Jackie Evancho Lights Up The ‘Tonight Show’ With “O Holy Night”

Dec 16th, 2010 // 23 Comments

Every time pint-sized Pittsburgh diva Jackie Evancho opens her mouth on stage, we’re nervously waiting for her to fumble a song lyric, start giggling or blurt out, “I love Justin Bieber 4ever!!!!” But no, this 10-year-old opera singer has steadily taken the stance of professional entertainer since her stint on America’s Got Talent over the summer. Case in point: her moving Tonight Show performance of “O Holy Night” last night. Jackie’s EP/DVD combo of the same name has been in the Top 10 for the past month. If you want to see why, head below.

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  1. Nancy McManus

    I never heard of her before last night. I know, I know…I’ve been living under a rock. Just amazing. So mature, so controlled, so beautiful. And so ten-year-old. I loved how she jumped up and down, excitedly waving to someone when the song ended. I hope she keeps it together.

  2. michael

    Wow, that kid can flat out sing.

  3. Steve D.

    Ask yourself this question: Can any other vocalist on the planet sing this song as good or better than than this 10 year old? My answer is no. This little girl is ” other-worldly “. A phenomena the world has never seen before. Unbelieveable, unexplainable, and there are no words in any language that can explain how she can awaken the emotions of millions to the point of tearful joy! We are witness to a miracle!

  4. Nancy McManus

    I have been having so much fun playing the dvr of her on last night’s Leno for everyone. My husband, my 17 year old and my 20 year old all had the same “double take” reaction. I told each one of them to just close their eyes and listen to the voice of an angel. Each said she was wonderful; then I told them she was 10! Normally nonplussed people were amazed. My dh had me play it three times.
    I’m getting her cd tomorrow.

  5. Christy

    Steve D. asked: “Can any other vocalist on the planet sing this song as good or better than than this 10 year old?” My answer is ‘yes.’ Jackie is a wonderfully talented girl with incredible raw talent and a beautiful voice. But, yes, I’ve heard many classically-trained singers sing this as well – and better. Please check out, for example, on Utube O Holy Nght by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Renee Fleming or Joan Sutherland. The best version I’ve ever heard is Fleming’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdrvTRtN8tQ) but taste is subjective.

  6. Len

    Every time she sings the song, she gets better. Her learning curve is phenomenal. So park your jealousy in the corner and enjoy genius as it blossoms. In the depths of the Great Depression, another little girl became a beacon of hope during a dark time. The president of the time said it best, “thank God for Shirley Temple.” Maybe, lightning does strike twice.

  7. Christy

    Len – were you answering me? I’m not jealous. I’m not even a singer. :) I hope Jackie continues to grow and thrive and slay. I was just answering Steve D’s question honestly. You’re right, she’s learning, and very quickly. One day, she may be the best in the world. But, let’s not put that pressure on her now. Also, not being honest about her ability isn’t helpful to her. She’s wonderful, really phenomenal. She has plenty of time to be the best ever.

  8. DC

    Christy-your answer is very well stated, thank you! especially “She has plenty of time to be the best ever” as this is what I hope as well. She really is special and is becoming something of a national phenomenon.

  9. Don

    Jackie is already a National Treasure. Her stunning and jaw dropping performances on AGT will stand as her debut to the world, of her God given talent. She even gives credit to the Lord for her gift. If you read the comments about the reactions people have when she sings, you’ll notice how so many people are touched deeply by the emotion she instills through her singing, right down to how she moves her hands. Her stage presence while singing is second to none.

  10. Grandmother Willow

    When are we all gonna wake up and realize this 10-year-old isn’t an angel from heaven who will cure all the evils of the world with her warbling? Sure, she’s a great singer, but let’s honor the REAL heroes who do Christ’s work on Earth. Like Ke$ha.

  11. Steve D.

    @Christy: I listened to Flemings version of this song as you requested. She has a very strong, loud, Operatic voice that sounds very strong, loud, and Operatic. She is very good technically, but for the most part she sings it without emotion. She didn,t appeal to my emotions, and Miss Evancho did. I agree that Kanawa, Fleming, and other seasoned professionals can sing this song superbly in a “technical” way, but a song is a story, and its the emotion of the vocalist that conveys the “story” to the listener. No other vocalist has touched my soul, and brought tears of emotion to my eyes. Only Jackie Evancho has done that, and she is doing it to millions here and now. If you and DC think she has to wait years from now to be the best then you apparently haven,t seen her duets with Brightman and Jenkins. Jackie was clearly the better vocalist over these world renouned singers. I respect your opinions, but respectfully disagree with both you and DC.

  12. Steve D.

    Grandmother Willow: You must be confused Grandma. This discussion isn,t about who is doing Christs work on earth, and it isn,t about Ke$ha,s warbling. If Ke$ha is such a good Christian why does she put a dollar sign in her name? Jackies Christmus album ia no. 2 on the top 100 billboard charts, and went platinum, selling a million copies in 2 weeks. Where was Ke$ha? or Flemming?or Sutherland?or Kanawa? Jackie is clearly touching many more people than Ke$ha. I think your dementia is setting in Grandmother Willow. I suggest you take your meds and go to bed.

