Donald Trump said Jackie Evancho’s album sales skyrocketed. They did not.

Donald Trump said Jackie Evancho’s album sales skyrocketed. They did not.


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2017

The president-elect tweeted yesterday:

Jackie Evancho’s album sales have skyrocketed after announcing her Inauguration performance.

Er, until you look at the numbers.

Vanity Fair crunches the Nielsen stats: According to Nielsen numbers cited in Bilboard, Evancho’s Someday at Christmas sold 94 percent more albums in the chart week ending December 22 than it did the week prior. That is a larger increase than the average holiday album spike, which Billboard placed at 21 percent. But there’s another catch, the publication notes: in actual numbers, the spike was a mere 5,000 copies. When the number you’re starting at is small, it doesn’t take much to make a big percent increase.

An increase of 5,000 sales is not a skyrocket – even for an ‘opera’ singer.



  • Robin Bermanseder says:

    Another often repeated error is that the inauguration announcement took her to Number 1 on Billboard Classical.

    She reached No. 1 on Dec 8 2016, a full week before the announcement (and she remains there to this day).

  • V.Lind says:

    These days an increase of 5000 sales WOULD be a skyrocket for a real opera singer!

    • Nick says:

      You are absolutely right. And a sale of 5000 copies for just a girl with nice voice is a STAGGERING AMOUNT NOWADAYS!!
      Norman Lebrecht is simply an “outsider” anti-Trump character, as many inside the US

  • A. Singer says:

    Googling uncovered an item on Breitbart dated 26th Dec headlined ‘Jackie Evancho Album Sales Skyrocket After Announcing Inauguration Performance’.

    The similarity of the wording to DJT’s tweet is surely just a weird coincidence.

    The article includes a claim that Evancho’s sales quadrupled which seems to have been taken from a less reliable source.

  • Anon says:

    For any “real opera” singer (with few enough exceptions to be counted on the fingers of one hand) a swift increase of 5,000 album sales would indeed be a “skyrocket”. The underlying sales are very low.
    You can’t really blame Trump for not knowing the underlying figures which record labels and the chart deliberately use to report “astonishing” increases, new successes at nr.1, etc..

  • Steinwayfanatic says:

    Trump is so desperate in his inability to book talent for his inauguration that he has stooped to the level of promising artists a huge boost to their record sales if only they would prostitute themselves to perform for the coronation of a deranged despot. So pathetic!

  • Observer says:

    Trump is trodding into our area of expertise – we musicians, professionals in the arts – with this unsubstantiated tweet. He knows nothing about our world.

    We need to stand up and make us much noise as possible about this. Call him on it. Let him know we are here and that we won’t stand for it. We have basically left him alone, we just don’t want to be involved with him or his inauguration. But when he starts twisting the facts like this, it’s time to speak out. So glad Mr. Lebrecht took the lead and posted about it

  • NYMike says:

    Nothing that Herr Trump says is worth anything since the fact or truth circuit is missing from his DNA.

    • Sue says:

      That’s very true but, I guess, like the rest of us he’s used to propaganda like “black lives matter” and other such pc cant sanctioned by the White House with monotonous regularity under Obama. Bogus refulgences were a hefty party of Obama-ism.

      Next he’ll be saying “all you need is love” or “give peace a chance”. Kumbaya.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Trumps’ statement about Ms. Evancho does not belong in the 4% of his statements that happen to be true.

    • Marshall says:

      Frau Hilary lost because of the arrogance of the kind of people who must call the next American President, Herr.

      Six prominent clergy members — including a Catholic cardinal, black and Hispanic Protestant leaders and a rabbi — will pray at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

      It is-unbelievably-the first Rabbi at an Inauguration in over 30 years!!
      How will Lebrecht et al spin that one?

      • Nick says:

        You are soooooo right. I wonder how Mr. Lebrecht swallows that! On the other hand, he swallowed that Trump’s daughter (Ivanka) not only married an orthodox Jew, but also converted to Judaism. That Mr. Lebrecht swallowed too, and did not choke apparently. And Mr. Trump seems to be the only person in the WORLD who took the side of Israel against the pathetic UN anti-Israeli resolution. How about that for Mr. Lebrecht to swallow? Too many things to swallow. He will choke on this one, sure and so will all those loud whining Dems.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          Not choking, but please stop the ad hominem remarks.

