Jackie Evancho Explains Decision to Perform at Donald Trump's Inauguration

Evancho, 16, will sing the national anthem at Trump's inauguration.

ByABC News
January 18, 2017, 8:01 AM

— -- Jackie Evancho said she is focusing on the love from her family and fans amid criticism over her decision to perform the national anthem at Donald Trump's inauguration Friday.

"I have a lot of positivity from my family and that’s really what matters to me," Evancho, 16, said today on "Good Morning America." "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."

The Trump inauguration's official Twitter account tweeted last month that Evancho would perform the national anthem on Inauguration Day, and the teenager's decision has received backlash on social media ever since. Many other entertainers, including, most recently, Jennifer Holliday, have backed out of the event in protest of the president-elect.

Some critics of Evancho's participation cited the incoming Trump administration's record on gay rights because Evancho has a transgender sister.

Evancho said her sister, Juliet, will not be attending the inauguration because she "has personal things going on right now."

"I wish I could be there for her, too, and she wishes she was here for me, but we’re there in spirit," Evancho said.

The Pittsburgh native rose to fame as the runner-up of "America's Got Talent" at only 10 years old. Soon after her run on "America's Got Talent," Evancho became the youngest solo artist to go platinum after the release of her EP, "O Holy Night," in 2010.

Trump is not the first political figure for whom Evancho has performed. She sang at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony nearly six years ago for President Obama. She also performed for Pope Francis during his visit to the United States.

Evancho also performed for Trump at an event earlier in her career.

"When I met him he was extremely polite, very nice and thankful for me to be there and perform for him," she said. "I mean, it was a great experience."

ABC News' Luchina Fisher contributed to this report