Ruti Olajugbagbe has won The Voice 2018 - bringing the title to Essex. 

The 18-year-old from Stanford-le-Hope was crowned the champion last night after the live final. 

Alongside coach Tom Jones, Ruti beat off fierce competition from fan favourite Donel Mengena to claim top spot. 

Ruti, who attended the Gable Hall School, in Corringham, was crowned champion after three incredible performances, with her final song, Dreams by The Cranberries, to be released as her debut single.

Earlier in the show she was joined by coach Tom to sing Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, followed by her version of Daniel Bedingfield's If You're Not The One.

And the youngster took to twitter immediately after her win to thank fans for their support. 

She wrote: “Whhhaaaattttt is going ooooonnn????!!!!! Thank you to everyone who voted!!! My cover of dreams is out now!!”

The youngster built up a real bond with her mentor and earlier in the show, Ruti said Sir Tom had “always believed in me, since the blind auditions”.

“He’s always been there for me and told me to be myself. It’s amazing that he thinks I’m that good,” she added.

Sir Tom said she is a “wonderful, magical, sincere” singer, and that he is touched by her voice.

The talented teen couldn’t quite believe her luck when Emma Willis announced she was the winner, thanks to audience votes. 

Almost lost for words, there was a moment of silence before a huge grin took over her face as she battled back tears. 

“I wasn’t expecting this… I didn’t expect to get to the blind audition, I don’t know what to say,” she said in a state of disbelief.

Ruti has been a fan favourite since the blind auditions, but surprisingly it was only Sir Tom who took a risk and turned for her. 

Even in that initial episode he praised her voice, and admitted he was unable to tell whether she was a boy or a girl, in credit to the range of her vocals. 

The youngster, who attends Ortu Sixth Form Centre, Stanford and Corringham, will be hoping this is the turning point as she aims for the stars with her new record deal in tow. 

Superstar Ruti was up against fierce competition in the final, beating Donel Mangena, Belle Voci and Lauren Bannon to come out on top