He did it! Philly’s own Cam Anthony is the Voice!
The 19-year-old North Philadelphia native made the Final 5 of the 20th season of NBC’s hit show. Tuesday night, America chose Anthony as the winner during the season finale.
Anthony, who was on Team Blake, spoke with NBC10’s Aunyea Lachelle of Philly Live ahead of the finale.
“I’ve been able to evolve into the artist that I want to be,” Anthony said.
Last week, Anthony stunned the crowd with his powerful rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," initially sang by Motown artist G.C. Cameron before it was remade in the 90’s by legendary Philly R&B group Boyz II Men.
“That song in particular was actually very special to me because my family had kind of made it a tradition to kind of perform that at our lost one’s funerals,” Anthony said.
The tradition was started by his late grandfather.
"This was just me trying to pay homage to him," he said.
Anthony's family celebrated in their Frankford home as they watched him win in Los Angeles Tuesday night.
"Everybody was jumping around, yelling," Anthony's mother, Melissa Hayward, told NBC10. "A lot of emotional moments but it was crazy."
Hayward spoke with her son about the big win Wednesday morning.
"He feels like it's a dream," she said. "Definitely a dream come true for him. He can't believe it."
Hayward said her son earned the incredible moment. When he was a student at Tacony Academy Charter School in Northeast Philadelphia he had excellent grades and was kind to everyone. He graduated from high school last year after being homeschooled. His family supported him every step of the way as he worked on his craft and tried to get a recording contract.
"I would definitely say, listen to your children," Hayward said. "I know a lot of times we look at children and we think, 'You know, they're young. They don't know what they want.' But I think a lot of times we don't facilitate the dreams and we don't cater to what's going on in their life and we simply miss the opportunity to see greatness."
Anne Krolikowski, Cam's neighbor, told NBC10 she could literally hear his greatness.
"He was always singing," she said. "He just sang everyday. All day. And in the summer you could hear him with the windows open."
Cam's sister, Denise Sherman, hopes her brother's success will serve as an inspiration for other kids from Philly.
"It probably makes them feel like, 'Well, I'm from Philly. If Cam's from Philly and he's doing this, then I could do what he's doing and I could become big just like Cam's becoming,'" she said.
Cam will have one more surprise waiting for him when he returns to Philly. He'll get to meet Ari, his 4-month-old niece, for the first time in person.