16-Year-Old Ruby Leigh Stuns ‘The Voice’ Coaches with Yodeling Performance, Earns Rare Four-Chair Turn

Ruby even had Gwen Stefani and Reba McEntire yodeling from their seats!


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 27, 2023


6:34 pm

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Ruby Leigh; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

Ruby Leigh left The Voice coaches in awe following her incredible blind audition with a yodel-filled cover of Patsy Montana’s “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” 

Ruby, who hails from the tiny town of Foley, Missouri, delivered a performance unlike The Voice viewers have seen in the 24 seasons of the show. Full of confidence, the 16-year-old took to the stage with her guitar and incredible vocal abilities. Earning an impressive four-chair turn, Ruby had all of the coaches clamoring for her attention. 

Four-Chair Turn

John Legend, who was the first to turn his big red chair, was completely enamored with Ruby’s performance. 

Ruby Leigh; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Ruby Leigh; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

“I truly never heard anything like what you just did. Thank you. I loved how clear and precise and piercing and beautiful your tone was and then when you started doing the yodeling, it was like, how is a human being able to do the things that you’re doing? You can win The Voice,” he declared. “Honestly, I would love to coach you.” 

Gwen Stefani attempted to showcase her yodeling skills with hopes of landing Ruby Leigh on Team Gwen. 

“That was just cool,” she told her. “I yodel a lot, but you’re way better than me. There’s just something so powerful about being 16, playing the guitar, having a style with the way that you’re dressed, and I’m blown away by you and I would love to work with you.”


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Niall Horan was equally impressed. 

“The energy is just insane. We’ve got four chairs for a reason,” he said. “Whether we felt like we had a chance against Reba or not. The control and power that you’ve got at 16 is just insane. You’re really exciting and I would obviously love you to be on that team.” 


But, as viewers would expect, it was Reba McEntire, who had the deepest connection to the Missouri native. Ruby’s performance even had the country music icon yodeling from the coaches’ panel. 

“Ruby, as young as you are, being a fan of Patsy Montana, I’m a third-generation rodeo brat. So Patsy Montana, a country western singer, not just country. There is a difference. I’m very flattered, very proud of my heritage that you’re singing this song. Matter of fact, my mama could yodel and she taught me how to yodel,” Reba shared before yodeling from her seat. 

Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Reba McEntire; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Her yodeling drew a response from the audience, who was then asked to reveal which team they thought Ruby should join. One section of the audience then pulled out fake red wigs, signifying Ruby to join Team Reba.

As the crowd cheered, Niall exclaimed “I feel so sorry for us.” 

Team Reba

It turns out his prediction was correct as Ruby proclaimed, “I pick Reba.” 

Ruby Leigh; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Ruby Leigh; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

The “Fancy” singer jumped for joy and ran to join Ruby on stage to award her with some of Reba’s tots

“I didn’t know what I was looking for when I came on The Voice, because I’m new to this. When Ruby started yodeling was like, ‘holy crap, I really want her on my team!’ Ruby could be a star and have a huge following because she’s not afraid to go kind of against the grain of nowadays,” Reba said before adding, “I’m on fire. Reba is off to a great start!”

Carson Daly, Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan, Reba McEntire, John Legend; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC
Carson Daly, Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan, Reba McEntire, John Legend; Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC

Season 24 Underway

This blind audition aired during the second night of the official kick-off of Season 24 of The Voice, ushering in the new star-studded panel of coaches, which includes Niall Horan, John Legend, Reba McEntire and Gwen Stefani. 

Niall Horan returns for his second consecutive season, alongside Gwen Stefani and John Legend, both of whom have made their comebacks to The Voice following a brief hiatus. 

Meanwhile, Reba McEntire is making her debut as a coach on The Voice, replacing Blake Shelton, who announced his decision to step down from the singing competition earlier this year. Shelton appeared on The Voice for a total of 23 Seasons and holds the title of the longest and winningest coach in the history of the show with nine wins.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.