Long Island’s very own Carter Rubin is back home and was greeted with a parade in his honor.
The 15-year-old winner of NBC’s “The Voice” was welcomed home Friday with a caravan of people supporting and cheering on the newest local celebrity.
Carter, of Shoreham, won the national singing competition during Tuesday’s series finale, as a representative of Team Gwen, headed by singer Gwen Stefani.
On Dec. 18, several dozen cars lined up outside Shoreham-Wading River High School with signs and balloons, ready to surprise the sophomore outside his home.
Also greeted by media, as Carter hosted interviews alongside his family, firetrucks, the local police and community members shocked the young singer with a warm welcoming. They held signs out of their car windows, handed him balloons and flowers, and yelled their joy for achieving a huge feat.
“I’m still in shock, I don’t think it really hit me yet,” the ecstatic and overwhelmed Carter said. “My feet have not touched the ground. I’m still trying to comprehend what happened.”
Since October, the young singer was traveling back and forth from his Shoreham home to Los Angeles to participate on the show. During the initial audition, Stefani and fellow judge singer John Legend both wanted the then-14-year-old on their teams. He chose the No Doubt singer, making this her first win on the show.
After touching the hearts of both the judges and America as a whole, Carter is now able to share what he loves with the world, his mother, Alonna Rubin said.
“It’s pretty awesome,” she said. “We’re so happy to be able to see him do what he loves and make so many people happy.”
Throughout the competition, he often dedicated his performances to his autistic older brother, Jack, who was back home watching his little brother shine on the small screen.
“I’m just so happy for Carter that he won ‘The Voice,’” he said, smiling. “It felt so good to see him on TV.”
Their mother is an advocate for the autism community and is founder of the local nonprofit Families in Arms, which helps support families of children on the spectrum.
The father said it was hard having his son and wife across the country, but FaceTime helped, and even the distance was well worth it to watch Carter shine.
“Watching him just do the work, perform and step up was amazing,” David Rubin said. “But he really made a big impact on people which is, as his parents, really incredible.”
Along with his new title as the show’s Season 19 winner, he also was awarded $100,000, a trip to Universal Orlando and a contract with Republic Records. Carter added that his next steps are to start writing his own music and start performing when COVID is done.
“I want to get in the studio and record music to put out there for everyone,” he said. “Once COVID is over, I want to perform.”
He’s been performing for years, though, his grandfather Ric Mango said. Mango, who was a member of 1960s group Jay & the Americans, said that Carter had opened up for him and his own band since he was 6 years old.
“He’s a great kid,” the proud grandfather said. “He’s great inside and out, and he’s going to be an idol.”
When Carter and his mother headed home Thursday night, family friend and Shoreham Civic Organization president, Mike Goralski, knew he wanted to do something special for the teen.
“I’ve been friends with the family for a little more than 12 years, and I felt as though something should be done because he’s a wonderful kid,” he said. “The family, from the kids to the grandparents, are
So Goralski recruited local elected officials and the rest of the community to give Carter a big hello.
Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) presented “The Voice” champion with a proclamation to congratulate him on his achievement.
“This is the best holiday gift ever,” Anker said. “We really need this, and Carter is the perfect person to provide this excitement. His heart is so warm, his courage is so strong, and his belief that you can follow your dreams has made such a difference, not just for him, but for everyone.”
And while his personality shined on stage, he was still in disbelief he won this honor and received all this love from his neighbors.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I’m just so grateful for all the outpouring support in the middle of a global pandemic.”