After four years of watching Jackie grow from the 10-year-old who captivated America, to the 15-year-old who continues to captivate America, I can’t help but wonder how she does it. After America’s Got Talent, Jackie’s career skyrocketed. She has performed for President and Mrs. Obama, for the Royal Japanese Family, and has sung with legends such as Barbra Streisand and Susan Boyle. Her golden voice has taken her all over the world. I’ve watched Jackie bloom in her career and she has done a remarkable job. It isn’t always easy being raised in the public eye at such a young age, but Jackie has definitely made it appear that way. With the support of her parents, she has managed to stay sane and is comfortable in her own skin, which is rare for someone her age. Now, a high school freshman, Jackie continues to pursue her dream of being a notable singer.
Like with any young successful person, some people are bound to be jealous. “Her voice is going to change when she’s older.” “She’s going to become a diva.” “She is going to turn into Miley Cyrus.” As any other close follower would, I have questioned why anybody would want to put her down.
When I first heard Jackie sing, I instantly fell in love with her voice. Jackie has the ability to move people, multiple times her age, to tears. Because the depth of her emotion, she attracts adults more so than people her own age. Perhaps her choice of songs and her style are reasons why she appeals to adults. Here is an interesting concept that I am quite fascinated by. I do not like opera. In fact, I’ve never liked opera. However, a lot of people mistake Jackie for an opera singer, but she is not. She is a classical crossover singer with an operatic voice.
Aside from the voice and her mature nature, Jackie has exceptional interviewing skills and a very broad vocabulary. Her parents have clearly taught her well. In an interview on NPR, Michelle Norris says to Jackie, “It is clear that you are in touch with what you’re singing.” Jackie’s response didn’t surprise me. “I’m kind of possessed by the music,” Jackie chuckles. I enjoy listening to Jackie’s interviews because she has something new and interesting to say each time. When I listen to her, sometimes I’ll pause and ask myself, “Wow, could I have formulated those words at her age?” If you think I envy Jackie, think again. I am a proud fan and I’m impressed with what she has done.
I’ve listened to Jackie in private for four years because I was criticized every time I mentioned her name. Neither my friends nor family wanted to share my enthusiasm. That being said, I no longer care what others think. So here I am, setting my own trend. I will never regret anything that puts a smile on my face. In fact, no one should. Jackie is a role model because she does what she loves and follows her heart. I will forever be grateful that I discovered her. If I could give Jackie advice, this is what I would say: Don’t give into peer pressure, be who you are and please, sail on silver girl. Maybe, just maybe, this is good advice for everyone.
Enjoy Jackie’s rendition of Ave Maria (Live)