancho recorded the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" with Peter Hollens for his self-titled album, and the two released a video for the song. A reviewer for Mashable called it "a gift from the a cappella gods".[282]

In 2015, Evancho made a video to support the Humane Society's fight against seal hunting.[283] In April of that year, she joined Andrea Bocelli as a guest in his concert in Thailand. The English-language newspaper The Nation commented: "If there's anything on Earth close to the sound of an angel, it must be the heavenly voice of Jackie Evancho".[284] In August 2015, she participated in a "David Foster and Friends" concert in Malaysia.[285] The same month, she released a new video and corresponding video covering Ed Sheeran's, "All of the Stars", supporting acceptance of LGBT people.[286][287] In September, Evancho participated in a concert with David Foster and Andrea Bocelli in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, to benefit the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation.[288] The same month, she performed at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia as part of the celebration of Pope Francis's visit to that city.[11][289] In October 2015, Evancho performed at a benefit for the Global Lyme Alliance in New York City.[290] In December, she sang the US national anthem at the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Indianapolis Colts[291] and released the first single on her own JE Touring label, a cover of Taylor Swift's "Safe & Sound".[292] A video of the single was also released.[293]

In January 2016, Evancho appeared at the Mending Broken Hearts With Hope luncheon to benefit The Shelter for Abused Women & Children in Naples, Florida.[294] The same month, she released another single and video on her JME Touring lable, a cover of Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall".[295]

Acting and modeling[edit]

Evancho had some early theatre experience performing in High School Musical with Pittsburgh Musical Theater in 2007[31] and musical theatre versions of A Christmas Carol[104][296] and Little Red Riding Hood, in which she played the title role in 2009.[12] She also appeared briefly as an extra in the 2010 film She's Out of My League.[297] Her first featured television appearance was in the 2011 episode "Back To Max" from the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place where she sang "America the Beautiful" to work off school detention.[104][298]

Evancho appears in the feature film The Company You Keep, a political thriller that premiered at film festivals in 2012.[299] The film played in foreign markets and in the US beginning in April 2013.[300][301] Evancho played Isabel, the eleven-year-old daughter of a widowed attorney turned fugitive, Jim Grant, played by Robert Redford, who also directed the film. When Grant's true identity as a former Weather Underground militant is uncovered, he is pursued across the US by the FBI and by an ambitious journalist (Shia LaBeouf). To be reunited with Isabel, Grant must clear his name.[302] Jon Weisman wrote that Evancho "showed she's more than a singing prodigy with her earnest sweetness as the daughter of Robert Redford's character".[303] Redford cast Evancho only days before filming began.[304] Evancho said in 2012: "I don't think I want to act full time. I think I might like to do something with a Disney special or make a movie once in a while that would give me enough time to sing and record, but that's about it."[137]

Evancho modelled for GUESS Kids in 2012[305][306] and for Justice Girls Clothing in 2014,[307] and she occasionally has appeared in other product advertisements[308] and public service announcements.[309]

Reception and reputation[edit]

Evancho at the Grove Christmas Tree lighting, November 2011

Earliest assessments[edit]

After Evancho's performance of "Ave Maria" on America's Got Talent, judge Piers Morgan said: "I have never seen an act, on this show or the British show or any of the other talent shows in the world, with more potential than Jackie Evancho. That was perfection. Perfection!"[310] Christopher Hahn, General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, commented of Evancho's performance of "O mio babbino caro" on AGT, "It's very unusual for a young child to have a voice that sounded so rich and developed."[46] "I thought she was just lovely, sweetly compelling", said Hahn.[311] "It is quite unusual to hear a young girl with that level of warmth and roundness."[51] Hahn particularly praised Evancho's phrasing.[312]

Composer Tim Janis commented in 2010 that Evancho "takes a classical piece and makes it friendly and accessible. ... Her voice is so pure and natural, there's no flaw in it. People say 'I can hear her potential coming,' but no, it's here, it's now."[29][51] Critic Tim Page disagreed, writing of Evancho's AGT performance of "O mio babbino caro" that Evancho "has many years of work ahead of her before she becomes any sort of musician."[313] Claudia Benack, Assistant Professor of musical theatre at Carnegie Mellon University, said that Evancho "has an unusually adult feel for the repertoire. ... She sings to the important part of the phrase, and then backs off. That's instinctual. ... She takes breaths sometimes where an adult would not, but that's just because she's young and little. ... She sings from the healthy part of her voice."[51] Doctor Clark Rosen, director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, commented that Evancho's talent is made possible by how her brain coordinates her body for singing: "Very few people are gifted enough to have that naturally, or with subsequent learning, to create a voice we'd love to hear."[51]

