TRIBUTES have been paid to an adulated Cumbrian vocalist who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent following her passing.

Emma Jones, from Wigton, passed away at the Cumberland Infirmary on February, 14 following a battle with cancer. 

The 32-year-old gained national recognition back in 2015 when she overcame nerves to wow the likes of Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon with a rendition of Ave Maria, a performance that was followed by a standing ovation.

Her angelic voice and talent propelled her into the semi-finals of the show, where she continued to captivate audiences with her powerful performance of Pie Jesu.

Speaking on behalf of Emma’s family, John Hastings, a dear friend and former partner, described how he will miss her ‘personality, smile and gorgeous voice’.

He described her passing as a 'shock', especially poignant as it occurred on Valentine’s Day, eight years after they first celebrated the holiday together. 

“As a person she was lovely, everyone wanted to be with her,” John said.

Recalling one of their nights out to Carlisle after she was on TV, John said everyone wanted to “get a selfie with her - even Collabro when they met at Carlisle's Christmas festival in 2015."

In a heartfelt eulogy at Allonby’s Christ Church on May 1, John recalled the first time he encountered Emma busking outside Barclays in Carlisle in 2013. 

“Like everyone else in Cumbria, I was both proud and touched by her exploits on Britain's Got Talent, when she overcame her nerves to wow the judges and viewers - the applause made her cry, but I knew these were good tears,” he said.

“It's a great shame that we will never see her again, but we still have her performances online to cherish and fondly remember her by." 

Beyond her success on the television stage, Emma was a familiar face at Wigton's John Peel Theatre Open Mic Nights and dedicated her time to volunteering at Carlisle’s British Heart Foundation.

Another good friend of Emma's, Judith Parr, described Emma as 'incredibly brave'. 

"She struggled with lots of things throughout her life but fought each one and bounced back after each setback. 

"She was always eager to learn and loved sharing with others.

"Her beautiful voice brought joy to many.

"She was much loved in the various choirs, churches, and groups that she joined and throughout the community of Wigton.

"She will be much missed by many," she said. 

Emma's musical performances are available to watch on Youtube.