The singing chops of 16-year-old Ruby Leigh led to her first chair turn during her blind audition on “The Voice.”
It was her yodeling that led to a coveted 4-chair turn.
Leigh, from Foley, Missouri, performed Patsy Montana’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” during her audition on “The Voice,” which aired Tuesday, Sept. 26. Foley is about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Twenty-five seconds into Leigh’s performance, John Legend turned his chair toward Leigh, leading to a fist pump from the teen’s mother shown off stage. Legend’s action meant he could now see Leigh and potentially be her coach, but the show’s other three coaches quickly followed.
Gwen Stefani, Reba McEntire and Niall Horan each swiveled their chairs for Leigh as her singing turned into yodeling.
“I’ve truly never heard anything like what you just did,” Legend later told her. “I loved how clear and precise and piercing and beautiful your tone was. Then when you started doing your yodeling, it’s like how is a human being able to do the things that you’re doing? You could win ‘The Voice,’ honestly.”
Stefani said she was “blown away” by Leigh, and Horan commented on the teen’s energy.
“The control and power you’ve got at 16 is just insane. You’re really exciting,” Horan said.
Leigh chose McEntire, who is a yodeler herself. McEntire, in her first season on “The Voice,” told Leigh she was flattered and proud Leigh was honoring her heritage by singing the 1935 song.
“When Ruby started yodeling, it was like, ‘Holy crap. I really want her on my team,’” McEntire said. “Ruby could be a star and have a big following.”
Leigh told KSDK she began performing when she was 9 years old, despite no one in her family having a musical background.
“No one sings, no one plays instruments, there are no musical aspects to my family except for me,” she told the station. “I come from a very non-musical family.”
She said in an Instagram post her musical journey has been a “roller coaster” but said “this is only the beginning.”