          • Nick says:

            Well, it is simple: you stop yours I will stop mine. This is not a political blog, so talk Music!
            It is better for ALL.

          • Bruce says:

            Nick: not sure how wise it is to dictate to the owner of the blog what topics he should or should not discuss. The subtitle of the blog, “the inside track on classical music and related cultures” would give him plenty of leeway even if he wasn’t in charge of the whole thing. Just a thought.

  • BobM says:

    Politifact has labelled the claim true.

    They have total weekly sales going from about 5800 to 7176 to 14173 with the announcement coming in the middle of the second week.

    There is also a report that she will be getting a new label contract.

  • Steve P says:

    (Sigh) Now Norman joins the fact-checking fake news crowd. Congratulations. This puts you right up there with CNN, NYT, and MSNBC. Can we expect a video of “classical musicians” begging all arts patrons to oppose Trump? You libs just can’t handle being whipped: first Brexit, now Trump. Keep up the superiority theme, though – you look fabulous as whiny, petulant losers.

    • Bruce says:

      Not going to argue about any of your points, but just thought I’d point out that more people did, in fact, vote against Trump than voted for him. (Also not interested in dismantling the Electoral College or blaming Putin.) So, while acknowledging that Trump’s opponents may look like whiny petulant losers, it might be worth remembering that they outnumber his supporters and are not just a few crybabies complaining off in a corner somewhere.

      • Steve P says:

        Also would like to point out lib enclaves voted for Hillary – the states overwhelmingly sided with Trump, which is why he is president-elect. Tyranny of idiot majority in blue clusters cannot rule the federal republic when it comes to electing the chief executive.
        And I’ll give you the crybabies are a HUGE numbered clustered together in major cities and newsrooms all along the coastline.

        • Nick says:

          Steve: Yeah, I agree, may be a little too angry, but I understand that, because the Left really does not know where and how to stop. They make the whole country tired. It all looks like ‘coup d’etat’ already. I don’t understand sometimes: are we Turkey or Egypt?!?

          These people sabotage the president, who is NOT the president yet!!! And nobody says a word!. They dig Russian hackers, but nobody asks: who WROTE THOSE EMAILS?! Russians?!? The crimes are in the emails, not in the people who hacked them and publish them!! There WAS A LOT TO HIDE from the public in these emails, mostly criminal HRC and her vassals behavior with an attempt to rig the election. Now they try to kill the messenger, not the message. Disgusting!

  • Nick says:

    Not a bad idea, Bruce, however, do you think it is a good idea to suppress free speech?
    Mr. Lebrecht does not miss a chance to verbally attack a legitimate US president-elect, do you think that another opinion cannot be expressed? Are we still in America? Or may be the Left political correctness made us all dumb and mute? Not me. I still think and talk.

    The States in question are California and may be New York! California is a huge State and a very blue one historically. That is why we have Electoral College. If we lived in a democracy, you’d have a point. Thankfully, we do not.

    We are a union of states, hence the name United States of America, not singular blob on a map. Candidates must appeal to a broad swath of the nation with differing and sometimes conflicting interests. It’s a brilliant system. And dismantling it would be the end of the USA the way we know it for 240–some years.

    Just a thought 😉

    • Bruce says:

      Nick: Well, it doesn’t seem like you’re having much trouble getting your opinion heard. Has NL been deleting your comments?

      (P.S. this is a UK-based blog, so NL may not feel a patriotic duty to uphold American standards of free speech. NL has house rules for this blog, and he can enforce them as he sees fit. He’s told me once or twice that if I don’t like how he runs things then I’m welcome not to come back.)

    • Marshall says:

      Mr. Lebrecht’s recent foray into American politics puzzles me, because he is more concerned with the US than his own country. I don’t recall all this provocative political stuff with Brexit, or constant harping about Theresa May? Maybe he should stick to music, he seems out of his element with this.

      Regarding the American electoral system, and popular vote vs. electoral college-I don’t think Europeans, and apparently many sore loser Americans understand its purpose. There is an “interesting” article on it in the recent NYRB-as opposed to the article preceding it which is as bad as the NYT in its biased views, and frankly I couldn’t get through it.

