An 18-year-old Nigerian, Ruti Olajugbagbe, has emerged the winner of the 2018 edition of The Voice UK, after beating runner-up Donel Mangena on Saturday night.
Ruti – who is a student and part-time carer – was the second favourite behind Mangena going into the final, with bookies offering odds of 17/10 on her winning, before she fought off stiff competition from the other finalists to win the final.
She emerged champion after three incredible performances, with her final song, Dreams by The Cranberries, to be released as her debut single.
Ruti broke down in tears after host Emma Willis announced her as the winner, with her coach Sir Tom Jones gushing earlier in the show that is a ‘wonderful, magical, sincere’ singer.
Speaking after her victory Ruti said: “I wasn’t expecting this… I didn’t expect to get to the blind audition, I don’t know what to say!”
She won the £100,000 prize, as well as a deal with Republic Records.
Prior to participating in The Voice UK, Ruti had said: “I really love to sing and so would like to be in a profession that enables me to do this.”
She is a student and part-time carer from Southend-on-Sea, who lives with her mum, dad and little brother Femi and currently attends the Youth Creation Performing Arts School in Stanford-le-Hope.
Ruti performs covers of songs including Latch and Use Somebody on her YouTube channel and enjoys mixing songs together.
Ruti has said she is influenced by bands such as Bastille and Arctic Monkeys as well as singer Emeli Sande and in 2013 sang in the final of Thurrock’s young musician of the year.