Ella Henderson is undeniably one of the truest raw talents to ever emerge from The X Factor but, three years later and now headlining her first tour, the singer is certifiably a star in her own right. It was the second consecutive night that Henderson had graced the stage at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on 9 November 2015 but she performed like it was her first and made the audience feel just as special.
Perhaps telling of her humbleness, Henderson arrived on stage to no extravagant hoopla or fanfare but simply waved sweetly at her audience and launched straight into the opening track Glow. Often drawing comparisons to powerhouse singers before her including fellow X Factor alum Leona Lewis, Henderson's live vocals are instantly striking and bare little difference to the recorded version.
During the first quarter, the Lincolnshire-born songstress transitions seamlessly through album cuts such as Pieces, Empire and Mirror Man, the latter of which she wrote about "the most self-centered man [she has] ever met". This particular revelation was a little surprising as somehow, Henderson seems too nice to even have a bad thought about another person but thank goodness she did because it is one of the strongest tracks to shine from her debut LP.
Henderson's effortless knack of translating her emotions and anecdotes into a well-crafted song makes it so hard to believe that she is just 19 years old. Such a wise head on young shoulders is difficult to find in the music industry but it is a trait which separates Henderson from others her age. This is perhaps why there were few teeny-boppers in the audience and more of a mature crowd - clearly filled with those who appreciate a raw vocal performance than a show full of gimmicks.
When she finished in sixth place on The X Factor in 2012, it was suggested that Henderson was not ready for the notoriously tough and fickle music industry, much to the outrage of the public. However in hindsight, perhaps the judges and the public were right because Henderson has clearly grown in the last three years, coming into her own both as a young woman and a confident and professional artist.
Rarely taking a break during the one hour-plus set, Henderson's phenomenal vocals do not falter even when hitting the tricky high notes and maintaining spine-tingling falsettos. While she can belt out a ballad at the drop of a hat, Henderson may have struggled ever so slightly with the more uptempo numbers including her new single with Kygo, Here For You. It is a song which requires plenty of energy so it felt slightly displaced amongst the rest of her material but Henderson, clearly not a natural dancer, knows what suits her and did not go overboard on the choreographed routine with the help of her backing singers.
Completely shining on the upbeat Glitterball, her stunning collaboration with Sigma, Henderson made sure to make up for the lack of visual entertainment with crisp, high notes. Treating the audience to a three-song encore, which included showcasing her skills as a pianist on a stripped back version of Cher's Believe, Henderson rounded off with a show-stopping performance of "the song that started it all", her debut single Ghost.
Ever gracious, Henderson stated that she is thankful for the opportunities appearing on The X Factor has afforded her but truthfully her talent speaks for itself. As first tours go - especially for a teenager - this was a real treat.
The former X Factor contestant's powerhouse vocals outshone the intimate setting of London's Shepherd's Bush Empire. Henderson has proved herself to be an all-round artist with her talents extending beyond singing to songwriting and playing instruments. With the charts flooded with gimmicky artists and scantily-clad women, Henderson's maturity and class is entirely refreshing. A phenomenal show with an unstoppable voice.