“RUTI was always special” teachers have exclaimed after talented teen Ruth Olajugbagbe sensationally won The Voice 2018.

The 18-year-old, who lives in Stanford-le-Hope, emerged as the winner on Saturday night after the live final on ITV.

And now her current teachers at the Stanford and Corringham Ortu Sixth Form Centre, and former teachers at the Ortu Gable Hall School have heaped praise on the exceptional youngster.

Sue Weston, director at the sixth form, said: “We always knew that Ruti had something special, having that rare combination of intellect, talent and humility.

“She is so kind, driven and level headed.”

Clive Stokes, headteacher at Ortu Gable Hall School, added: “Her voice blows you over.”

“We are so very proud of her.”

Ruti, a she is known follows an illustrious line of house hold names and famous artists, whose muse found them whilst they were students at Gable Hall School; Dougie Poynter, Perri Kiely, Louisa Johnson and Brook Lammiman.

With a guaranteed music contract, a streamed single and several gigs lined up as immediate spin offs of her win, the future is very bright for Ruti.

Alongside coach Sir Tom Jones, Ruti saw off fierce competition from fellow finalist and fan favourite Donel Mengena.

Ruti was crowned champion after three incredible performances, with her final song, Dreams by The Cranberries, released as her debut single immediately after the show concluded.

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

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

“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 teen couldn’t believe it when she was announced the winner, thanks to audience votes.

“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.