Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Wonderful (True Story) of Giving on this Christmas Day !!!

Hi Jackie,
I want to first thank you and your family for allowing us all to be part of your lives and share your voice and spirit with us. Many parents would never allow their young daughter no matter how talented to be in the public spotlight and exposed to the strain that goes along with a career like yours. Thank you Lisa and Mike and the other kids for allowing Jackie to be part of all of our lives.
I struggled as to whether I should write to you or not. I don’t often discuss my job but I thought that this was the right time to share a little of my story with you and how you have changed both the way I am and the kids I work with. I have been a child abuse investigator for the State of Washington for 18 years. Every day I work with young children who have been emotionally or physically molested by adults, older siblings or total strangers. I see a lot of pain and sorry and emptiness in these kids. We call it “dead eyes”. Sometimes they are so damaged and victimized that they can’t even cry. They just sit and stare. After a while you become numb and jaded to the horrors of what you see. You become angry and resentful. Often, I have felt hopeless and inadequate in my ability to protect and help these children.
In November of 2010 when OHN came out I listened to it all the time. The next month in late December I was driving a little girl to a foster home after police had taken her from her abusive parent’s home. I had OHN playing on my CD player. The girl was about 5 or 6 year old. She sat in the car quietly as we drove. She picked up the CD and looked at it. “Who’s this?” She asked. “Jackie Evancho” I said. “She’s pretty” she said. “Yes she is” I answered. “Is this her singing”? pointing to the CD player. “Yes” I said. “She is about your age” , “Wow!!” she said. “My age?” “Yep your age” . “ but She sounds old” she said. “I think she is an old soul” I replied. She was quite again for awhile listening to the music. Then Oh holy night came on. After a while, very quietly and slowly I heard my kid start humming “Oh holy night. The stars are brightly shining…” This kid was singing with Jackie!!!! Unbelievable! For just a moment she was able to forget about the horror and the pain that occurred in her home. For just a brief moment she was just a normal, happy. kid. Thanks to Jackie. What a gift. When we got to the foster home I gave her the OHN CD. I think it helped her transition to her new foster home.
This event changed me too. I still see horrors in my job. I still see “dead eye” kids. But when I think about Jackie and what her voice did for that kid at Christmas in 2010. I have felt more at peace. Jackie was able touched a kid that I never would have been able to reach. She was able to comfort a vulnerable little kid whose world had been turned upside down Since then, I rediscover some of my inner spirit and more confident in what I do. I am more hopeful than before, more humbled and less “jaded”. I think I’m more “Jackie like”. For that I am very grateful.
My little girl eventually left foster care and went to live with her grandmother in another state. I understand that she took the OHN CD with her. She is doing ok now. I think that Jackie made a difference in her life. Thank you and Merry Christmas Evancho’s

State of Washington Child Protection Service Investigator/Social Worker, Musician, and always a Jackie Fan

Friday, December 16, 2011

From The Top Tens - Best Child Singers of Today

Jackie Evancho

Jackie not only has perfect pitch, she is able to create such emotions within the listener that she often brings her audience to tears. She can sing in many different languages with such perfection that native speakers of those languages are simply amazed at her diction. She has the most appealing personality, largely due to her very humble nature. She seems at home with the everyday fan, as well as with the President of the United States (singing at the National Christmas tree lighting last year) and talk show hosts in the United States, England, Canada, and Japan. She has appeared nationally and internationally, and is now set to be in a major motion picture. She is a great lover of animals and is the Nation spokesperson for the SPCA. I think the safest thing to say is that she embodies all we hope for in our young people. She is the whole package.

Without question, the most outstanding voice of my lifetime (spans many decades), and I have seen and heard some of the great ones. She must be seen to appreciate her fully: it isn't just the beauty, power, and warmth of her singing that makes her great, it is her total immersion in the performance that makes her audiences gasp and weep with joy.

