‘The Voice’ Winner Asher HaVon Gifted a Key to the City, Performs “I Will Always Love You” for Hometown Crowd

Asher HaVon made TV history when he became the first LGBTQ+ winner of The Voice. With sizzling performances of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” the 31-year-old singer gave Reba McEntire her first-ever coaching victory. HaVon has been very clear that his success would not have been possible if he hadn’t been born and raised in Selma, Alabama. And on Saturday (June 21), HaVon’s hometown showed him some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality.

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‘The Voice’ Winner Welcomed Home With Parade

Selma pulled out all the stops for The Voices season 25 winner with a Saturday (June 22) parade. Residents lined the streets with posters and balloons as Asher HaVon waved from his place of honor atop a float. Local high school marching bands and dance teams also performed.

HaVon even received a key to the city from Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. during the Levitt AMP concert series at the Riverfront Amphitheater. In a fitting response to the city’s parade, HaVon delivered a rendition of “I Will Always Love You” for the hometown crowd.

For HaVon, it was a warm welcome from the place that made him. “I would not be here without Selma,” the gospel singer said during season 25 of The Voice. “Selma has given me a foundation that I don’t believe I would have gotten anywhere else. The people that are in Selma understand what it means to come from small beginnings and face the world.”

[RELATED: “I Can Feel It in My Bones”: ‘The Voice’ Winner Asher HaVon Covers ‘American Idol’ Winner’s Hit Song to Perfection]

The Voice champion called his hometown “a beautiful example on how to handle adversity gracefully and rise above it, and still stand.”

“And as an artist, every time I stand on stage, I just feel like the strength that Selma has taught me always shows up and (will) catapult me forward,” he said.

Selma Youth Bring Asher HaVon to Tears

Asher HaVon has a long history with the Selma arts scene. Ten years before The Voice, he directed the children’s choir in a production at the 6th Annual City of Selma Youth Conference. 

Tresher Rivers, a third-grader at the time, says The Voice champion taught her more than music. “He kept telling us little kids, and big ones too, “It’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re headed,” she told the Black Belt News Network.

Selma’s present-day youth paid it forward, gathering Thursday (June 20) to create art for HaVon’s homecoming parade. And when the gospel singer saw a video clip, the waterworks instantly flowed.

“That is the most cutest thing I’ve ever seen!” HaVon said, wiping his eyes. That just made me cry. Awww. I hope to see all of them Saturday!”

(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

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