American singer Jackie Evancho has opened up about her controversial decision to perform at Donald Trump's Inauguration on Friday night.
The singer, who placed second in 2010's America's Got Talent, spoke to CNN about why she decided to perform. "[Fans] are upset for the wrong reasons," she explained. "I'm not involved in politics. I'm doing this because it's a privilege and an honour to perform for my country ... it's sad." She originally spoke about her decision to CBS, saying that she hoped her performance "just kind of make[s] everyone forget about rivals in politics for a second, and just think about America and the pretty song I'm singing. I hope I can bring people together."
The singer will perform on Friday night
She also told Good Morning America: "I have a lot of positivity from my family and that's really what matters to me. All of my true fans have been there for me and supportive and that’s really all I need, so I'm sticking to it." Speaking about rehearsals, she said: "I am feeling nervous, but I'm very excited and I can't wait to just get it done and live in the moment. I've been practicing every other day, even standing outside and practicing because it's going to be freezing that day." She shared a video of herself rehearsing for the performance on Friday, simply writing: "I'm a singer. That's what I do."
Trump's inaugural committee spokesperson Boris Epshteyn spoke about the criticism Jackie had received, writing in an email: "It is deeply saddening that we are at a place in our discourse where those eager to honour America at the inauguration of a president are subjected to hatred and ridicule." Jackie will be joining a music line-up which includes DJ Ravidrums, 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Larry Stewart and Marty Roe among others.