      For most of my life I thought he college should be done away with and we should have a direct popular vote, but now I’m not so sure. Europeans don’t fully grasp the vastness of the US, and many only have experience of the coasts. To put it in perspective, Germany is the size of Pennsylvania. The electoral college is not just an antiquated system, but reflects the history of this country which was founded as a free association of states, within a Federal system. It is a huge country, and over the centuries the size and population distribution has altered fundamentally which could allow popular majorities only involving a tiny portion of it geographically. How would that work? But we still have states, and in the US Senate a state like Wyoming with 500,000 people has the same number of senators as California, with 33 million. Seems strange, but to change it would involve a fundamental re-organization of the nation, which is not going to happen.

      90% of Clinton’s popular votes beyond Trumps’ which the left keeps boasting about, came from just 2 states, NY and California, with most of that being California alone. But if you look at an electoral map-red for Republicans, blue for Democrats (for our European friends), most of the country is red!. For example there are 3000 counties in the US- the Republicans won 2600 of them! They also control 34 of the 50 state governors, ¾ of State Legislatures, the US House of Representatives, and the US Senate, and of course the Presidency. But because of the concentration of population in certain states you can get huge numbers of voters from those states alone. In fact without an Electoral College, running for President, you could basically campaign in a few states (NY, Calif. Texas, Fla.) and ignore the rest. That would be a recipe for disaster, eventually some kind of civil war.

      I don’t have the answer, but an argument can be made for each side. But from the outside what seems like a simple denying of one man, one vote, and undemocratic, is not so simple. Perhaps some assigning of the electoral votes based on the number of popular votes received in each state- proportionally- (right now only Maine and Nebraska do that) and that might combine the best of both systems? But since it takes a constitutional amendment for any changes the present system will remain-and anyway each thinks in another election it might benefit them.

      • Nick says:

        What an HONEST, UNBIASED, DETAILED AND INTELLIGENT ESSAY (for all non-Americans and some left-biased people) THANK YOU, Marshall!!

        • Marshall says:

          I appreciate the kind words-but I don’t know if it is “that” worthy of praise. Maybe it stands out a bit because of the level of discourse we generally see. That visible on this site whenever the bait is thrown out, especially since the American election. I am very dismayed by the level of brainwashing that exists out there,and the need to discredit by any means possible what you may not agree with, the contempt shown for any different viewpoint, without any self-reflection. I’m also struck that people are ready to write or talk, without doing an once of homework, With this issue as an example-it is simply not so simple minded when you look at the facts, and try to come to terms with the reality that is the United States. That’s all I was trying to do.

          • Nick says:


            You are exceedingly modest and very right again. Your writing MIGHT SEEM very different from the average “tone” of respondents on this blog because IT IS! Very. Different. It is sober, respectful to all and extraordinarily convincing.
            Bravo and congratulations!

          • Una says:

            What a load of nonsense for non-Americans have to read! And what an insult to Norman that he’s more interested in America than he is about Britain. And Theresa May is not Donald Trump’s counterpart!! We have the Queen and those to follow her in years to come. Mercifully we are a bit more laid back over here about what we can’t change, and just get on with daily life.

  • Nick says:

    Thanks for response, Bruce. I do not know if NL deleting my replies and I don’t care frankly. I read all his books and I like them very much. I do not appreciate his politicking. But, as you said, it is his blog, I respect that, although it does not give him the right to shut up his guests – unethical. Since when they do not have free speech in UK? 😉 . Ha!

    Your last comment on communication between you and NL speaks volumes of the Left in general, not only in the US but also in Europe. I operate on both continents, so I am aware of the atmosphere, sort of, although I am not a politician.

    UK made a very brave move last year. We’ll see what Brexit brings. I hope for positive changes, but who knows!

    • Una says:

      Yes, it is Norman’s site, and he has the right to say what he likes. We don’t have right to be insulting towards him or anyone else on this sitge but we can disagree – not the same thing.

  • Blair Tindall says:

    Ashamed to have performed with her last month.

  • Holly Golightly says:

    Read this; you might learn something. It’s brilliant and apposite:

  • Tony Perry says:

    Wow, I wonder now why I didn’t hate Jackie and her entire family when she sang on multiple occasions at events featuring the despicable Obamas. (By the way, it has never been “racist” to despise a despicable person, no matter his race.) I think she sang for him at least three times! How could she show such disrespect to me and the rest of the country by appearing with this horrible person?! I guess I should go out back and burn all my Jackie CDs and DVDs.
    Would that make me as kind and accepting as all these holier-than-thou liberals? Could I be accepted then?
    By the way, none of you liberal Trump haters despise him as much as I do. But Jackie is above all that, and it is my fervent hope that she always will be.