After weeks of controversy over who would — and more frequently who would not — perform at now-President Donald Trump‘s inauguration, two acts have officially fulfilled their duties.
The first was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, clad in plaid scarves, who performed a rendition of “America the Beautiful” in between Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s oaths of office.
Closing out the swearing-in ceremony was Jackie Evancho, a 16-year-old singer and America’s Got Talent star, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the Capitol steps. Though she appeared nervous, she sang the national anthem accompanied by the United States Marine Band after a series of readings and Trump’s inaugural address.
Evancho was one of the first performers announced for Trump’s inauguration, which didn’t come without controversy.
“[There was] a lot of conversation between my family because there would be a lot of backlash. We knew that,” Evancho told Fox & Friends. “In the end, this is an honor for me to sing for my country, and that’s all it is. There’s no politics involved for me.”
Despite the backlash, Evancho says that her album sales and social media following have increased since the announcement was made.
“It has helped increase [my] sales and social media, which is great,” she said. “I’m getting new fans. I may be losing some, but the ones that I’m gaining I’m really happy about it.”
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There was also controversy in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: choir member Jan Chamberlin quit over the gig.
“Since ‘the announcement,’ I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony,” she writes. “I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.”
Though Chamberlin quit, a representative for the choir told the Salt Lake Star Tribune that members did not have to participate in the inauguration.