The friends and family of Swadlincote singing sensation Kirby Frost have told of their pride that the teen is following her dream on top TV show The Voice.

Kirby, 18, has already appeared in the preliminary rounds of the ITV singing talent show.

She wowed judges including singing legend Sir Tom Jones, pop chart topper Olly Murs, American singer Jennifer Hudson and, best known for founding the Black Eyed Peas, to gain a place on 'team Olly' and will take part in the battle stages tonight Saturday, March 3.

The singing competition, which is aired every Saturday night, sees talented hopefuls battle it out to progress to the next stage, while being mentored by one of the judges.

The youngster, who went to William Allitt School, in Newhall, says she has wanted to be a singer since she was a little girl and appearing on the show is a dream come true.

Now her mum Bev, best friends and members from her community have told how they always knew she was going to be a star.

A medium told Kirby's mum when she was six that the former William Allitt pupil would make it on the stage

Bev, 47, counts herself as her daughter's "biggest fan" and said she was told by a medium when Kirby was just six years old that she could see the little girl making it on the big stage.

Bev said: "Kirby has always loved performing for us and used to do her own little shows around the house. She had short hair and would make us buy her wigs so she could swing it about.

"She also used to tell everyone while we were out and about that her name was Avril Lavigne!

"She danced with Charlie’s Angels and Theatre Cats stage school in Burton so performing has always been in her. Even from a very young age she used to listen to lots of CD's, everything from nursery rhymes to That is What I Call Music. She always picked lyrics up very quickly and could sing in key even when little.

"For her 15th birthday me and her dad Miles, 46, treated Kirby to a two-hour session in a recording studio and she has never looked back since. I remember taking her to a Jessie J concert and that is when she realised her dream.

Kirby Frost performing on The Voice

"She stood crying in the middle of the crowd and said, 'one day I want to be on that stage'. We both cried and look where she is now."

Bev said she is Kirby's biggest fan but also her biggest critic.

She said: "It is absolutely surreal but I am not surprised she has it in her. Me and her dad are so, so, so proud of what she’s achieved. Kirby really is a beautiful girl inside and out. She is caring and my best friend."

Kirby's talent has also seen her gain a legion of fans and supporters with her old school and even MPs Heather Wheeler and Andrew Griffiths wishing her luck for the next stage of the competition.

Staff at William Allitt School, in Sunnyside, where Kirby used to be a pupil said they are "immensely proud" of her.

Headteacher Jackie Cooper said: "During her time at William Allitt, she performed at lots of events in school and audiences were amazed at her skill. We all wish her lots of success in the future."

Miss Wain, who taught Kirby in mathematics and computing, added: "Kirby was an absolute star and we all knew she was going to be a big music star one day, despite how humble she was.

"She was a lovely girl and a pleasure to have in the form. She even had to sit exams the day after gigs and auditions, however, she was extremely professional and knew she could not turn her back on her education. I am extremely proud that her hard work has paid off."

Swadlincote girl Kirby Frost is has made it through the first stage of the Voice, dropped into the Burton Mail office to meet up with senior reporter Rhea Turner
Kirby's mum Bev said she always knew she was going to be a star

While Mrs Webster, another of Kirby’s teachers who works in the Pastoral team, said: "Kirby was a wonderful asset to the school, one who I was proud to have in my year group.

"She worked hard in all of her lessons and excelled within music. Kirby was very much liked by both staff and students, always with a smile. Kirby was a credit to The William Allitt School."

Kirby's success has also attracted the attention and support of South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler, who called Kirby’s first audition "spine-tingling."

She said: "Kirby’s blind audition was spine-tingling and it is brilliant to have someone so talented flying the flag for Swadlincote and South Derbyshire.

"The local area will be right behind Kirby for her TV appearance this weekend and I wish her all the best in following her dream of becoming a singing star."

Kirby is pictured as a child, donning a wig with microphone in hand

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, added: "I know Kirby is from Swadlincote but everyone locally and across Burton is getting behind her.

"It is great to see a local girl doing so well and I am sure she will do us all proud. I will certainly be following her progress through the competition and I wish her all the very best."

Standing by her side no matter the outcome are Kirby’s best friends who say she is "the most deserving person."

The 18-year old has thanked locals who have supported her on her journey

Lauren Thompson,18, from Swadlincote, said: "Kirby is the most deserving person. She has worked so hard to get to this stage and I know everyone is so proud of her.

"She goes through life with such a warning smile and bubbly personality. She is such a joy to be around and has 2changed my life for the better.

No matter where this opportunity takes her she will always be that little girl I met all those years ago, who just so happened to become my best friend."

Alisha Khan,17, from Burnaston, added: "I am so proud of Kirby for her amazing achievements in everything she does.

"I couldn't ask for a better friend who is always there for me and makes me laugh every day, without fail. I am so excited to be there along this amazing journey with Kirby and wish her all the luck in the battles."

The ex-William Allitt School pupil performed for Sir Tom Jones, Olly Murs, Jennifer Hudson and

Taelah Lawrence, 17, from Burton, also had a few kind words for her friend. She said: "Although I have only known Kirby for a year and a half I cannot describe how grateful I am for her being one of my best friends.

"Her talent always leaves me speechless every single time without a doubt and I witness her bettering herself and working hard on what she has every day. I am incredibly proud of her!

"She is someone that I strongly look up to because not only is she developing well by herself but she has definitely helped make a difference to my confidence too as she is so encouraging and genuine and wants nothing but the best for the people closest to her.

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"I am so excited to see what becomes of her because I know she is is going to make us all proud and I, along with a lot of others, am going to be behind her every step of the way."

Kirby's manager Adam Cornes, 39, from Burton, added: "The first time I heard Kirby sing I knew she was something special. Kirby is unique, current, improving every day and I love working with her."

Kirby will face off against another member of Team Olly in the battle stages tonight. The Voice will start at 8.30pm on ITV.

How does The Voice work?

The first stage is the blind auditions, in which the four coaches, listen to the contestants in chairs facing away from the stage so as to avoid seeing them.

If a coach likes what they hear from that contestant, they press a button to rotate their chairs to signify that they are interested in working with that contestant.

If more than one coach presses their button, the contestant chooses the coach he or she wants to work with.

The contestants who successfully pass the blind auditions proceed to the battle rounds, where the coaches put two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal face-off, the coach must choose only one to advance.

The penultimate round before the live finals is the Knockouts. This is where the six singers from each coach’s team have to perform again for survival, with the number of singers being halved.

Only three from each team will be successful and make it through to the live shows, meaning that we will be left with a total of 12 finalists for the live shows.