Jackie is not only the best child singer in the world today, she is well on her way to becoming the best singer in the world period. Not since Jenny Lind 160 years ago has a child had the perfect pitch, rich tone, and deep emotional interpretation that Jackie has.

Jackie at the age of 11 is already an International Platinum Recording Artist performing in "Sold-Out" Concerts in the USA. She will be doing Solo-Concerts this coming Monday Nov 7 at Lincoln Center New York, Dec 29 with David Foster Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, plus be one of the performers in a Concert in Tokyo Japan Jan 11, and the Solo-Performer in TWO Concerts on Jan 12 and Jan 13 in Tokyo Japan. Jackie's NEW Christmas CD "Heavenly Christmas" has been released TODAY 

November 1st. Jackie has also been selected to play a Major Role as the Daughter of Robert Redford in the Movie "The Company You Keep" which should be released next year. Jackie has done this without having anyone in her family having any connection or experience in the Music or Performing Arts Industry - Just Amazing.

An old soul in an 11 year old soprano prodigy... Enchanting voice and presence. CDs include "Oh Holy Night", "ream With Me", "ream With Me in Concert"(DVD), and released today 11/1 "Heavenly Christmas"... Exceptional music!

Jackie Evancho is one of a kind. Her interpretation is beyond compare, she pours out emotion with every note. I have never seen anything like her in my life. The name Jackie Evancho will be known around the world as one of the greatest singers of all time

There is no comparison. No contest. These other singers are good but she is the best child singer of all time. Shes done more for her genre of music, classical crossover then anyone else in years!
She is the reason why you make such silly polls!

I usually buy a CD and listen to it, maybe 4 times... I have listened to Jackie probably 100 times. She is such a perfectionist in every area, all without the gimmicks and studio magic used by others. Her exuberance is contagious! She rules!

The most amazing performer today soon to rank among the all-time greats. Typical of her sold out concerts are multiple standing ovations with many having tears streaming down their faces. And a range of voice unequaled by none.

Jackie is simply one of God's most beautiful creations. Her voice is remarkable, soothing, full of passion and emotion. She is a loving, compassionate, and humble child. It's a thrill to be on this wonderful ride with her.

Jackie Evancho's uncanny ability to engage her audience directly with her performance, bringing chills to the spine and tears to the eyes, will without a doubt make her the most beloved female vocalist in this century.

Jackie Evancho should be number one. She is just incredible. Her talent is flawless she's a superb singer. She sings with such peace humility and that angelic presence. I love her voice.


Jackie is amazing, the maturity in her voice is incredible and she also shows a lot of emotion when she sings and even most adults lack emotion. Perfect pitch.

Jackie Evancho is simply the best singer of all time. She just happens to be a child. When she sings, the audience gasps, gets goosebumps, then tears.

Incredible talent. And she is truly a child, unlike some of the others in this list. A gold and a Platinum album in less than a year.

A child by age, but an incredibly mature voice. A career that began at age 10 is certain to make her a star for decades to come.

More than just talent, she has soul. It's obvious she loves the music she is singing, and she makes you love it, too. And her.

Beautiful, clear and pure. I get goosebumps when I hear her sing. In my opinion, she is is truly gifted.
Simply the best. She brings many to tears with perfection and is getting better with every album.
Perfect pitch and clarity... Reaches the depths of the music... Sings completely without ego...

She is a talented star with a angel voice! She will someday become Americas beauty queen.

her voice is amazingly soothing! And on top of that she's got the face of an angel

Truly an amazing voice. I've never had anyone touch my heart and soul like her.

She is an amazing young lady. Truly gifted. I have two of her cds and wow

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pop Opera Prodigy Jackie Evancho Is Trying Hard Not to Be a Diva

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jackie Evancho Sings on 'The Talk,' Reconnects With AGT Judge Sharon Osbourne

The Richland resident talks about her Christmas Eve plans.

