On Wednesday (Jan. 4), president-elect Donald Trump posted on Twitter that Jackie Evancho’s album sales have “skyrocketed” since the 16-year-old singer was announced to be performing the national anthem at his presidential inauguration later this month.
Jackie Evancho's album sales have skyrocketed after announcing her Inauguration performance.Some people just don't understand the "Movement"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
Did the announcement of her appearance at the Trump inauguration actually help increase the America’s Got Talent alum’s record sales? Not so fast. Chart experts at Billboard magazine ran the numbers. The sudden increase of her Christmas album was likely a combination of timing and a recent appearance on a Christmas special.
Someday at Christmas, Evancho’s most recent studio album, sold 6,000 copies in the chart week ending Dec. 15, according to Nielsen Music, following its Oct. 28 release. After Evancho was announced to be performing at the inauguration, however, Someday at Christmas bumped up to 11,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 22 (up a big 94 percent compared to the previous week). In the tracking week after, the album sank slightly back to 8,000 copies sold.
Sales of the album did rise following the announcement — but most holiday albums receive a sales spike in the chart weeks approaching Christmas. For context, Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas saw sales balloon from 139,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 15 to 185,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 22. During the latter week, sales of all holiday albums increased by 21 percent, and overall album sales were up 18 percent – increases handily beat by Evancho’s 94 percent gain with her Christmas album that week. (Of course, when a title isn’t selling very much, and then has a burst of unexpected sales, its percentage increase will naturally be quite large – which is what happened with Evancho’s album.)
Furthermore, Evancho performed on the America’s Got Talent holiday special, which aired on NBC on Dec. 19 and re-aired on Dec. 29, and likely helped the album’s cause. Evancho became a star on AGT after placing second on its fifth season in 2010.
Evancho has released five studio albums prior to Someday at Christmas, including a first holiday album, Heavenly Christmas, in 2011; all five are top 40-charting albums on the Billboard 200, and three hit the top 10. However, none of her other studio albums have returned to the Billboard 200 chart since her inauguration performance was announced.
Trump may have gotten his information from right-leaning websites that initially spinned her numbers, while conveniently ignoring the week-before-Christmas bump every holiday album enjoys.