A SINGING sensation who grew up and went to school in Southend has starred in the Spanish equivalent of TV show, The Voice.

Ellie Wilcox, 15, auditioned in front of the four judges on The Voice Kids singing “A thousand years”. 

Her mum, Nieves Vara Gonzalez, spent 20 years living in Thorpe Bay, before moving to Westcliff and living there for a further 10 years, with her husband and Ellie.

In August 2020, the family decided to move back to Spain.

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While in England, Ellie performed in the School of Rock at the West End, and Matilda in another production.

She also spent her school years at Westcliff High School for Girls, and Alleyn Court Prep School.

Her mum said: “I am beyond proud of how far she got and even prouder of her attitude, her work ethic, her resilience, and her professionalism.

“Entering The Voice Kids has given her a massive boost.

“My husband and I have no background in music and drama, but we support her in everything she does, and are always so excited to watch her perform.

“If it was not for her teachers at Alleyn Court, Westcliff, and the School of Rock, as well as her singing teacher here in Malaga, she would not have done what she has done.”

Despite not making it through to the next round of the competition, Ellie’s former teachers have described her as a “star”.

Ashton Moore, director of performing arts at Alleyn Court when Ellie attended, said: “I was delighted to see her perform on The Voice, and was amazed by her singing.

“But to be honest, nothing surprises me about this girl.

“She has always been an exceptional person - extremely talented, but always humble, grounded and kind.

“The sky really is the limit for her.”

Alice Daniels, head of music at Westcliff High School for Girls, added: “I can only describe Ellie as a little star.

“She was full of so much enthusiasm and had a passion for music, demonstrated through her love for the extra-curricular programme here.

“We were so thrilled to have Ellie demonstrate her love of performing through many of our school concerts.

“We miss her greatly but are so thrilled to see that she is continuing to perform.”