Pop Opera Prodigy Jackie Evancho Performs A Holiday Classic

Jackie Evancho, the 11-year-old pop opera singer and YouTube sensation, recently stopped by the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Cafe to sing a holiday classic.
The first thing you might think when you see this video is that she’s lip-syncing. Let us assure you that she is not. We were sitting right there. When the former “America’s Got Talent” contestant speaks, she has a little girl voice and talks about little girl things, like doing chores, and kittens. But when she sings, she sounds like she’s channeling a past life, a future self, or possibly an actual angel.
Watch Evancho’s performance of “The First Noel” from her new holiday album “Heavenly Christmas.” Leave your thoughts about the song in the comments. Happy Holidays! 
 Christopher John Farley is the editorial director of the Wall Street Journal blogs. Follow him on Twitter @cjfarley. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From Mike Evancho : my turkeys with the turkey!


David Foster discusses how he discovers future music superstars

Thu, Nov 24, 2011 (2:01 a.m.)

When hit-maker David Foster presents the second of his three monthly Mandalay Bay concerts Friday night, he’s going to introduce two unknown singers he believes will be America’s next
 superstars, just as he did when he ran a talent contest in Pennsylvania in 2008 and discovered tiny Jackie Evancho. She has become such a recording giant that she will co-star with him at his third concert here in December.
With David, you always get surprise guests on top of the announced lineup. This Friday, he presents “Glee” favorite Charice, Chaka Khan, Paul Anka and Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, plus the two he believes will deliver knockout performances.
In an exclusive interview, David told me: “This is actually now my fifth time at Mandalay Bay. I’m loving it. Philip has the voice of Earth, Wind & Fire and my favorite band of all time. We just toured Asia together, and he just knocked it out of the park every night, so I’m so excited. And when you look at their songs and their hits, Philip has had so many, it’s just phenomenal. Chaka Khan has the voice that I always wanted to write songs for. Charice has the voice of the next everybody.
“We’ve done this ‘Born to Sing USA’ competition, and we’ll have a couple of great winners come out and sing. I’m going to add some video to this show, which I haven’t done before -- highlights of my career and all the different stars that will be kind of unique. I just talked to my friend Paul Anka, I think he’s going to make a guest appearance, and maybe a couple people like that, so it’s always exciting. I think the people honestly always get their money’s worth. I like the notion of giving people something that they just couldn’t buy in a show that has all this diversity of entertainment.
“That’s my goal. My ultimate goal is that it will be ‘David Foster and Friends,’ and you won’t even have to ask who’s there. You’ll just go ‘well, it’s David Foster and Friends,’ that means it will be really good and packed with solid singers and musicians.”
When David appeared here six weeks ago, he stepped out from the background for the first time of just being the piano player and music arranger to star as himself. “It went great. I cut my teeth sort of on the Andre Agassi events I did all those years that I hosted in Vegas, and that prompted ‘David Foster and Friends.’ It feels very natural to me, and I’m out front for all time now.”
“However, for the third show next month, which is Christmas, with Jackie she’s going to carry a lot of the show. People just love her. She’s carrying the whole show herself, she’s so professional, she’s so adult, so mature, so seasoned. For me, it’s just going to be basically playing her album, and we might do some Christmas songs. I’ll do a little Christmas stuff maybe, in Friday’s show, that would be fun. I don’t want to say I’m riding her coattails, but she’s very comfortable doing it on her own, too. She is absolutely amazing, so we’ll have fun out there. I’ve never seen anything like it ever, Robin, nothing. She’s phenomenal.
“The first time I met her was when I held a singing contest, on my last American tour, she was 8. I had two singers in every city come up, and she was one of the two in Pennsylvania. She got up on stage and blew everybody’s mind. Unfortunately, she was up against a 19-year-old big, big singer, like a(n) (Andrea) Bocelli kind of singer, and Jackie at that time was doing a pop song, not her opera stuff, or her popera stuff, and he came out with a big song and won. But you know, that only made her better.
