Ruby Leigh: Missouri teen shares what it’s like to compete on The Voice

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ST. LOUIS – Ruby Leigh is not your typical 16-year-old. The Missouri teen has been competing on NBC’s The Voice and has made it all the way to the top 12.

THE VOICE — “The Battles Part 4” Episode 2411 — Pictured: Ruby Leigh — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images)

Ruby is a self-taught singer/musician from Foley, Missouri. She has always been a country singer, and you can watch a video of her at the age of 13 singing a song called “Mercy Now.” Here is her video from the Voice Blind auditions, where she showcases her yodeling skills.

She said she’s always wanted to be a singer but doesn’t want to be labeled as a “country singer,” even though she admits that she started out in classic country music and is definitely a country girl, but she states that she can sing many styles of music.

“As soon as I found my voice, there was no stopping me. I told my dad the very first day after singing my very first song, “Daddy, I’m going to be a singer,” and I’m still trying to be that singer today,” said Leigh.

Leigh wanted to audition for The Voice but was aware that it would be difficult to get a spot unless a talent agency scouted or put her on the show. So her sister and Leigh decided to play a trick.

“My sister and I thought it would be hilarious if I would dress up in my most western outfit and then sing a heavy rock song,” Leigh said. “We got a response email like a few hours later saying ‘congratulations.’ We ran to our parents and told them what we did, and my dad said, ‘They probably got a huge laugh and sent it through to a larger group because they would get a laugh’.”

Well, after many rounds of cuts and congratulations emails, a producer from the show contacted the family and said that they felt that Leigh had an incredible country voice. They asked if Leigh would do some country song covers.

“We took it a lot more seriously, and you know the rest of the story I auditioned and went viral, trending on Billboard and YouTube world-wide. I still can’t believe it! God has truly blessed me,” said Leigh.

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Leigh secured a spot among the top 12 final contestants on The Voice, delivering a rendition of Linda Ronstadt’s classic, “Long, Long Time.” The performance garnered praise from the coaches on the set, but her coach, Reba McEntire, had an emotional response, saying that she was so proud of Leigh.

THE VOICE — “The Playoffs Part 2” Episode 2418 — Pictured: Ruby Leigh — (Photo by: Trae Patton via Getty Images)

“Honestly, I thought Reba was my only chance for a chair turn. Well, 19 seconds into John Legend turns before I even yodeled, and I thought, “I’m on team Legend,” and immediately I was thinking while I was singing, “OMG, Reba didn’t turn for you and she’s Country; she thinks you’re terrible.” I started yodeling, and she turned, and you can see the relief on my face when she did,” said Leigh. “I smiled and nodded my head to her and then my brain said, “You need to perform,” and then I got into it and Gwen turned, and then Niall turned as well.”

Leigh was still not sure if Reba wanted her on her team.

“But when the coaches were pitching themselves to me, I felt like Reba wasn’t really interested in me, and I was leaning really hard towards Niall because he was really pushing for me and Reba used something that they didn’t disclose on the show. Each coach had a trick they could use only once during the auditions to try to sway a contestant they really wanted, and it was the cardboard hair cutout of Reba’s hair. When she used it, my brain said, “She does love you,” but honestly, Niall is a huge supporter of me and my music and I think I would have done very well with him also.”

In the aftermath of her audition, Leigh found the experience to be nothing short of incredible. The entire episode was deemed a once-in-a-lifetime event by her and left an indelible mark on her memory.

Leigh said that her family has been very supportive through all these auditions. But she also added that her dad would have supported her through any positive choice she made.

“They are the most amazing parents ever! They are the most non-musical people ever! But they have supported me even when they had no idea if I had any talent at all,” said Leigh. “But my dad always says he would have supported me if I wanted to be a rodeo clown, a professional dog walker or a worm wrangler.”

THE VOICE — “The Knock Outs Part 4” Episode 2416 — Pictured: (l-r) Tom Nitti, Jordan Rainer, Ruby Leigh, Reba McEntire, Noah Spencer, Jacquie Roar — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images)

Leigh successfully navigated the playoffs, and The Voice Season 24 is set to kick off on Monday, December 4, at 8/7c on NBC.

“I will be performing hopefully for the next three weeks of the live shows of the Voice if everyone makes sure to vote for me,” said Leigh. “It’s up to America to vote their favorites through to the final show of five artists, where America picks the winner through their votes.”

If you’d like to watch Ruby’s latest performance, check out this link. If you would like to follow Ruby Leigh on social media, here are her Facebook page and Instagram.


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