America’s Got Talent alum Jackie Evancho sang the National Anthem at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday (Jan 20).
The singer became the subject of criticism when news broke that she was set to sing the National Anthem before the inauguration. “It’s just a personal event, I guess,” she told the New York Times in an interview. “I just kind of thought that this is for my country. So if people are going to hate on me it’s for the wrong reason.”
Much of the criticism came from the fact that Jackie’s sister, Juliet, is transgender. Juliet defended Jackie’s decision to perform at the inauguration despite the anti-LGBT stances of some in the administration.
“The way I look at it is Jackie is singing for our country, and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people,” Juliet said in a CBS Sunday Morning interview. “So I feel that’s really where I look at it. And that’s where I’m going to leave it right now.”
Watch Jackie Evancho sing the National Anthem prior to the swearing in of the 45th president, Donald Trump.
To watch Donald Trump’s swearing in and speech, skip to about the 1:15 mark.