“I knew then that she was going to go onto something huge. I was blown away with her then. I remember meeting her family, I remember meeting her on the stage, she was 8 years old. She’s already amazing, and yet she’s still developing vocally. From the time we started making her record, there was a 4-month span, and at the end, it’s almost like I wanted her to re-sing everything because the one thing you can’t have when you’re 10 years old is you don’t have the lung capacity, the power, to do the money notes, hang on them and get louder with them. And by the end of the 4 months, her lungs had developed, and she’d really become amazing. Wait till you hear her next month. Beyond belief -- a megastar! “
David is currently enjoying not only Jackie’s album success but also his pal Michael Buble’s Christmas album he produced. New Caesars Palace headliner Shania Twain sang a “White Christmas” duet on it. When David starts as the senior A&R executive at Universal Records in December, he plans to dig deeper with Shania’s talents.
“To the extent that she would want to do something with me, I’d love to do it with her, but I’m not exactly the perfect person for her, but we have a great mutual respect,” said David, pouring water on speculation he could be tapped to produce part of her 2012 Caesars show. “But we are doing a show together in April, so we see what happens,” he laughed as I pointed out all three of them are Canadians!
“Michael’s Christmas album was just released, and it’s just flying. It sold 143,000 copies in the first week. I think it’s going to do 5 million worldwide. Just huge. He’s owning it these days, I don’t know anybody else that can take that slot from him. I don’t think anybody in our lifetime is going to take that away. He’s all on his own.”
I had to ask David, who is known for his uncanny knack in finding extraordinary unknown talent, if he worried about not finding more because so many are being discovered by “X Factor,” “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice.”
“That’s actually a great, great question, but I think the shows probably encourage more people to get out there and enter anything they can. But ‘X Factor’ and ‘The Voice’ can’t be right all the time, so they’re going to miss some great ones. That means they’re going to let some great ones go in the Top 10 that shouldn’t have, so I think there is a plethora out there. I think there’s great talent in every nook and cranny of this Earth.
“I just did ‘Born to Sing Asia’ on our Asian tour, and we had some phenomenal singers, one of whom was a 15-year-old Indonesian girl who sang like Sarah Brightman, and I’m actually thinking of bringing her back here to the States -- she was amazing. The two kids who entered in ‘Born to Sing USA’ will perform Friday, and they are just as amazing. The future superstars are out there just waiting for their shot.
“I can’t tell instantaneously that they’ve got ‘it,’ but what I can tell instantaneously is whether they can really sing or not. It’s the only thing I know. I don’t know if they’re a star, I don’t know if they are going to have hit records, I don’t know if they can, all I know is whether they can definitively sing or not. Being just a singer doesn’t make them a star or sell records. Being a singer does not guarantee anything other than you’re good.
“I could have never known that Michael Buble was a great songwriter. The first night when I saw him, and dragged him back to L.A., I could have never known. When I first saw Celine (Dion), all those years ago, I could have never known that she would become the polished superstar -- all I knew was that I was seeing greatness. It’s a fascinating process. I think Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid have great eyes for talent -- they have it figured out.”
After David’s show here Friday night, he gets ready to take part in the Dec. 8 opening at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles of “Story of a Voice,” a one-of-a-kind, limited-time exhibit of his friend and recording artist Andrea Bocelli. The exhibit runs through Feb. 12. On Dec. 9, the tenor operatic sensation launches his Andrea Bocelli Foundation with a gala dinner and performance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel starring David along with Tony Award winner Heather Headley, soprano Anna Maria Martinez and, as usual, some of David’s “Friends.” On Dec. 10, Andrea flies here for his third consecutive holiday appearance at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
David summed up: “I really enjoy playing Las Vegas. It’s always a great time, and for our next two shows, we’ve really got the best in store for our fans.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jackie Evancho The Grove (pt2)

