Teen Yodeler Earns 4-Chair Turn With One-Of-A-Kind Performance On “The Voice”
Greg Gayne/NBC/The Voice/YouTube
A talented 16-year-old from a little Missouri town earned a 4-chair turn with her performance of Patsy Montana’s “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.”
Ruby Leigh from Foley, Missouri, quickly caught the attention of The Voice coaches during Tuesday night’s Blind Auditions as she started to sing Patsy Montana’s 1935 country western tune, “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” And yes, there is a difference between “country music” and “country western music,” Reba reminded us.
Coach John Legend turned his chair right away, and the other three held off as long as they could. But, when the teen started yodeling, it proved irresistible for Gwen, Niall and Reba who enthusiastically turned for the singer.
As Ruby sang the toe-tapping tune, her parents and sister were shown overcome with emotion as they watched from the sideline. Her dad’s tears were enough to make viewers cry tears of their own.
Following Ruby Leigh’s performance, the coaches heaped praise on the singer.
Coach John Legend said, “I’ve truly never heard anything like what you just did. I loved how clear and precise and piercing and beautiful your tone was. When you started yodeling it was like…how is a human being able to do the things that you’re doing?”
Niall Horan agreed, saying: “The energy is just insane. You got four chairs for a reason….The control and power that you’ve got at 16 is just insane. You’re really exciting and I would obviously love for you to be on my team.”
New coach Reba McEntire was impressed with Ruby’s love for classic country western music and then proceeded to show off her own yodeling skills.
It’s no surprise that when it came time to choose her coach, Ruby Leigh chose to join Team Reba. The talented teen took to Instagram following the show to share her excitement.
“TEAM REBA BABY!!” Ruby captioned a photo of herself in Reba’s red chair. “What a journey…From starting at playing to maybe 2 people a night in bars to getting my wonderful fan base my FanAmilY to playing on tv to 10 million people.. that’s crazy to think about. This has been such a rollercoaster but this is only the beginning….The best is yet to come!”
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Learn more about Ruby Leigh
Ruby Leigh Pearson knew at 9-years-old that she wanted to be a singer. It was a talent that she discovered somewhat accidentally when her dad heard her singing along with the radio. He told her she sounded good and encouraged her to learn all of the words to the song, Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues,” and come back to his car shop and sing it for him again. Her dad was blown away that she learned every word in an hour and sang it perfectly to boot.
Ruby’s singing voice came as a surprise because no one else in her family shares that talent. “No one sings, no one plays instruments, there are no musical aspects to my family except for me,” she told St. Louis television station KSDK. “I come from a very non-musical family.”
Ruby’s dad recorded her singing at age 9 and posted it to YouTube. The response was overwhelming and served as just the encouragement Ruby needed to keep singing. She learned more songs, priding herself in the fact that she never relies on lyric sheets and can memorize every word.
She continued to sing and take advantage of every opportunity that came her way. In an interview in 2022, Ruby recalled a fateful meeting with country legend Micky Gilley who became a mentor to her.
“[Mickey Gilley] gave me lots of advice and never talked to me like a little kid. He always made me feel like a legitimate artist,” Ruby shared. “Mickey said, ‘Ruby, I have some advice for you! And now you can do whatever you want with it….drop off your last name. You already have the perfect name, Ruby Leigh.'”
Watch Ruby Leigh’s Voice audition in the video below.