Donald Trump has finally found a performer to sing the US national anthem at his inauguration next month. US singer Jackie Evancho has agreed to belt out at the Star-Spangled Banner when the president-elect is ushered into the White House on 20 January 2017. While it is a relief for Trump and a major milestone for the 16-year-old pop star, everyone is wondering just who is Jackie Evancho?
Confirming the news, Evancho told the Today Show on 14 December she was "so excited" to land the gig and promised "it's going to be awesome". According to TMZ, Evancho's mother, Lisa, revealed that Trump, 70, personally rang the teenager to offer her the gig to which she immediately accepted.
Boris Epshteyn, director of communications for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, revealed the excitement from Trump's team, tweeting: "Honored to have @jackieevancho performing the National Anthem at the @TrumpInaugural Ceremony. She's an inspiration for all Americans!" Epshteyn added in a statement: "As the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum, she is a true role model and inspiration for people young and old in our country and around the globe. Jackie represents the best and the brightest of America."
Early reports claimed that iconic classical singer Andrea Bocelli would duet with Evancho but the tenor is allegedly still in talks with the inaugural committee. It is not known if Trump will invite another singer to perform on Inauguration Day but rumours previously suggested Kanye West was in the running after the rapper met the Republican at Trump Tower.
Jackie Evancho fast facts
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Instagram: 36,900 followers
Twitter: 66,700 followers
Since he won the US presidential election in November, Trump has reportedly struggled to find musicians to sing the national anthem after he was denounced by much of the music industry. However, country music legend Garth Brooks stated he would be willing to "serve" his next president while Motley Crue singer Vince Neil claimed to have agreed to take part but was uninvited.
As Evancho prepares for arguably the biggest performance of her career to date, IBTimes UK gets to know the singer.
Who is Jackie Evancho?
- Evancho was discovered by revered music producer David Foster, who is stepfather to Gigi and Bella Hadid, and has worked with the likes of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Michael Buble.
- The classical singer rose to prominence in 2010 when she appeared in the fifth season of America's Got Talent. Aged just 10 at the time, Evancho finished runner-up in second place.
- Following the release of her 2010 Christmas EP O Holy Night, Evancho became the youngest top 10 debut artist in US history and the youngest solo artist to achieve platinum certification.
- Evancho's chart success is not limited to the US as she became the youngest top five debut artist in UK history with her 2011 debut album Dream With Me.
- Evancho's allegiance with Trump comes as a surprise considering she performed for President Barack Obama at the White House in 2010 for the National Christmas Tree Lighting celebration.
- The singer first met Trump in 2011 when he invited her to his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
- Evancho has a transgender sister, Juliet, who was born Jacob.
- Evancho has made small appearances in film and TV, including Wizards Of Waverly Place and She's Out Of My League.