Hackney rejoiced as the borough’s singer Jermain Jackman beat Christina Marie and Sally Barker in The Voice’s live final last night.
An estimated 7.7m viewers tuned in to see Jackman become the shows first ever male winner. His performances of ‘Wrecking Ball’, ‘Pure Imagination’ and ‘I Am Telling You’ saw the 19-year-old land a major record deal with Universal Record.
Jackman said his victory was: “not just an achievement for me, but an achievement for everyone in the UK who has had a dream and worked hard to achieve that dream” as his mentor Will.i.am looked on from the judging panel in tears.
The singer, whose ultimate ambition is to become “the first singing black prime minister”, is no stranger to hard work and is heavily involved in local politics.
For two years, Jackman sat on the Youth Parliament as a Diversity Officer and is now a Labour Party Youth Coordinator for Hackney.
Will.i.am said: “I hope you know that this victory is more than just you singing. This is direction and guidance for the rest of your life.”
The Black Eyed Peas singer first met Jackman backstage at BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend in 2012 and it was during this “chance meeting” that he encouraged him to apply for the next series of The Voice.
The US superstar has been a relentless supporter of young people in Hackney, even funding a student’s stay at Cordwainers Court, a university halls of residence in the borough.
Twitter has been inundated by Jackman’s supporters, who have taken to the social networking site to congratulate the singer.
Patrick Vernon, Labour councillor for Hackney, said: “After a difficult time in Hackney with recent murders in the community we have some positive news. We are proud of you Jermain Jackman”.
Peter John, Executive member for Children, Young People, Employment and Skills, said: “Amazing Jermain Jackman – so deserves to win #thevoice2014 Proud for him, Hackney & London”.
Although last night marked the end of the three month series, for Jackman this is just the beginning.
Will.i.am said: “You have a lot of work to do – and a lot of focusing to do. To make that claim – that you wanna be the first black Prime Minister – means a lot of people will giggle and dismiss you as being cute, but you can prove them wrong.”
The show’s previous winners were Leanne Mitchell in 2012, whose debut single ‘Run To You’ entered the charts at number 45, and Andrea Begley in 2013, who entered at number 30 with ‘My Immortal’.