Jackie Evancho, a child star no more, reflects on her ‘journey’
Pittsburgh’s singing sweetheart Jackie Evancho is all grown up — and she’s a Pittsburgher no longer.
In a lengthy Facebook post today, the platinum-selling singer said she was using the new year, turning 18, moving to New York City and especially returning to NBC for “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” as an occasion to reflect on her life so far and on a healing journey she’s undertaken.
The post says “the reason I wanted to do the show was to walk onto that stage as a young woman and show the world I am no longer a child.”
Apparently, it hasn’t always been easy to be the little girl with the big, operatic voice. She was only 10 when she placed second in 2010 in the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent.”
With the release that year of her holiday EP, “O Holy Night,” Evancho became the best-selling debut artist of 2010, the youngest Top 10 debut artist in U.S. history and the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum in the United States.
More recently, she sang the national anthem at the inauguration of President Trump and became the youngest person to perform a concert series at New York’s storied jazz club, the Cafe Carlyle. She also continues to tour and record.
That early success and fame has led to a life of contrasts, she says on Facebook, being in the spotlight but also lonely, giving up aspects of a normal life for an extraordinary one.
She credits her parents for making good decisions for her, but also says, “Through the years I have developed some flaws and battled some demons, from being sheltered from aspects of a ‘normal’ child’s life. I am extremely awkward and shy around those my age. I trust absolutely no one unless they are family or have passed through years of my life without hurting me in some way. There is also a sadness in me from growing up basically alone.”
As she’s followed her passion for singing, there also have been men with ulterior motives, fear of stalkers, public scrutiny and social isolation.
The Facebook post ends on a high note, though, with the Pine Township native saying she’s now “steering my own ship” and looking forward “to a bright future.”
Underscoring the theme of metamorphosis is the accompanying photo of Evancho — obviously a little girl no more — on a rooftop with the New York City skyline in the distance, in thigh-high boots and oversized sweater.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shirley_trib.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, email@example.com or via Twitter .