Jackie Evancho (pt1) introduced by Mario Lopez at the Grove

 Jackie Evancho | "Heavenly Christmas"
Date: Nov. 21
The age-defying vocals of 11-year-old sensation Jackie Evancho have an almost magical quality. When the "America's Got Talent" star performed at the lighting of Washington, D.C.'s national Christmas tree last year, her age-defying soprano reportedly caused rival Democrats and Republicans to lock arms and harmonize through "O Holy Night." While this may or may not be true, there's plenty of reason to expect big things from Evancho's latest collection of classic Christmas renditions. Last year's "O Holy Night" EP helped make her the year's top-selling debut artist, so it's safe to say Justin Bieber won't be the only member of Billboard's "21 Under 21" at the top of charts this Christmas. -- Chris Payne

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Avery Fisher's got talented Jackie Evancho

Avery Fisher's got talented Jackie Evancho

When Jackie Evancho steps onto the stage at Avery Fisher Hall Monday night, she will become the youngest singer to perform solo at Lincoln Center. But that isn't the only big event going on in the life of the 11-year-old who burst into the national consciousness last year as runner-up on "America's Got Talent." The soprano prodigy, who became the youngest Top 10 debut artist with her "O Holy Night" album a year ago, also became the youngest soloist on PBS' "Great Performances" series in June. That month, her "Dream With Me" CD opened at No. 2 on the Billboard charts behind Eminem, and her latest, "Heavenly Christmas," came out Tuesday.
Now, she's acting in her first film, Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep," a political thriller with an all-star cast due out next year. In a month, the classical crossover singer will appear on television four times in five days. Those shows assuredly will be added to the more than 500 videos of her already on YouTube, led by her singing "O Mio Babbino Caro" with 10 million views. The sixth-grader carries a laptop on the road for "cyberschool" and still finds time to respond to fans on Facebook and Twitter.
After recently returning from triumphant shows in Tokyo, Jackie spoke by telephone with Newsday's Alan H. Fallick from suburban Pittsburgh, where she lives with her parents, two brothers, sister and pet menagerie.

How was Japan?

Japan was phenomenal, and the architecture was beautiful. There's so much to see.

Were the audiences different?

Yes, the people there were a lot more polite. Oh, people in the United States are polite, too, but they're more polite there. I had a translator, and she was nice, but it was weird.

You're coming to Lincoln Center. What do you think of New York?

I like the way the city looks and all the historical structures.

Do you get nervous onstage?

Yes, I do get nervous -- I always get a little bit nervous. Sometimes, my stomach hurts, and I have butterflies.

Does it take long to get a song ready, especially in a foreign language?

It doesn't take long. It's very simple, actually. Latin and Italian are similar. There are a lot of songs that I can learn.

What are your favorites?

I love a certain French song because it has a lot of emotion. It's like a lullaby. I like songs that just move me.

Who decides which songs you'll perform or record?

A group decides all the songs. If my mom, the producer and I like a song, we'll do it.

What if they like it and you don't?

Sometimes, people convince you to do it. If you say no, they'll convince you. But that doesn't happen much. I really stick to my own impressions.

You've recorded gorgeous duets with Barbra Streisand and Susan Boyle. Who would you like next?

I'd love to sing with Charlotte Church, Andrea Bocelli and all those great voices.

I hear you're making a movie.

Yes, we started a month ago. I play the main character's daughter. I never thought I'd be in a movie now. I thought maybe when I get older. It's very exciting.

Mr. Redford is in the movie with you?

Yes, but I wouldn't say it that way. I'd say, "I'm in the movie with Mr. Redford."

Is acting hard?

It's not as hard as singing. It's a lot of fun. It changed my perspective on acting. Sure, acting is easier than singing, but getting emotional is hard. Because you're not singing a song. You're putting out your emotions in front of all those people. Sometimes, we do three or four takes, sometimes five or six. I like challenges.

How are your beautiful dresses picked?

I have a stylist, and my mom and I all narrow down the choices. Then, it's perfect.

