A 10-year-old youngster with “the voice of an angel” stole the show in her Las Vegas debut. Pittsburgh-born Jackie Evancho simply won the hearts and wowed the crowd at the David Foster & Friends all-star jam session of a concert at Mandalay Bay Events Center last night. The audience cheered, applauded and rose to their feet when David himself wondered out loud, “Where does that come from?”
The pint-sized phenomenon, who nearly won America’s Got Talent, had to stand on an apple box to reach the microphone for her performance, and backstage even veteran performers Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, Martina McBride, Seal, Ne-Yo, Kenny Loggins, Kenny G, Michael Bolton and Earth Wind and Fire all marveled at Jackie’s performance. They stopped their reunion chats and catch-up moments, froze and stood silently watching in marvel, too. Then they, too, hollered and applauded.
It was a magical moment for the history books, and yet just hours earlier, Jackie, who performed “Pie Jesu” and “O Mio Bambino Caro,” was like any other young kid, playing with her 7-year-old sister Rachel and a new toy giraffe under the watchful eyes of her parents, who also were making their first trip to Las Vegas. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue shot this exclusive set of behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos especially for Vegas DeLuxe with unprecedented access for these candids.
Jackie was scheduled to perform in the America’s Got Talent concert hosted by Jerry Springer at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace on Oct. 8, but after performing in L.A., her parents kept to their 10-city pact to let her rest between engagements, so they decided that her Las Vegas debut would be David Foster & Friends.
In all, Tom shot more than 2,000 photos over the two days of rehearsals and the nearly 4-hour-long show last night that ended shortly before midnight. Check back right here at Vegas DeLuxe later today for the best photo galleries of one of the decade’s best-ever musical concerts.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.