Legendary singer Nat King Cole's nephew has emerged as a frontrunner to win the new season of Australia's hit talent show The Voice.

Dreadlocked Lionel Cole, 40, wowed judges Kylie Minogue, Joel Madden, Ricky Martin and will.i.am as they kicked off season three of the programme on Sunday (04May14), with his rendition of his uncle's Unforgettable.

will.i.am said, "In this competition you’re going to bring a world of soul, depth and cool," while Minogue insisted on giving Cole a hug, stating, "You’re amazing."

The hopeful then revealed that he has worked with will.i.am before when his former band supported the Black Eyed Peas.