Jackie Evancho first appeared on America’s Got Talent when she was 10-years-old and went on to become a runner-up on Season 5. But this year she came back to compete as a “Champion.” And at 18, she’s ready to share what life was like as a child star.
Posting from her official Facebook page she said,
“…entering adulthood as a 18 year old moving to New York, I felt the need to put this out into the universe as a way of continuing the healing process I’m on. I no longer have the fear to stay silent. A lot of people hear ’10 year old singer’ and immediately feel bad for me. There is a lot of stigma around being a child entertainer mainly because of the past experiences that have been thrust into the spot light by paparazzi and tabloids.”1
She went on to say,
“…there are a lot of aspects that aren’t so glamorous about being a child in the music industry but there’s a lot that I’m thankful for and would never change. I am glad that I am a performer and that that’s how I make my living, but growing up that way wasn’t easy. My parents were smart about every decision they had made for me.”1
And while she had successes, she also dealt with the criticisms that came in 2017 for agreeing to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities, struggled with giving up parts of what people consider “a normal childhood,” and often felt trapped while she waited in hotel rooms while her mother rested because of her chronic illness. Also, to this day she says she feels “awkward and shy” around people her age.
But, it seems there were even darker times.
“Throughout my childhood I was also facing another reality – that there were men out there who wanted to hurt me. Some even went to the extreme of claiming they were priests and other disarming occupations to gain trust and easy access backstage, but clearly their intentions weren’t so pure.”1
Including stalkers (I can so relate).
Now, as an 18-year-old living in New York City, she’s enjoying her new environment and freedom. Speaking about her music she says “it’s what drives me and transforms me. I’ve learned and been through so much, but this is my journey and I look forward to a bright future for the next phase of my life.”1
Go, Jackie, go!!!!!!!!!!