Back in 2013, none other than Queen Bee herself sang the national anthem to President Obama at his second inaugural celebration. Or at least that's what it looked like. Beyoncé eventually came under fire for lip-syncing, and it turns out she did. The weather on Inauguration Day in 2013 was really cold, and there had been no sound check with the orchestra, so the award-winning singer sang along to her own prerecorded track. In any case, she sounded pretty good, as will surely this year's performer. So who is singing the national anthem at the inauguration? Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old classical soprano who became known on America's Got Talent.
At the time she was just 10, and she came in second place in the talent competition. Since then, she has made a name for herself in part by singing for the president — Donald Trump will actually be her second. She sang for President Obama and the first family at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in 2010. This second presidential performance has her pumped. She told the Today show anchors about her gig on Dec. 14:
Whether she means the Office of the President or Trump himself is a bit of a mystery. She once met the president-elect at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Regardless, The Washington Post made the convincing argument that she's the right apolitical choice for the gig, given that she has done lots of political performances including the one for the Obamas.
There has been plenty of speculation that the Presidential Inaugural Committee has had a difficult time attracting talent for the inauguration. Rolling Stone reported that even some conservative singers don't want to get involved because of the alleged difficulty of working with Trump. Plenty of performers have said they won't publicly.
Right now it's just Evancho, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Rockettes on the books for the big celebration. And even that hasn't gone smoothly. After the Rockettes were announced, news broke that some of the dancers did not want to perform but were being forced to. Madison Square Garden Company refuted that saying it is "always their choice."
As for Evancho, hopefully the performance is all she hoped for and more. There's been some troubling news that she and her family have been cyber-bullied since announcing her role in the inauguration. Regardless of your support for Trump, there's no excuse in taking out your opposition on a 16-year-old who is honored to sing for the president, even if it's one who was elected so controversially.
Break a leg, Jackie!