- The Washington Times - Friday, December 16, 2016

Teen opera singer Jackie Evancho spoke briefly Thursday about the backlash she and her family has received since it was announced this week that she would be singing the national anthem at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.

The 16-year-old, who placed second on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010 and later became the youngest solo artist to go platinum in the U.S., told People magazine that she tries to ignore the online bullying and just focus on the positive.

“My family is kind of a big target,” Jackie said. “I have a transgender sister and so a lot of hate goes towards us. But I also get a lot of love. So, we pay most attention to that. Sometimes we get really annoyed with the hate — everyone does, we have to admit it — but we just ignore it.”

Jackie’s sister, 18-year-old Juliet, faced some backlash last year after she publicly revealed that she was transgender during the Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala in New York, People reported.

But Jackie said she isn’t deterred by the criticism. She’s already performed twice for President Obama — once in 2010 at the National Christmas Tree Lighting and again in 2012 at the National Prayer Breakfast.

“I remember that I got a lot of applause and that everyone was really impressed,” she told People, “so I’m hoping the same thing happens.”

It’s also the second time she’s performed for Mr. Trump after a 2011 event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. She said she’s excited, but a bit nervous about performing for such a major event.

“I feel like it’s going to be a big audience and I love big audiences,” she added.

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