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Amid Controversy Over Inaugural Performance, Meet Singer Jackie Evancho

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Update:

While most Presidential inaugurations feature performances from high-profile musicians, the upcoming Trump inauguration has thus far been notable for not having such performances booked.

To date, the only solo performer confirmed to perform is 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, who will sing the National Anthem.

The decision to perform has been a difficult one for Evancho - who has a transgender sister - and has elicited both strong support and opposition from her fan base.

Original story from July 22, 2016:

There are a lot of musicians who make a splash at an early age. But even with that as a given, Jackie Evancho's history stands out.  Evancho started making a name for herself, singing at events like talent competitions and before baseball games at the age of 8. By the time she was ten, she competed on the TV series "America's Got Talent."

While she finished in second place, the bigger prize was the recording contract that followed. Since then, she's sold millions of albums, made PBS specials and sang a duet with Tony Bennett. And she's still only sixteen years old.

Evancho's tour schedule has slowed down a bit as she records new material and goes to school, but one of the few performances in the near future is Sunday evening at FestaItaliana.

Ahead of her Milwaukee concert, she reflects on how her life in music began. "I always loved to sing, but I wasn't always good at it," she describes, saying she had a "squeaky voice" until she had her tonsils removed around 6 or 7, and then saw Phantom of the Opera and was inspired to singing at age 8.

She has covered everybody from Sam Smith to U2, classical pieces, standards and Christmas tunes. But as far as choosing what music to record and perform, "I don't really look for any [material] in particular,  it's more a feeling that I get when I listen to a song, and I think, 'huh, I really want to sing that, that might be fun to do live.'"

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