Jackie Evancho Opens Up About the Online Backlash Her Family and Transgender Sister Have Received People
Opera prodigy Jackie Evancho made headlines yesterday when it was revealed that she would be singing the national anthem at Donald Trump‘s presidential inauguration next month. Though honored by the prestigious invite, the 16-year-old soon became the target of vicious Twitter bullying by Trump’s detractors.
Many celebrities have their share of haters, but trolls attack the singing sensation’s family for a very personal reason as well.
“My family is kind of a big target. I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us,” Evancho tells PEOPLE Now.
Juliet, 18, revealed that she was transgender at the Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala in New York last year. Although her family was accepting, some members of the public shared their negative opinions on social media.
Evancho, who rose to fame in 2010 when she came in second place on America’s Got Talent at the age of ten, admits that although there are times when the family gets frustrated with the hateful comments, they do their best to ignore it.
“I also get a lot of love. We pay most attention to that,” she says.
Whether her haters like it or not, Evancho’s performance at Trump’s inauguration will be a major milestone in her already impressive career.
She explained that after performing for the 70-year-old business mogul in the past, but on a significantly smaller scale—not the millions of viewers that are anticipated to tune in.
“I feel like it’s going to be a big audience, and I love big audiences,” she says.
Although she admits she’s nervous, she’s no stranger to performing for very important folks. In fact, Evancho sang “O Holy Night” at the National Christmas Tree Lighting hosted by President Barack Obama in 2010, and again performed for him at the National Prayer Breakfast two years later.
She says, “I remember that I got a lot of applause and that everyone was really impressed, so
I’m hoping the same thing happens.”