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Birth name Jacqueline Marie Evancho
Born April 9, 2000 (age 11)
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Classical crossover
Instruments Vocals, violin, piano
Years active 2009–present
Labels SYCO/Columbia Records (2010–present)
Jacqueline Marie "Jackie" Evancho (pronounced /iːˈvæŋkoʊ/ ee-vang-koh; born April 9, 2000) is an American singer. She gained popularity after performing in the fifth season of America's Got Talent, coming in second place. Evancho sings in the classical crossover style of singers such as Sarah Brightman and Charlotte Church. She plays the violin and piano, and sings opera.
Evancho was born to Michael and Lisa Evancho. She has an older brother Jacob, a younger brother Zachary, and a younger sister Rachel. She resides in Richland Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She started singing when she first watched the musical The Phantom of the Opera on DVD. Her mother heard Evancho singing songs from the musical and allowed her to enter the 2008 Kean Idol, a local talent contest. She sang "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", finishing, on the cusp of her 8th birthday, as first runner-up; the winner was 20 years old. Eventually Evancho participated in other talent contests and started a YouTube channel. Jackie began taking vocal lessons for a short period of time when she was 8, in June 2008, after her success in the 2008 Kean Idol contest. She was also a member of the Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh during its 2008–09 season.
Evancho competed in Las Vegas in the 15th annual U.S.A. World Showcase Talent Competition in early 2009, in which the winner received $100,000 and the opportunity to create a demo CD. Jackie was invited to perform at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York City, but due to scheduling conflicts with America's Got Talent, she could not attend.
Prelude to a Dream
In November 2009, Evancho released her independent debut album called Prelude to a Dream. The album featured mainly covers of songs such as Andrea Bocelli's "Con Te Partiro" and "The Prayer", Josh Groban's "To Where You Are", Martina McBride's "Concrete Angel", and a cover of "Amazing Grace" among others. The album debuted on The Billboard 200 at #121 on the chart dated August 28, 2010. It also debuted at #2 on iTunes and Billboard Classical Albums Chart. Prelude to a Dream is no longer available as of September 2010. Her father has given the following reason for the withdrawal:
Because the CD was recorded about a year and half [sic] ago and her current voice no longer sounds like what it did then [due to vocal maturity...], we decided to withdraw Prelude to a Dream and will be concentrating on new material as part of her progress.
It has become such a collector's item that copies of the CD have received final winning bids of over $1,500 on eBay auctions.
America's Got Talent
Jackie was accepted as a contestant on the fifth season of the America's Got Talent TV show by placing first in a YouTube competition sponsored by the television show. On August 10, 2010, Evancho performed "O mio babbino caro" by Giacomo Puccini. The aria is also on her debut album. She received a standing ovation after her performance, and she was awarded a trip to Universal Studios Florida for receiving the most fan votes from the submissions to the show from YouTube. However, after Evancho's performance, there were online accusations that her performance had been lip-synched. One judge, Howie Mandel, requested that Evancho sing a random voice exercise on the next evening's live show as proof that it was her voice that was heard. On that episode, it was also revealed that she had advanced to the semifinal round.
Her semifinal performance was Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's "Time To Say Goodbye". She advanced to the Top 10, where she performed "Pie Jesu" by Andrew Lloyd Webber and was voted into the Final 4.
Her final competition performance was her rendition of Charles Gounod's "Ave Maria" on September 14. On September 15, the season finale, Evancho performed "Time To Say Goodbye" with Sarah Brightman. At the end of the episode, Michael Grimm was announced the winner, and Evancho came in second place. Evancho performed in 10 of the 25 cities scheduled for the America's Got Talent road show.
