Ricky Duran will take the stage for “The Voice” season 17 finale as one of the four finalists with love and support from his family back home in Massachusetts. Duran has used his parents and sisters as his inspiration throughout the NBC singing competition. Duran’s parents both died within the past seven years and Duran has dedicated his music career to them.
The 30-year-old Duran grew up in North Grafton, Massachusetts, as one of four children of Ricardo Duran Sr. and Odette Duran. His father was also a musician and passed his talent along to his son starting at a young age. In 2012, Duran’s father died by suicide. And in 2018, his mother died after a battle with breast cancer.
Duran, of “Team Blake” is supported by his three sisters along with three nephews. He often posts photos with his nephews and his sisters and other family members on Instagram. Duran now lives in Austin, Texas.
Here’s what you need to know about Ricky Duran’s family:
1. Ricky Duran’s Parents Immigrated to Massachusetts From Guatemala
Both of Ricky Duran’s parents immigrated from Guatemala City to the United States, settling in Massachusetts. They met in their native country when they were teenagers and moved to the U.S. when they were 21. Tragically, Duran’s parents have both passed away. On July 23, 2012, his father, Ricardo Duran died by suicide. And then, on June 18, 2018, his mother, Odette Duran, died of breast cancer.
According to Odette’s obituary, “They made their beautiful home in Grafton, MA where she and Ricardo raised their four children. Odette’s passion was her family and she decided to run a daycare out of her home in order to be home with her children. This ended up being one of her most gratifying experiences as she was able to become a ‘second mother’ to numerous children whom she adored and remained close with into their adulthood. After about 15 years of taking care of children, Odette began a successful career in the financial industry at Fidelity and later BYN Melon Bank, where she made lasting friendships that she cherished. In most recent years, Odette devoted herself to her young grandchildren who were the joys of her life.”
Duran’s father, Ricardo, “obtained his bachelors in Computer Science at Northeastern University and later received his MBA from Nichols College. His dedication and magnetic personality led him to become a very successful professional,” after the moved to the U.S.
His family said in his obituary, “Ricardo was also a very talented musician and he passed this gift to his children. He spent many wonderful nights in the recording studio he built on his own, teaching his son how to play different instruments and recording albums. It was evident to everyone who knew Ricardo that he had two passions in his life; his love of music and his love for his family. Ricardo’s love for his children extended to their friends and his home became a second home to many. He loved to entertain and was always the life of the party. Whether it be sitting around his kitchen table and making memories, or downstairs in his recording studio playing the guitar with his son while everyone sat and enjoyed.”
2. His 3 Sisters Are Older Than Him & They Think He Has the ‘It Factor’ to Win ‘The Voice’
Duran is the youngest of his four siblings. He has three sisters, Maria, 43, Julia, 37, and Natalie, 35. His sisters, Natalie Maigarie and Julia Tomaiolo are both married.
During one of Duran’s early performances on the show, his sisters hosted a viewing party back in Massachusetts. “I thought it was amazing. I just loved him with the guitar and he was unbelievable. He’s a performer, and I can see how happy he was,” Tomaiolo told the Worcester Telegram.
Maigarie added, “I was really impressed. I thought he looked so comfortable. He had his guitar. He worked the stage. I couldn’t be more happy for him.”
Tomaiolo told the newspaper, “I think he has the ‘it’ factor. I think his voice is amazing. I think he’s a musician. He’s got the whole package, and the coaches really like him and hopefully America likes him.”
3. Duran Is Not Married, but He Does Have a Girlfriend, Alyssa Tosti
Duran is not yet married, but he does have a girlfriend, Alyssa Tosti, who has also been a big part of his support system during his rise through “The Voice” season 17 competition. Tosti is also a Massachusetts native (she grew up in Douglas) and has been dating Duran for some time. They moved together from their native state to Austin, Texas, to help his aspiring singing career.
During the top 13 portion of “The Voice,” Duran dedicated his performance of Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” to Tosti. Before his song, Duran revealed that ahead of his “Blind Audition” for “The Voice,” he learned some nearly devastating news about his girlfriend.
“Before my blind audition, I got a call from my sister saying that Alyssa had to be rushed to the hospital. She was having a stroke. Luckily, she got out of surgery and she made a full recovery,” Duran said during the show, holding back tears. He said he picked the Lamontagne song because of all the support he has received from Tosti.
Duran wrote on Instagram in July 2019, “When you follow your intuition for long enough, everything falls into place. So happy I met this girl.”
Tosti, 26, played college soccer at Nichols College in Massachusetts. She graduated in 2015 with a business degree and works as a sales team manager.
4. He Says His Parents Have Guided Him Spiritually Throughout the Competition
Duran told The MetroWest Daily News that his parents have been by his side throughout the competition.
“I really do feel like my mom has played a huge part in why I’m here,” Duran told the newspaper. “In a spiritual manner, I feel (my mom) has guided me through this. It’s just so surreal and so amazing that I’m here. And I have to believe that there’s some kind of higher power that’s guided me.”
Duran said it has been hard to open up in front of the world about his family and the struggles they have dealt with, but it has been a big help for him and he is happy that speaking about what he has been through has helped others.
“There are some really inspiring messages I get from people who have gone through similar situations. I just love that my story and my voice can be an inspiration to others in a positive light, to keep pushing and keep believing in yourself,” Duran told The MetroWest Daily News.
5. Duran Will Have Family Members in the Stands During ‘The Voice’ Finale, Including Some Who Traveled From Guatemala
Ricky Duran will have several family members in the audience during “The Voice” two-night finale on December 16 and December 17, he told The MetroWest Daily News. Some of his family members from Guatemala will be making the trip to watch him perform, Duran told the newspaper.
“I’m going to get up on the stage and just celebrate that I’m here, and really enjoy the moment,” Duran said. “For all the people that have always believed in me: This is actually happening. And I owe it to you guys.”