Reba McEntire to Alabama ‘Voice’ performer: ‘God put you on this Earth to sing’

The Voice - Season 25

Alabama’s Asher HaVon turned in a powerhouse performance this week on “The Voice,” covering a Boyz II Men classic.

The soul singer from Selma is in the top 12 on the NBC reality series, vying for viewer votes as a member of Reba McEntire’s team. This is a crucial moment for HaVon, 31, and his choice for Monday’s episode was “I’ll Make Love to You,” written by Babyface and a No. 1 hit for Boyz II Men in 1994.

During rehearsals with McEntire, HaVon said the idea of singing for viewer votes was a nerve-wracking one. During previous episodes of Season 25, which have been filmed in advance, the coaches made the decisions on who stays and who goes. Now, during the live shows, folks who watch “The Voice” will make the next cut, trimming the top 12 to a top nine.

“This is terrifying, that this is the first time America’s weighing in,” HaVon said. “I hope y’all like me, because I really like y’all. I really do. I love you, America.”

HaVon has become a favorite with McEntire this season, earning kudos from the country star for his talent, range and ability to connect with the audience.

“Asher is my inspirational soul singer,” McEntire said. “He’s very versatile. He can do the R&B and the gospel, and when he sings a song, it does touch your heart.” (Watch HaVon’s top 12 performance in the video below.)

HaVon’s bio for “The Voice” says he grew up in Alabama “surrounded by gospel singers,” and that aspect came to the fore when he talked about choosing and interpreting a song made famous by Boyz II Men.

“It is absolutely challenging,” HaVon said. “You know, Boyz II Men are known for their harmonies, they’re known for their grit, they’re known for their power. When I really discovered secular music, I was about 28. I heard these dudes singing. I was like, ‘Man, is this a gospel song?’ And to my surprise, it was the Boyz II Men.”

McEntire gave HaVon a few pointers on storytelling during rehearsals, praised his vocal chops and sent him off to compete. Evidently, her protege was ready for the challenge. “Making the semifinals proves that my gift is valid, it is enough and it has finally arrived,” HaVon said.

Asher HaVon on "The Voice"

Alabama’s Asher HaVon, left, sang “I’ll Make Love to You” for his top 12 performance on “The Voice.”(Trae Patton/NBC)

All of the coaches on “The Voice” gave HaVon a standing ovation for his performance, which included four backup singers, atmospheric lighting and a soaring falsetto moment. But only McEntire and Chance the Rapper shared their thoughts on HaVon’s rendition of the song, offering lavish kudos.

“That was crazy,” Chance said. “I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the competition, I feel like if anybody, outside of Team Chance, should win, I’ve been saying it’s you, dude. I’m so glad that America got to see this live, ‘cause you’re an incredibly talented vocalist.

“Asher, God put you on this Earth to sing,” McEntire said. “You said that you hadn’t heard secular music ‘til you were in your 20s, and then God let you come out here and be with us. So thank you, Lord, for letting us have Asher for this time.”

Asher HaVon on "The Voice"

Alabama’s Asher HaVon, left, sang “I’ll Make Love to You” for his top 12 performance on “The Voice.” Series host Carson Daly is at right.(Trae Patton/NBC)

Viewer voting started during Monday’s episode of “The Voice” and closed on Tuesday morning. The top nine singers will be revealed on Tuesday’s hourlong episode, which starts at 7 p.m. CT.

“Once the live performance shows begin, the top artists will compete against each other weekly during a live broadcast. This time the television audience will vote to save their favorite artists,” an NBC press release says. “The artists with the lowest number of votes will be eligible for the instant save and will each perform a new song to prove why they should continue in the competition. America will then have the opportunity to save their favorite performer by voting on ‘The Voice’ official app or Those with the lowest number of votes will be sent home. In the end, one artist will be named ‘The Voice’ and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract.”

HaVon is the only Alabama singer to make it this far on “The Voice” during Season 25. Five singers from the state were featured on the show this season, but the others were eliminated during previous episodes. Along with HaVon, they were Val T Webb of Birmingham, Ducote Talmage of Auburn, Rivers Grayson of Muscle Shoals and Corey Curtis, a Saraland resident.

The state’s never had a winner on “The Voice” during its 13-year history on television. However, more than 30 contestants from the state have made their marks on the show over the years, starting with Nakia Reynoso in Season 1 and continuing through spring 2023 with four Alabama singers moving through the competition in Season 23.

D. Smooth, an R&B singer from Birmingham, took third place on “The Voice” during the Season 23 finals in May 2023. Three other Alabama contestants — Ryley Tate Wilson, Jerome Godwin III and JB Somers — were eliminated earlier in the season.

“Growing up in Selma, Alabama, Asher was surrounded by gospel singers. President Obama went to Selma in 2015 for a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery in honor of African American civil rights. Asher auditioned for a spot in the choir that was set to perform John Legend’s song ‘Glory.’ The choir director was so blown away by Asher that Asher led the choir that day, performing in front of 200,000 people. This was also a turning point for his relationship with his father, whom he’s always had a complicated relationship with. A couple of years ago, his father survived a car accident and their relationship grew even stronger. They now talk regularly and he greatly supports Asher’s music. It was Asher’s mom who really pushed him to sing when he was young. He likes to call her his singing sergeant and is excited to make her proud on ‘The Voice.’”



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