O Holy Night
Jackie's newest work with Columbia Records is the CD/DVD entitled O Holy Night. It was released on November 16, 2010 and reached rank #1 on Amazon's bestsellers in music during pre-orders on October 19, 2010. It was ranked #3 for the entire year 2010 on Amazon. "O Holy Night" debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, making her the top-selling debut artist for 2010, and the youngest female solo artist to debut in the top 10. Jackie also debuted at #1 on Billboard's Classical Albums Chart. The album has sold 381,000 copies in its first two weeks. 239,000 copies were sold in its first week and 142,000 in its second week. On December 10, 2010, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA with an excess of a million copies in the US, making her the youngest solo artist to go platinum. In Canada, it debuted at #1 on the Canadian Classical Albums Chart.
Jackie Evancho in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 9 October 2010
Evancho's first stop in promoting the album was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 23, 2010, where she gave her first late-night interview with Jay Leno. She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 19, 2010 (the day of the EP's release) along with singers Susan Boyle and Debby Boone. During this appearance, she was asked with whom she wanted to perform a duet. She named Josh Groban, Charlotte Church, and Andrea Bocelli among the artists that she would like to collaborate with in the future, later adding Lady Gaga, also saying that writing is her favorite subject. She sang "Pie Jesu" during the show. The episode also showed tape that was shot by Oprah's crew at Evancho's home and school. Jackie performed on The Today Show on November 9, 2010 which also featured a brief interview.
Evancho performed in the My Macy's Holiday Parade presented by WPXI in Pittsburgh on November 27. Jackie has filmed an appearance on the television series Wizards of Waverly Place. Her first music video is also being created.
She appeared on The View on November 15, 2010, and at about that time was ranked #1 on the British site Classical-Crossover.co.uk. "She is just truly blessed with a voice that's phenomenal", says classical-crossover composer/conductor Tim Janis, who invited Evancho to perform in his American Christmas Carol show on 2 December 2010) at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
She would have been the youngest female vocal soloist ever to have performed there, but her parents withdrew her from the appearance some weeks prior to the date.
Although Jackie describes herself as a classical crossover singer, she currently holds the world record as the youngest Opera singer.
On November 30, 2010, Evancho sang "Silent Night" with Katherine Jenkins on NBC's Christmas Tree Lighting Special, "Christmas in Rockefeller Center".
On December 9, 2010, Evancho performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting event in Washington, D.C singing "O Holy Night".
She performed "Pie Jesu" on the 27th annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade which aired on ABC television December 25, 2010.
On January 1, 2011, Evancho performed the American national anthem at the NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, while Steven Page performed the Canadian national anthem.
On February, 18, 2011, Evancho performed with the Houston Chamber Choir  and on March 12, 2011 at the 2011 Festival of the Arts Boca along with the young stars of the Metropolitan Opera. Evancho performed during the Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night XVII at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on March 19, 2011.
On March 29, 2011, it was officially announced that Evancho's first full-length feature album, Dream With Me, will be released on June 14, 2011.
On June 4, 2011, she performed at the final of Britain's Got Talent.
 Critical reception
Christopher Hahn, General Director of the Pittsburgh Opera said Jackie's performance of "O mio babbino caro" was "spellbinding". "It's very unusual for a young child to have a voice that sounded so rich and developed." "I thought she was just lovely, sweetly compelling." "She is compelling," said Hahn. "It is quite unusual to hear a young girl with that level of warmth and roundness." Hahn called Jackie's performance of Pie Jesu strong, with seamless delivery. "Her phrasing was lovely, which she needed for that piece."
Composer Tim Janis said "[Jackie's] 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." "She is just truly blessed with a voice that's phenomenal." America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan said that Jackie has more talent than any act he has seen after witnessing her version of "Ave Maria": "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!"
Claudia Benack, Assistant Professor of Musical Theater at Carnegie Mellon University said that "[Jackie] has an unusually adult feel for the repertoire...I think she's very good."
Etta Cox, a jazz singer and instructor at the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Downtown Pittsburgh said: "Her voice just doesn't fit her body. I've never heard a voice like that in a 10-year-old, and I've been teaching voice for many years. The maturity of her voice is incredible for someone her age."