Jackie Evancho was happy when she lost NBC's "America's Got Talent" in 2010, finishing runner-up to the Colorado singer Michael Grimm. It's a too-familiar experience for a 13-year-old who has come in second in more competitions than she cares to admit.
"I've been coming up second place in little competitions on the East Coast for years. I was even born second," Evancho says from her home in Pittsburgh, referencing her 15-year-old older brother, Jacob. "Second place is really first place, if you think about it. If you are proud of yourself, and you think you did good, that's satisfying enough for me."
If live television saddled the then-10-year-old soprano with another loss, the singer's prolific career since "America's Got Talent" has treated her like a winner. Evancho, performing Friday at the Arsht Center, has released five albums in three years, including 2011's "Dream With Me," which ranked, yes, as Billboard's No. 2 best-selling classical album that year. The most recent is "Songs From the Silver Screen," a release of pop-classical crossover drawn from films such as "The Lion King," "Titanic" and "Phantom of the Opera."
"I'm a sucker for love stories — anything to do with love — and to see that kind of passion in a movie," Evancho says. "I always wanted to be Christine [from 'Phantom of the Opera'], singing all the time."
Jackie Evancho will perform 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. Tickets cost $49.50-$99.50. Call 305-949-6722 or go to ArshtCenter.org.