Jackie Evancho: Who sang at Trump’s inauguration?

Performer also sang for Barack Obama

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 21 January 2021 12:59
Jackie Evancho performs the US national anthem during Trump's inauguration ceremony
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Pop music icon Lady Gaga and superstar J-Lo have been applauded for their performances at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. 

But they are not the first musicians to take that stage, with pop music long being a part of the US presidential ceremony: Aretha Franklin sang at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, as did Beyonce. And in 1993, Bob Dylan and Barbra Streisand sang at Bill Clinton’s swearing-in ceremony. 

However, despite Donald Trump’s celebrity, the performer at his inauguration was a relatively little known singer named Jackie Evancho.

Ms Evancho gained some notoriety for her appearance on "America's Got Talent" when she was 10 years old, wowing the judges and eventually coming second in the competition. 

Originally from Pittsburgh, Evancho sang for Pope Francis I on his visit to the US, and she also sung for Barack Obama during the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The young singer faced criticism for her decision to accept Mr Trump's invitation to sing – many other artists had turned him down – but she ultimately decided to perform.

She has since said she regrets the "damage" caused by her performance.

"I definitely do have some things that I really wish that I could go back and change or fix, especially with my influence with the LGBTQ community," she told USA Today in 2019. 

"Because ever since I sang at the inauguration, they feel like I'm not with them, but I absolutely am and I'm frustrated with the fact that it changed their opinions of me. And I just want them to know that I do advocate for them wholeheartedly and I support them completely."

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