After a prolonged wait due to the pandemic, The Voice 2021 finally crowned its well-deserved winner and wrapped its ninth series last month.
Blessing Chitapa was announced as the winner by host Emma Willis, taking home the coveted prize of a recording contract with Polydor.
Could this year’s winner achieve mainstream success and global stardom?
As The Voice UK has already been recommissioned for another series on ITV in 2021, we take a trip down memory lane and cast our minds back to the previous winners over the years.
Series nine – Blessing Chitapa (2020)
Blessing Chitapa was crowned winner of The Voice this year. The final came down to four finalists – Blessing, Gevanni Hutton, Jonny Brooks, Brooke Scullion.
Blessing and Jonny had the chance to sing for the title and both offered moving ballads to win over the public vote. Emma Willis announced Blessing as the champion, winning a life-changing recording contract with Polydor.
Series eight – Molly Hocking (2019)
Molly Hocking, who was just 18 at the time, became the eighth winner of The Voice, bestowing mentor Olly Murs with his first win in the series.
Molly went up against 23-year-old singing teacher from Liverpool Deana Walmsley to win with her duet with Olly on Simply Red’s Stars, and rendition of A Star is Born’s I’ll Never Love Again.
Sadly for Molly, her winning single I’ll Never Love Again only reached number 73 in the UK Singles Chart. She was due to release her second single After the Night Before back in March, but it was delayed due to the pandemic. The song was eventually released on November 6th, along with a music video. Molly performed the song during The Voice’s semi-final.
Series seven – Ruti Olajugbagbe (2018)
Teenage student from Essex Ruti Olajugbagbe was crowned the winner of The Voice, after being coached by mentor Sir Tom Jones.
Ruti faced stiff competition in the finale as she went up against Donel Mangena, Belle Voci and Lauren Bannon. Following her win, she released her version of Dreams by The Cranberries as her debut single, which reached number one in the UK iTunes chart, and debuted at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart. However, the song only charted for one week.
The 18-year-old went back to finishing her A-levels following her victory, but according to coach Sir Tom, more material is on the way.
Series six – Mo Jamil (2017)
Mo Jamil won series six of The Voice UK, which had just moved to ITV from BBC One.
The 25-year-old singer from Warrington was mentored by former coach Jennifer Hudson, beating off fellow finalists Into the Ark, Jamie Miller and Michelle John to secure a recording deal.
His debut album, titled Evolve, charted at number 36 in the UK Album Charts, but he failed to reach the Top 75 with his first single Unsteady. He returned to The Voice in 2018 as a guest mentor for Team Jennifer, alongside Leona Lewis.
“I’ve been working hard in the studio for the last six months and I hope I can pass on some of the things I’ve learnt whilst making my album to the talented singers on Jennifer’s team,” he added.
That same year he was dropped by Polydor Records.
Series five – Kevin Simm (2016)
Hi Guys… I have a new acoustic out today! I really enjoyed learning this one as its really different to anything I would normally sing….. Hopefully it will surprise you too.
This is my first Christmas acoustic of 2020, more to come in the coming weeks!https://t.co/pXv89d8mbS pic.twitter.com/G2LBNTRiHS
— Kevin Simm (@kevinsimm) November 16, 2020
Liberty X singer Kevin Simm went on to win The Voice UK’s fifth series – after losing to Hear’Say in Popstars way back when in 2001. In fact, Hear’Say’s Danny failed to get past the first round of the show when he auditioned in 2013. The show threw up more late ’90s/early noughties nostalgia when Sean from Five also tried out on the show – but he too failed to make it past the Blind Auditions.
Kevin’s winning single All You Good Friends, peaked at no.24, but his debut album Recover did not chart.
In 2018, it was announced that Kevin would be replacing Marti Pellow as the lead singer of ’90s band Wet Wet Wet – who famously spent 15 weeks at number one with Love Is All Around, from the soundtrack of Four Weddings And A Funeral.
Series four – Stevie McCrorie (2015)
New video for a recent Collaboration with friend and producer @bazmopp
It’s called: Come Alive
Check to it and RT if you can ????????????????https://t.co/1TfwtkL8fg
— Stevie McCrorie (@steviemccrorie) October 9, 2020
Scottish singer Stevie McCrorie is the only winner of The Voice UK to land a top ten single. Mentored by Ricky Wilson and beating fellow finalists Lucy O’Byrne, Emmanuel Nwamadi and Sasha Simone, Stevie was in pole position for the top spot with his debut single, a cover of Adam Levine’s Lost Stars, before going in at number six.
Stevie has since returned to his job as a fireman, telling the Radio Times back in 2017: “I think people saw it as a bad thing when I went back. But I always saw The Voice as a good platform. I never expected to be super famous and I actually got more fame than I expected.
“Becoming a fireman was another amazing achievement for me because I can’t believe I managed to do that – I used to be a lazy musician drinking beer all the time. It’s a job to be proud of and I was just like ‘I’m not going to give up this career I worked so hard to get’. I’d only been in the job two years.”
Series three – Jermain Jackson (2014)
Singer and political activist Jermain is arguably one of the most memorable and popular winners of The Voice, beating the show’s hotly tipped favourite Christina Marie.
Despite his popularity, his cover of I’m Telling You only reached only reached number 75 in the charts, though his self-titled 2015 debut album faired slightly better at no.42. He has since quit music to study Politics at the University of Leeds, and is currently finishing his degree at SOAS University of London.
Back in 2017, Jermain told Radio Times: “I saw winning The Voice as the building blocks of the foundation of which my career was built on. It’s allowed me to stand on a certain pedestal, to voice my opinions and to also voice the opinions of those who are unheard. And I’ve just set up my own commission in Islington called the Fairer Futures Commission. It’s almost an independent enquiry to see into the policies that Islington council implement and how they can really enable and ensure that young people and children achieve their full potential.”
Series two – Andrea Begley (2013)
Andrea Begley beat favourite Leah McFall to win the show, delighting mentor Danny O’Donoghue.
Andrea enjoyed some chart success with her album The Message, which reached number seven in the charts. Her debut with her cover of Evanescence’s My Immortal peaked at number 30, and she went on to release a book chronicling her experience called I Didn’t See That Coming – referencing her unexpected win and her being partially sighted.
Andrea has been studying for a part-time PhD and now has a government job in Belfast. She has also released a number of singles independently, and her second studio album, Soul of a Songbird, came out in December, 2019.
Series one – Leanne Mitchell (2012)
Leanne Mitchell won the first ever series, having been coached by mentor Sir Tom Jones. She beat Bo Bruce and Tyler James in the final, but her debut single, a cover of Whitney Houston’s Run to You only reached number 45 in the charts.
Her self-titled album was a commercial flop when it peaked at of number 134 in the charts.
Meanwhile, finalist Bo Bruce did have some chart success with her album Before I Sleep, which she released after she was signed signed to Mercury Records in 2013, and she also has featured on a number of dance singles with Chicane and Gareth Emery.
Sales of her EP Search the Night, which she had released independently before taking part on The Voice, rocketed after her success on the show and reached no.2 in the iTunes album chart. She has since been collaborating with husband Henry Binns of Zero 7.