Chart Beat

Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Claim About Jackie Evancho's Album Sales

The president-elect says that the 16-year-old's album sales have ‘skyrocketed’ since her inauguration announcement. Have they?

On Wednesday (Jan. 4), president-elect Donald Trump posted on Twitter that Jackie Evancho’s album sales have “skyrocketed” since the 16-year-old singer was announced to be performing the national anthem at his presidential inauguration later this month. "Some people just don't understand the 'Movement,’” Trump wrote in praise of the opera singer.


Have Evancho’s album sales really soared since she was announced as the performer on Dec. 14? It depends on how loose your definition of "skyrocketed" is, although they have posted gains.

Someday at Christmas, Evancho’s most recent studio album, sold 6,000 copies in the chart week ending Dec. 15, according to Nielsen Music, following its Oct. 28 release. After Evancho was announced to be performing at the inauguration, however, Someday at Christmas bumped up to 11,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 22 (up a big 94 percent compared to the previous week). In the tracking week after, the album sank slightly back to 8,000 copies sold.

Sales of the album did rise following the announcement — but most holiday albums receive a sales spike in the chart weeks approaching Christmas. For context, Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas saw sales balloon from 139,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 15 to 185,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 22. During the latter week, sales of all holiday albums increased by 21 percent, and overall album sales were up 18 percent – increases handily beat by Evancho’s 94 percent gain with her Christmas album that week. (Of course, when a title isn’t selling very much, and then has a burst of unexpected sales, its percentage increase will naturally be quite large – which is what happened with Evancho’s album.)

Furthermore, Evancho performed on the America’s Got Talent holiday special, which aired on NBC on Dec. 19 and re-aired on Dec. 29, and likely helped the album’s cause. Evancho became a star on AGT after placing second on its fifth season in 2010.

In the week ending Dec. 22, on the 100-position Top Album Sales chart (dated Jan. 7), Evancho’s album rose from No. 98 to No. 60, and in the following week, the album dropped to No. 62. On the Billboard 200 albums chart — which ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA) — Someday at Christmas made it to No. 93 after the announcement, and dropped to No. 134 in the following chart week.

Evancho has released five studio albums prior to Someday at Christmas, including a first holiday album, Heavenly Christmas, in 2011; all five are top 40-charting albums on the Billboard 200, and three hit the top 10. However, none of her other studio albums have returned to the Billboard 200 chart since her inauguration performance was announced.

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