2011 and later[edit]

A review of Evancho's 2011 concert with Pittsburgh Opera noted that "what was most impressive ... was how musical she was ... her focus on phrasing and an understanding of the emotion in the ... musical numbers."[132] The review also praised "her reverberant chest voice [and] her head voice, hitting the highest register with intonation and purity" and echoed Janis: "That she continues to be greeted with skepticism is unfair. ... Yes, the concert showed that Jackie is a young girl, yet one with artistry to be appreciated now without debating about what her future might hold."[132] Antony Walker, Pittsburgh Opera's music director, said: "she has a very sincere way of singing. ... Her voice has a lovely quality to it. It's very simple singing but it comes from the heart. You rarely hear someone so young with such a beautiful voice".[314] Nekesa Mumbi Moody, writing for Associated Press and ABC News, commented that, although "there is a youthful quality in Jackie's voice, it's hardly childlike: It's a soprano that deftly traverses the musical scales".[25] Bob Boilen of NPR wrote, "I simply couldn't believe my eyes and ears. Seeing Jackie Evancho sing for the first time is nearly beyond belief." He called her voice "beyond-beautiful" when she performed "for a stunned audience at the NPR Music offices. She clearly is a very happy girl with an amazing musical gift."[315] A review of her 2011 Sun Valley concert stated that "Evancho transported [her audience] with pure, joyous, unaffected notes".[316]

Evancho in January 2013

The Los Angeles Times commented in June 2011, reviewing Dream With Me, that "her voice has matured quite a lot over the past 10 months." The paper continued, "what makes us feel like she will survive the journey from child star to adult performer is her magnificent sense of pitch, her natural ability to shape phrases and the ease with which she performs. This is what makes her a joy to listen to. Since she's still a kid, and we all have affectations when we're learning, we'll pretend we didn't notice the Brightman arms."[317] In reviewing her 2011 Pittsburgh Opera concert, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called her voice "beautifully in tune and well supported. ... Evancho's sincerity of delivery was affecting".[318] A reviewer from The New York Times wrote of her 2011 Avery Fisher Hall concert that: "In the first half of the show Ms. Evancho often receded, but toward the end of the night she found purpose, delivering 'A Time for Us' with punch, and closing out Sarah McLachlan’s 'Angel' with what felt like real yearning".[319] The Wall Street Journal called Evancho's 2011 performance of the song "Angel" on the Tonight Show "moving".[320]

A San Francisco Chronicle review of a 2012 concert judged her singing "an impressive thing to witness, and Evancho's technical precision and enormous range only serve to make it seem less fluky. The girl can sing", but felt that "every selection sounded alike".[141] Another reviewer wrote that Evancho "displayed her famous combo of poise and articulation", but he noted "the burden of being a kid soprano, a true phenomenon. People pay a lot to see you and orchestras line up to get you on their stage. But still folks wonder if you really comprehend your life; if you shouldn’t be home ... eating ice cream instead of in Denver. ... And yet they rise to their feet, yet again, as you finish."[321] A Naples Daily News review stated: "Her poise. Her control. Her range. ... Her voice and her performance exhausted all of the superlatives in the dictionary."[322] In 2013, a reviewer commented: "Her pure and well-formed vowel sounds touched the hearts of everyone at the concert. Every year her voice seems to get better and better."[323] A reviewer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Evancho "awesomely talented" and "technically flawless", commenting: "Evancho possesses the voice of an angel."[266] The Buffalo News reporter wrote: "there is a poignancy to the sound of this mature voice coming out of this child. Her high notes are a joy."[179]