Your fans don't know a lot about you. Let's find out some of your favorite things. Favorite food?




Favorite song to listen to?

"Golden Age" from the Galaxy Asteroids Tour.

Favorite song to sing?

I love them all too much to pick one.


Lady Gaga. I like "Poker Face."

Favorite movie?

"Phantom of the Opera." My opinion on that will never change.

TV show?

"Avatar: The Last Airbender," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Wizards of Waverly Place."

Favorite school subject?

I love language arts. I love writing and reading poetry.

Your songs sound like poetry. What's your favorite on your new CD?

I love "Believe." I loved making the album, and I can't wait to make another.


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tahoe Today: The Gifted |

Tahoe Today: The Gifted |

Jackie Evancho: just 10 years old and a very gifted child. When I first saw this young lady on “Ameri ca's Got Talent,” I was blown away. An angel surround her as she sang opera.

I watched, listened and learned of the heavenly sounds from her sweet voice beyond human comprehension. I have watched “America's Got Talent” week after week and I have viewed YouTube and when I watch these gifted children sing I see more than what most people can see in a lifetime. I actually see angels surrounding them.

I use to think that child protégés were given their talent through genetic memory of sort, or genetics from a parent or grand-parent. In some cases this is true. But as of late, I have drawn this very conclusion and know they are being channeled from above.

How do I know this? I just believe there are so many souls on another level in time that are reaching out to help others. When Jackie Evancho was interviewed on “America's Got Talent,” she made it very clear that she spaces out a lot before she sings. This was a dead give away — it was then the angels appeared.

On many occasions I have given readings and in my heart I knew the reading was not coming from me. At those moments when I channel the other side I space out as well and I know that the person who has passed on has a very specific message for the person I am reading. With that thought in mind, I opened my mind to observe these talented souls as well.

One thought on this matter, I believe there is another side. We may not be able to see it, or touch it, but it surly does exist. Call it what you might — “heaven,” or “the other side,” it really is all the same.

I believe that souls that have passed still want to entertain the world in their own way and their electrical energy of there talent never dies. They manifest their energy in others for the world to hear once more.

Bellow I have listed a few of the other channeled, gifted singers from years past. Check out Youtube and draw your own conclusion.

n Charlotte Maria Church — A Welsh singer-songwriter, actress and television presenter. She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide including more than 5 million in the U.S.

n Susan Magdalane Boyle — A Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on reality TV program Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling CD on charts around the globe.

n Choi Sung-Bong, a contestant on “Korea's Got Talent” who was placed in an orphanage at 3 years old, and fled at 5 years old when the people there were abusing him. He spent 10 years homeless, working small, low-income jobs on the streets.

Life is a gift, they are gifted.

— Dayle Schear is an internationally known psychic and television personality who worked extensively with “Hard Copy.” To ask Schear a question for this column, e-mail your specific question and phone number to

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

InfoStar Celebrity Blog: Jackie Evancho’s Album Sales Top Charts – Singer T...

InfoStar Celebrity Blog: Jackie Evancho’s Album Sales Top Charts – Singer T...: "Young Jackie Evancho is only 11-years old, but she has the top selling Album on Amazon. This week, her “Dream with Me” album outsold every..."

