Talented youngster Courtney Hadwin played in front of her biggest crowd yet today – and brought the house down.
The 13-year-old, who reached the final of ITV talent show The Voice Kids this month, entertained more than 18,000 fans in South Shields.
The schoolgirl, of Hesledon, near Hartlepool, supported music legends Sister Sledge in the last of the South Tyneside Festival summer concerts at Bents Park.
Courtney was first onto the stage, and had the huge crowd on their feet throughout her energetic performance.
They gave her a rapturous reception after she completed her three-song set.
She said: “It was really, really exciting to play in front of so many people.
“I’ve never performed in front of a crowd as big as that before in person.
“It was a great experience to perform at a big open-air event like that, and hopefully I’ll get plenty more of them in the future.”
Courtney impressed judges on The Voice Kids with her rendition of Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits in the first blind audition, and made it all the way to the final.
She just missed out on the top prize with her rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s ‘And I’m Telling You’.
Today’s show brought the South Tyneside Festival summer concerts to an end, with the likes of Busted, KT Tunstall, Jedward and Louisa Johnson having taken to the stage there over the last four weeks.
Organisers invited Courtney to be a part of things after they were left hugely impressed with her performances on TV.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “The South Tyneside Festival Sunday Concert Series has always been about bringing big, headline names to South Shields while also giving young, up and coming musicians a platform to perform.
“Courtney is just 12-years-old but she has a fantastic voice and is very talented.
“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future, and it’s great that we were able to add her to the bill.”