  13. michael

    Hey Christy, I listened to Renee Fleming’s version as well, and it simply doesn’t have any of the magic of Jackie’s performance. Jackie seems to channel the music in a completely unaffected manner that may not be technically perfect, but is nonetheless unbelievably moving – and isn’t the point of music in its purest sense?

  14. Christy

    Thanks for your reply. As I said, taste is subjective. In my opinion, I have heard the song sung better – which is why I answered your question. :) To me, the real emotion in Flemng’s version is far more effective. She touches me more deeply than Jackie’s version – although I do really enjoy Jackie’s version. And regarding Jackie “clearly” being the better vocalist vs. Brightman and Jenkins, I respectfully disagree – as would anyone who focuses on “technical” ability. The versions sung were tailored to Jackie’s abilities, which I would expect. But you’re responding to emotion, so I understand your point and I get that Jackie’s fans love her. I hope and expect she’ll be very successful. :)

  15. Steve D.

    Christy, Thank you for being respectful in disagreeing with me and Len, and Michal. I appreciate that, and want you to know that I am sincere about my respect for you and your opinion. Most posters who choose “technical” over “emotional” are usually ” Opera Snobs”. I hope you are not one of them. Technical ability means little if it does not touch the emotions of the listeners. Miss Evancho has the unexplainable ability to make hardened grown men cry, and women also. Your comparing of a 10 year old child to a longtime,trained, seasoned professional such as Flemming is a testament to the ” greatness of this beautiful child”, as David Foster has stated. Millions around the world agree! I respectfully submit that your opinion is in the minority, so Christy we will just have to agree to disagree.

  16. bob

    Ah yes beautiful voices, but they aren’t ten years old now are they?

  17. Christy

    Bob – of course not. :) But, I was simply answering a question posed near the top of the thread by Steve D. He asked, “Can any other vocalist on the planet sing this song as good or better than than this 10 year old?” I respectfully suggest that there are others. :) And thanks Steve D. for your last comment. I also sincerely respect your opinion. I am about as far from an “opera snob” as you can get – and still like some opera. lol I truly do appreciate Jackie’s talent and understand why she touches so many. When her voice, lungs and stomach muscles mature, she also could have one of the best “technical” voices in the world.

    Ironically, btw, opera “purists” usually hate Renee Fleming for the same reason you love Jackie. Fleming is known for injecting a “rawness” into her singing that undermines some of the technical aspects of the voice (not in her O Holy Night, though). She’s considered too emotional during her full theater performances. And not coincidentally, she’s the most successful soprano of the last 30 years. So, it often comes down to emotion and how each individual singer touches his or her audience. :)

  18. While some of you are getting close to what we have witnessed in this Living “Fifth Element”, no one can fathom what is truly in front of us. Everyone wants to compare her with other “singers” in opera. The truth is…Jackie Evancho is the only human on earth who can do what she does. Its so far beyond singing. And just as special as she is, there is enough cynicism and resentment for her special existence being so young, people will want to somehow relate what she does to some one else. Sure many have sung O’ Holy Night, and done it well. But anyone who understands creation would know that everything can be related to waves. If you watch Jackie in total, from her hand movements to her head, you can see that she is connected to life in ways few could ever fathom. To even say something like ” she’s not gonna save the world” is disrespect at its worst. A voice like this can indeed through the waves she can produce, can most certainly bring change to human beings in ways that only ignorance and fear of the unknown can ignore. I know that for some what I am writing will seem somewhat bizarre. But I have listened to lots and lots and lots of music. Everything!!! Without music I truly do not what I would do!! But I have never heard “sounds” like this produced by anything or anyone. Period.
    The plain friggin truth is, we don’t know what she represents. But you can be sure it is very special and very pure, and not just rare but never seen before in my life time.
    The closet voice I have ever heard to this 10 year old (and its a stretch) is the late great Minnie Ripperton. But it was not this pure and breathtakingly effortless. (To the point where more thought she was a hoax than legit)
    Just watching her talk in interviews and interact as the crowds applaud her performances is spell-bounding! So lets just squash any criticisms and comparisons…just let this child be… and enjoy every time we get a chance to see or hear her.

  19. C N

    I can name over fifty singers who sing this song better. She does not yet compare to any of the greats. You all must be her family, where if she sneezes you think it is the best thing anyone has ever done.

  20. C N

    Apparently a lot of people out there have never listened to opera or classical music if they have never heard anything like this before. She has a decent voice, but it is nowhere even close to some of your lesser classical vocalists.Does not if compare to those you see at the Met.Her hand movements are lame. It does not look connected, looks mechanical. If you think she can change the world,you need to wake up from dreamland.

  21. Leonard

    Gee David Foster is a song writer/ producer and has decided to make an album with Jackie. I can not imagine why he would make the statement millions love her.Could it be to plant a thought for some great publicity, being he is now invested in her. I was thinking to myself that it might even be worth it if He and Simon Cowell bought 500.000 of Jackies debut cd to prove to the people just how much other people love her. I mean that would certainly get the show on the road for the second cd coming out. I am so surprised I thought of this and they have not.

  22. Don

    I had to laugh at the fifth element comment. I had that same thought because at times she is other worldly in the things she does. For the critics you have to ask; why does she bring more people to tears when listening to her? There is no answer for it, it’s just uncanny.

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