Jackie Evancho Balances Stardom and Childhood

When Jackie Evancho was a young girl — well, younger than her 11 years — she remembers singing songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" around the house and getting a response far less adoring than the ovations she now commands.
"My family thought I was horrible," she says with a laugh, adding that things changed after her tonsils were removed.
Her father, Mike, has a decidedly different take. He and his wife, Lisa, always thought Jackie had a nice voice, but didn't think it was much more than that.
"We didn't know it was anything special until she did a local talent competition," he recalls of his daughter, the second eldest of four. "The reaction from people kind of said, 'Hey, she might have a better voice than we thought.'"
Talk about an understatement.
David Foster — who has worked with vocal powerhouses including Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban and Celine Dion — says of Jackie's voice: "I've never seen a mature voice like this in all my years. It's just amazing."
Jackie Evancho
In this June 13, 2011 photo, Jackie Evancho, a runner-up on the talent competition series "America's Got Talent," poses for a portrait in New York. Though the classically inspired singer was the runner-up on "America's Got Talent" last year, she's been winning in every way since. Her Christmas EP, "O Holy Night," went platinum after its release last fall, and her first official album, "Dream With Me," debuted at No. 2. She's had her own PBS special, Oprah Winfrey requested her presence on one of her final good-bye shows, and while both Susan Boyle and Barbra Streisand appear on her new CD, Jackie more than holds her own against the two powerhouse divas. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes) Close
He's not the only one who has been wowed. Though the classically inspired singer was the runner-up on "America's Got Talent" last year, she's been winning in every way since. Her Christmas EP, "O Holy Night," went platinum after its release last fall, and her first official album, "Dream With Me," debuted at No. 2, behind an Eminem collaboration, after its release earlier this month. She's had her own PBS special, Oprah Winfrey requested her presence on one of her final goodbye shows, while both Susan Boyle and Streisand appear on her new CD — and Jackie more than holds her own against the two powerhouse divas.
Much like a preteen Charlotte Church did a decade ago, Jackie has voice that belies her age and diminutive stature. Though there is a youthful quality in Jackie's voice, it's hardly childlike: It's a soprano that deftly traverses the musical scales with power and grace. Though she may not be ready for the operatic stage, she effortlessly sings songs like "Nessun Dorma" and "Somewhere" (with Streisand) on her album debut. Even when she's singing the Disney classic "When You Wish Upon a Star," she sounds light-years away from most of her childhood peers.
"I don't really think much of my voice, and I don't try to think much of my voice, but if I had to describe my voice, I mean — I've heard people say that my voice is angelic, so I guess it's angelic," says Jackie, wearing a cute sundress in the picturesque offices of her label headquarters, with her father sitting in the room.
"I've also heard people say my voice is horrible," she adds with a laugh. "I really don't know how my voice is. To me it's a child's voice. It's just a normal voice to me. That's what I hear in my head. I know I hear some quality, but I don't hear what everyone's talking about, where I sound like a 20-year-old opera singer. I don't hear that."
She also doesn't act like one either — except in the studio, says Foster, who is the producer of Jackie's album.
"She's very childlike in every way, except when she gets on the mic," says Foster, who met the young singer when she auditioned to appear on stage with him a few years ago, before she became a sensation on "America's Got Talent."
"She's a regular kid who just has this extraordinary talent," he added. "It doesn't weigh her down."
With her growing success, her parents are working hard to make sure she remains that way.
"I tell people a lot that my new job is unfortunately saying no, because we do get a lot of phone calls — 'Can Jackie can do this, can Jackie do that?'" says her father. "We just have to be very selective."
He adds: "It's pretty important that she stay a normal kid, because, as she gets older, if this were to all end, that's where I could see potential problems occurring, if she gets used to being treated a certain way because of her singing abilities," he said. "We make sure that it's not happening now."
Her parents need not look far to see the troublesome paths that other child stars have traveled. While wild-child antics typically involve those tween or teenage stars who have grown up in the pop or acting spotlight, classical crossover also has its own example of young talent gone awry in Church, who, like Jackie, was a preteen when she shot to fame with an adult-sounding, operatic voice. The British singer sold millions and was a crossover sensation, but faltered under the white-hot spotlight and an ill-advised transition to pop music. She's now considered more of a tabloid personality.
So far, singing pop music is the farthest thing from Jackie's mind. While she professes a love of Lady Gaga, it's her ambition that impresses her the most: "I love people like that, because they're not afraid to follow their dreams. They're not afraid to crash and fall at some point, because they always know that they're gonna get up in the end."
And though Jackie loves to listen to pop radio, it's not what she wants to sing.
"I've never wanted to sing pop music," she says. "I still listen to pop, you know, I always listen to it, and some days I think, 'I wonder why my voice doesn't cooperate with that music.' But you know what? Other days I go, 'My voice, so happy in this genre, I cannot believe I am so happy here, and I'd rather be doing classical crossover than pop.'"
Jackie, who lives with her family in suburban Pittsburgh, will be spending part of her summer vacation on a nationwide tour, though she will get some time with family (and an array of pets, including a dog and some ducks).
She now goes to "online school," as she calls it.
"I wish I could go to normal school every day if I could, but I can't. I guess that's one of the prices (of success)," she says.
"You can't be a regular kid and have this career," Foster says. "If she wants to be a regular kid, then stop singing."
But that has never been an option for Jackie.
"This is definitely what I wanna do, and it's always going to be what I wanna do — at least that's what I think," she says.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Above is a backstage look at Jackie Evancho: Dream with Me in Concert. In this clip, the 11-year-old phenom balances precocity with childlike wonder: The Ringling Museum of Art, where she's performing, impresses her because "this is a big place" and its paintings mean something to her "since they're really pretty."

