As the inauguration of Donald Trump fast approaches, the public continues to be fascinated by the acts that have agreed to perform at the event. One of the first performers to agree to appear at Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 was Jackie Evancho. The 16-year-old singer is known for competing on America's Got Talent and for her eclectic skills as a classical musician who's made the crossover to pop star. But does Jackie Evancho know Trump, like prior to all of this? Many have questioned why the singer has agreed to perform at the inauguration when so many stars have declined the invitation.
While Evancho has spoken about performing at Trump's inauguration, she's not mentioned whether or not she actually knows the president-elect beyond the job. In Dec. 2016, she told TODAY, "I'm so excited. It's going to be awesome," and the singer is clearly elated to be performing at such a "prestigious" event. Many don't share her excitement about the upcoming inauguration, but Trump tweeted, "Jackie Evancho's album sales have skyrocketed after announcing her Inauguration performance," happily taking credit for the singer's successes. So have Trump and Evancho met each other before?
A Facebook post on Evancho's page is clear evidence that they have. Way back in Feb. 2011, Evancho posted a photo of herself with the president-elect, with the simple caption, "taken at Mar-a-lago. Jackie and Donald Trump." Mar-a-Lago is, of course, the infamous private estate in Palm Beach, Florida that Trump purchased in 1985. The New York Times wrote in May 2016 that Mar-a-Lago was envisioned by "its original owner, the cereal magnate Marjorie Merriweather Post, as a winter presidential retreat." So, despite being turned into a private club by Trump, its purpose is strangely fitting. Since the club has hosted concerts by many famous performers, it's unsurprising to see Evancho with Trump at the estate.
In an interview with the NYT in Jan. 2017, Evancho spoke about her decision to perform at the inauguration and said, “I just kind of thought that this is for my country. So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.” The singer also described Trump as "very polite." The young singer is due to perform at Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, and, regardless of your opinion of the man being sworn into office, there's no doubt that Evancho will put on a great show.