First winner of The VoiceSA: Richard Stirton

“I can’t explain how I am feeling,” said Richard Stirton, minutes after hearing that he is the first ever winner of M-Net’s The Voice SA.

“My brain has not processed it. It has all happened so quickly. I was not expecting to win. I am completely blown away.”

“If I pass out whilst speaking to you then I apologise.”

Speaking about his song choice for the finale – Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, Stirton said that that rendition of Billy Jean was the reason that he wanted to sing.  He heard it performed by David Cook from American Idol when he was 14-years-old.

“I wanted to inspire people like he inspired me with his version, so I picked up a guitar and I guess the rest is history.”

Richard Stirton (22) from Cape Town collapsed on stage upon hearing that he is the very first winner of M-Net’s proudly South African singing contest, The Voice SA. 

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This also means that Kahn Morbee has come out tops as the winning coach of the season, beating fellow coaches and esteemed musos Karen Zoid, Lira and Bobby van Jaarsveld at the finishing line.

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Stirton was kept on his feet by his fellow contestants, judges and fans all congratulated and hugged him, plus took the opportunity to get selfies taken with the winner before he was whisked off to a press conference.

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Proud mum Jane, said that messages of congratulations have been flying in from their neighbours back home.

“Richard used to sing in our family home all the time,” said Jane adding: “and the neighbours used to complain like most complain about barking dogs.”

“This whole experience has been so surreal and my boy, my baby is all grown up. He wanted to do this. I am so thrilled for him.

Richard’s mum explained that Richard has half an educational degree and she hopes he is going to complete it.

“This competition has been a blessing. The coaches have been so loving and supportive.”

“The whole family have supported Richard over the last seven weeks of the competition.”

“We also still cannot believe that he has won. He has got this in the bag!”

“My little baby boy who loves to swim in the sea with me, is the first winner of The Voice SA.”

Jane added that it is Richard’s focus, determination and passion that have led him to where he is today.

“He puts 100% effort into everything he does whether it is gym, rugby or his studies but it is music that has always been his passion.”

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The name of the winner of The Voice SA was announced during tonight’s live final from Sasani Studios in Johannesburg, which also included spectacular performances from Vusi Mahlasela and Riana Nel, as well as collaborations between the coaches and the talent in their teams who made it to the Top 8.

Gavin Edwards (37) from Johannesburg, who was hot on Richard’s heels on the iTunes charts this week at no 2, came in second for #TeamBobby, and #TeamLira’s Jeremy Olivier (41) and #TeamKaren’s “Stilfontein”, 25-year-old Almur Marais, rounded out the Top 4 tonight.

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Before he entered The Voice South Africa and embarked on his journey to becoming South Africa’s next superstar, Richard was studying towards his B.Com degree at UCT and playing music in Barnyard shows and at Cape Town’s famous “Stardust” restaurant. All four of the coaches turned for him during the Blind Auditions and he decided to join #TeamKahn because Kahn Morbee said that he had inspired him.

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Richard beat James Freedom from Ballito in the Battle Rounds singing James Bay’s “Hold Back The River” and in the first live broadcast on 17 April he performed the old Proclaimers one-hit-wonder, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, prompting proud Coach Kahn to predict that he would probably end up winning the competition.

When he sang  “Don’t You Worry Child” from Swedish House Mafia in the following show, he was  saved by the audience’s vote, whereafter  Kahn saved him on Top 12 show on Mumford & Sons’s “I Will Wait”.

Last week  Richard closed the show with a stirring rendition of the Simon & Garfukel classic “The Sound of Silence”, which went all the way to Number 1 on South African iTunes on the very same night.”

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Richard walks away with a spectacular prize package worth more than R800 000, comprising:

  • A R200 000 cash prize from DialDirect;
  • A brand new Fiat 500;
  • A coveted Gear S2 watch from Samsung, along with a Samsung Galaxy S7 smart phone, a Gear Virtual Reality set, a JS9000 smart TV and Level On Headphones;
  • R100 000 worth of cutting-edge fashion from Truworths;
  • And of course that coveted recording contract with Universal Music South Africa.

During the show, there was also some great news for Zoë Modiga (22) and Thembeka Mnguni (32). They were both received news of recording contracts by Universal Music South Africa!

The Voice SA has been an amazing platform for the incredible talent on the show and we believe that it will launch plenty of successful music careers, “says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “Universal Music has already shown interest in signing some of the other talent as well and more announcements will be made soon.

The Voice South Africa was produced for M-Net by AMPN and sponsored by Dialdirect.

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