Saturday, May 28, 2011


If you only buy one CD this year, make it this

Posted 04/12/11: Scan the audience while Jackie Evancho is singing and you'll see maybe a quarter of them have tears streaming down their cheeks-with the rest not far behind. This is not because she's a child. She isn't a "child singer" anyway. She's a singer who happens to be a child. Nor is it because she's singing a sad song. Her magic works whatever the song. Nor does it matter what you normally listen to. Jackie's devotees include fans of opera, classical music, classical crossover, pop, rock, country, heavy metal, world music, easy listening.even people who don't care about music--except for Jackie's. The diversity of "Dream with me"'s selections reflects her fans' diversity. And she finds new depths even in songs you think another singer owns. In performance, you see a happy child walk quickly onstage. But as she opens her mouth to sing, she becomes Orpheus.until the instant the song is done, and the child reappears, smiling, waving with both hands. Even the experts can't fully explain how she does this, because she's outside their previous experience. They start by talking about the richness of her voice. I played "Angel" from this album for a friend who'd never heard of her. He said he pictured a woman in her mid-30s who looked like Nana Mouskouri, until I showed him what she looked like. His jaw dropped. And the experts have marveled over Jackie's mastery of her instrument--of how she maintains a full, consistent tone throughout her range. Most singers have audible transitions. They also marvel at her portamento-the way she works the notes and the melodic line (without overdoing it). They marvel over her musical intelligence. She is a serious singer. She doesn't just want you to admire the beauty of her voice; she wants to take you somewhere. Here's a child with a happy upbringing who sings convincingly about things she's never experienced herself, because she's able to find the profound universals in whatever she sings about. So when she performs "Lovers," from the Chinese movie "House of Flying Daggers," she sings about the longing in romantic love that it shares with other kinds of love-- the longing you can feel when any kind of love is denied you. The movie's sound track uses the formidable mezzo Kathleen Battle, who does a beautiful job with it. But Jackie's version is even better. You can hear many of the songs from the new album on YouTube, mostly in low-fi audience recordings. They'll whet your appetite for this album. As will accounts by those who have worked with her on "Dream with me." They marvel at her professionalism-how she instantly grasps what producers tell her; how dedicated she is to recording the best performance possible. This professionalism extends even to interviews, where she's invariably thoughtful and diplomatic-yet so quick on her feet she never sounds rehearsed. She's confident but never cocky, friendly but never gushy. Sometimes a great performer's offstage antics detract from your appreciation of her performances. But with Jackie, the more you know about her as a human being, the more you appreciate her in performance. The only danger in getting this CD is that it may make you dissatisfied with listening to other singers, as many fans now say. People gush over performers all the time. This is different. Listen to anything she's done-right back to her "O mio babbino caro" at age 8--and you'll know. And you'll pre-order "Dream with Me.....