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Where Is America's Got Talent Singing Sensation Jackie Evancho Now?
More than a decade after Jackie Evancho wowed AGT Judges with her powerful voice, the now-23-year-old has been outspoken about the demons she's faced after finding fame and her continued love of music.
It’s been more than a decade since pint-sized singing sensation Jackie Evancho stunned the American public with her epic vocal talent.
At just 10 years old, Evancho could perform an aria fit for the opera house despite her young age. She quickly became America’s darling, finishing second place on America’s Got Talent in 2010, adorably making the talk show rounds and, according to PBS, earning the honor of being the top-selling debut artist that year. Her first release from Columbia Records, O Holy Night, went platinum.
But what happened next for Evancho?
Where is Jackie Evancho now?
Today, Evancho is all grown up, but the 23-year-old remains devoted to her music and is using her voice to stand up for the causes that are closest to her heart.
“Music is what I’m meant to do. I know that. That’s like the only thing I’m certain about in my whole life,” she told Yahoo! Entertainment last year.
"When I started to go days without eating, in my head I said, 'I know that this isn't normal,' " she told the outlet of the disorder. "I felt exhausted, moody, tearful, but after a bit of time, I started to feel nothing."
Although she admitted being “still fully in the throes” of the disorder, today, Evancho is fighting back against the disease and working hard to restore her health.
“Recently I’ve discovered something that I had all along…my voice,” she wrote in June on Instagram while sharing a new song reflecting her journey. “I want to take my power back, be bold when facing my past demons, and share what I learn through my music. Being imperfect is perfectly ok, and that’s exactly how this song came to be. Enjoy.”
When did Jackie Evancho appear on AGT?
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native took the stage wearing a bright pink frilly dress to sing “O Mio Babbino Caro,” earning a standing ovation from the Judges, including Howie Mandel.
“We were going to do this show and we all said at the beginning, it’s kind of scary and all we want to do is find that one moment, that one gem, that one star from a place we’ve never looked before in America’s Got Talent and you know what? This is the moment. You’re the star,” Mandel proclaimed after the flawless performance.
Evancho realized her hidden talent just two years earlier after going to see the movie Phantom of the Opera with her family.
“I started singing songs around the house,” she said on AGT.
The 10-year-old eventually sang her way into second place, finishing behind the season’s winner Michael Grimm. But it was clear she had already won the hearts of the American public.
During a whirlwind publicity tour that followed, Evancho gushed on The Talk about meeting Oprah Winfrey, then-President Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, and even doing a duet on one of her albums with musical legend Barbara Streisand.
“It was amazing, but we didn’t actually sing together. We weren’t in the same recording booth,” she explained.
In 2019, Evancho made a triumphant return to the AGT stage as part of AGT: Champions.
Although her rendition of “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera earned a standing ovation from all four Judges, she failed to get enough votes to continue in the competition.
How many albums has Jackie Evancho released?
According to Evancho’s website, the talented singer has released a total of six albums. Her latest, Carousel of Time, is a cover of 10 iconic Joni Mitchell songs.
"Stepping into the world of Joni Mitchell was inspiring and a pleasure to say the least," she said in a statement to PEOPLE last year. "I had a lot of fun learning more about Joni Mitchell through her music, as well as finding ways to make it my own."
Jackie Evancho on her Battle with Anorexia
While Jackie Evancho’s incredible voice has set her apart, she isn’t immune from struggles. She told PEOPLE she developed anorexia at the age of 15.
"I noticed that I looked a little bigger to myself, so I asked my mom, 'Do I look fat?' And she was like, 'No, no, that's just baby fat,' " Evancho said. "So I decided that I was going to start to mildly diet and start working out regularly."
When she didn’t see the results she was hoping for, she cut back on her food even further and spent her free time working out. The disorder spiraled from there, with Evancho hitting a low point in 2020.
“I think the thing that really broke it for me was in 2020, I kind of had a break, like a snap in a way,” she told Yahoo! Entertainment. “I was a nervous wreck, I was shaking all the time, couldn’t keep anything in my stomach just from sheer nausea and panic and that started a whole journey of going to inpatient and being treated for all these things that were building up that I was ignoring.”
In January 2021, she was dealt another staggering blow after learning that anorexia had left her with the bone disease osteoporosis. She made the discovery after breaking her back in two places in a car accident.
"They were abnormal breaks, breaks that you see in 80-year-olds," she told PEOPLE. "That's how I learned that my eating problems created osteoporosis. So now I'm a 22-year-old with osteoporosis."
While seeking treatment for the eating disorder, Evancho said she realized she couldn’t keep “pretending” to be who she was when she was 10 years old.
“For me the pressure was to be that cute little blonde girl who sang opera and the big voice in the little body and I don’t know, to be everybody’s granddaughter in a way, you know?” she explained to Yahoo! Entertainment. “That’s not to say that I don’t love them, or that, 'cause that’s always going to be a part of me, but through the years, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve learned lessons, I’ve encountered things that changed the direction of my personality and all sorts of stuff and it’s just inevitable that people are not going to be who they were when they were 10.”
She realized she’d rather just be herself.
“I’m going to go out there and if people don’t like me, they don’t like me,” she said. “I can’t please everybody, but I can be myself because there’s no way I can feel ashamed at the end of the day if I can say to myself, well, at least you were honest.”
Even with the obstacles she’s endured, Evancho said she doesn’t regret her childhood stardom.
“I am incredibly grateful for when I started and how I started because music is in my blood. I would say not in like a genetic passed down way, but in a like this is what I’m meant to do,” she said. “Music is like the fiber of my being in a way. It literally will make me, when I’m physically feeling not well, it will make that pain go away.”
These days, she’s channeling her experiences into her writing. In June, she took to Instagram to share a song she’s been working on titled “Get Out of My Life.”
“You were the light of my life. My morning, my day and my night,” she sang. “I paid my debt. Finally out of my head.”
Evancho has also been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights after seeing the struggles her transgender sister Juliet Evancho has gone through.
“My belief is that people should be who they want to be, love who they want to love and what’s it to anybody else?” she said last year.