In 2014, a reviewer for Billboard magazine commented: "Evancho’s stratospheric vocals are of course impressive for someone her age, though pipes like this are incredible for just about anyone."[207] in 2015, the reviewer for Digital Journal wrote: "The control she displays over her voice is tremendous, and she tackles the high notes ... effortlessly, showcasing her angelic vocals and piercing pipes. ... Evancho's voice is an eighth world wonder".[209][220] Robin Leach wrote of Evancho's January 2015 concert in Las Vegas: "She’s still got the voice of an angel. It’s remarkable, and her power is growing as she grows up. [She] had the audience on its feet with wild applause at the end of every song".[324] A review of a later 2015 concert in The Washington Post called her voice a "bell-like instrument, devoid of any messy human emotions [with] an ethereally floating tone. ... But imagine what Evancho can achieve once she stops obsessing over just sounding pretty, and actually listens to the words she’s singing."[325]


Evancho appeared on the National League of Junior Cotillions' list of "Ten Best-Mannered People of 2011" for "demonstrating humility and politeness as a young performer."[326][327] She was honored on April 13, 2012 by the Senator John Heinz History Center at its 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner as one of five "distinguished Pittsburghers ... recognized for their exceptional contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world".[328][329] Evancho was the youngest person ever to be so honored.[329] The Kean Quest Talent Search, since 2011, has given an annual "Jackie Evancho Award" to a contestant who "exemplifies courage and motivation and pushes through to follow their dreams."[330] In both 2011 and 2012, Billboard magazine named Evancho to its list of "21 Under 21: Music's Hottest Minors".[331]


Further information: Jackie Evancho discography
Year Title Notes
2009 Prelude to a Dream Independent studio album
2010 O Holy Night EP
2011 Dream with Me Studio album
Dream with Me in Concert CD/DVD, Blu-ray[332] and DVD-only version
Heavenly Christmas Studio album
2012 Songs from the Silver Screen Studio album
Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies DVD (part of the Songs from the Silver Screen deluxe set at Target)
2014 Awakening Studio album
Awakening: Live in Concert PBS special DVD initially a PBS pledge gift; available from retailers in 2015[333]

Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 1 Classical Albums Artist of 2011,[334] as she released three of the top four albums on the Billboard 2011 year-end Classical Albums chart.[99] Billboard also ranked her as the No. 10 Billboard 200 Artist of 2011,[335] and the No. 3 Internet Albums Artist.[336] Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 2 Classical Albums Artist of 2012,[337] as three of her albums ranked in the top seven albums on the Billboard 2012 year-end Classical Albums chart.[338] Billboard also ranked her as the No. 37 Billboard 200 Artist of 2012.[339]

Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 5 Classical Albums Artist of 2013, even though she did not release any new albums during the year.[340] Evancho's 2014 album Awakening was Evancho's fifth consecutive release at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart.[5] Billboard ranked Evancho the No. 7 Classical Albums Artist of 2014[341] and the No. 4 Classical Albums artist of 2015,[342] as Awakening was the No. 3 classical album of 2015.[343]


  1. ^ From 2014 to 2015, Evancho recorded with Sony Masterworks/Portrait. From 2010 to 2012, she recorded with Columbia/SYCO.
  2. ^ Listen to Evancho pronounce her name: Jackie Evancho vine recording, May 24, 2014
  3. ^ a b "Jackie Evancho on Classical-Crossover",, accessed October 26, 2011
  4. ^ The platinum album, O Holy Night, was also certified gold. See "Evancho" results, RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program, accessed May 19, 2014
  5. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith. "Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Jackie Evancho Arrives with Awakening", Prometheus Global Media, October 3, 2014
  6. ^ a b c Gormly, Kellie B. "Pine-Richland 9-year-old to sing national anthem at Pirates opener", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 5, 2010, accessed January 26, 2014
  7. ^ a b c Bussmann, Kate. "'I want to sing at Simon Cowell's wedding': Meet the little girl with the huge voice", Mail Online, June 5, 2011
  8. ^ Juliet was born male and is a transgender female. She was formerly called Jacob. See Nelson, Jeff. "Jackie Evancho's Sister Juliet Opens Up About Her Transgender Journey", People magazine, October 12, 2015
  9. ^ Highfield, David. "Pittsburgher Jackie Evancho to Perform for Pope Francis", CBS Pittsburgh, September 26, 2015
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  11. ^ a b c d Condran, Ed. "Jackie Evancho to Perform at Easton's State Theatre after Singing for Pope", The Morning Call, accessed September 26, 2015
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External links[edit]

Performance videos