The Voice UK contestant Jaz Ellington has revealed that the death of his close friend in a gang related attack in 2006 caused him to seriously pursue a music career.

Ellington’s friend Fabian Ricketts was 18 years old  when he was shot in the chest in south London after becoming involved in a gang dispute. The tragic incident inspired Ellington to write a song for him to express his emotions and help him deal with the loss.

I’ve gone through a lot of heartache and I’ve written about it. I lost Fabian a few years ago. It was like, ‘Wow, I’m never going to see you again’. The only way I could express that was in a song called Perfect Picture which I sang at his funeral. It was very hard to do but when I wrote the song I felt a bit better. It was really emotional, it was hard.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. When Fabian went that was a painful moment for me. I mean, you see these things on TV but when you’re involved yourself it’s madness.

The 28-year-old blew the judges away on Saturday night with his performance of Ed Sheeran’s A Team and then went on to move Will.I.Am and Jessie J to tears by singing John Legend’s Ordinary People, a song which Will co-wrote.

Will chose Ellington to be the final member of his team and even admitted that he thought the singer had delivered a better version of Ordinary People than John Legend himself.

He said:

Not only did he sing awesome but he blessed us with a better version of Ordinary People. His name is Jaz because that’s what he wants to do.