Jackie Evancho Says Early Fame Took a Toll on Her Childhood
The Richland Township singing sensation is moving to New York for the next phase of what she refers to as a “healing process.”
photo by kaela speicher
Platinum-selling singer Jackie Evancho, who gained worldwide attention with her appearance on “America’s Got Talent” when she was only 10 years old, is now 18 and she has something to prove. In a lengthy Facebook post, she explains why she is moving to New York City and returning to NBC for ”America’s Got Talent: The Champions.”
“The reason I wanted to do the show was to walk onto that stage as a young woman and show the world I am no longer a child,” she writes.
Being a child prodigy, she admits, has taken its toll.
“Through the years I have developed some flaws and battled some demons, from being sheltered from aspects of a ‘normal’ child’s life. I am extremely awkward and shy around those my age. I trust absolutely no one unless they are family or have passed through years of my life without hurting me in some way.”
She learned early on that while she had attracted millions of fans, she also attracted some scary people.
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“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,” she recalls.
She was lonely during her many months on the road, especially because her mother was often ill.
“That meant that at 5 p.m. in the afternoon, she would go to bed for the night and I’d be alone in a hotel room without anything to do. Needless to say the cabin fever drove me to tears. I love my mom so much and she only has my best interest at heart but I understood battling chronic illness is totally debilitating.”
She credits her parents for making good decisions for her, even though she wouldn’t always accept it at the time.
“The part that I never understood as a child was why I had to give up parts of an ordinary life that I enjoyed to pursue this extraordinary one instead.”
She concludes her post by not only acknowledging the challenges, but also the rewards of her extraordinary childhood.
“My love for music is profound – 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.”
Evancho returns to Pittsburgh for a Feb. 15 concert at the August Wilson Cultural Center.