President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t had the easiest time finding performers for his inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20, but teenage opera singer Jackie Evancho, who has been confirmed to sing the national anthem since December, is hoping her performance can rise above politics.
“I hope to just kind of make everyone forget about rivals and politics for a second and just think about America and the pretty song that I’m singing,” Evancho told CBS News’ Michelle Miller in a CBS Sunday Morning interview set to air this weekend. “I’m hoping that I can bring people together.”
The 16-year-old vocalist, who made a name for herself on America’s Got Talent, faced criticism from Trump critics for her decision to perform, with many voicing their concern over the fact that Evancho’s sister, Juliet, is transgender, and fear that the incoming administration could potentially pose a threat to the LGBTQ community.
Juliet participated in the interview to defend her sister. “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,” she told Miller. “So I feel that’s really where I look at it. And that’s where I’m going to leave it right now.”
This isn’t the first time Evancho has expressed her desire to set aside politics. On Wednesday, she told the New York Times that the performance was an apolitical, personal event she was putting on for her country.
Evancho’s interview will air Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9 a.m. ET on CBS.