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16-year-old wows ‘The Voice’ judges with her piercing voice. Then she began yodeling.

Few music genres are as polarizing as country music. For the most part, you either love the twangy sounds of honky tonk, or it makes your ears bleed.

And perhaps nothing epitomizes this quite like yodeling (yes, yes, yodeling might have originations beyond country music, but nowadays it is very closely linked with country music).

Generally speaking, yodeling is often seen as something old-fashioned, annoying, even cartoony. More likely to be used as the butt of a joke—similar to bagpipes—rather than seen as the very difficult and otherworldly art form that it actually is.

But every so often, someone comes around to remind us that when done well, yodeling can feel just as dazzling as a Mariah Carey whistle tone.

And that person was 16-year-old singer Ruby Leigh, who left all four judges with their jaws on the floor for her first impression audition on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Hailing from a small town in Missouri, armed with her black guitar that perfectly matched her country western outfit, Leigh began singing Patsy Montana’s “I Want to Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.”

Almost immediately after she began battling her heart out, judge John Legend turned around in his seat.

But then, when she unleashed her secret weapon, all bets were off.

All three judges, including Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan and country western queen Reba McEntire turned around to see where such a piercing sound was coming from.

Plus…the camera pans over to Leigh’s mother, father and sister overcome with emotion as she lights up the stage. If you watch closely, you’ll even see Leigh’s father tearfully yelling “I told you, Ruby!” It’s seriously a bit of a tearjerker moment.


After Leigh finished her song, Stefani and McEntire both shared a little bit of their yodeling gifts, with McEntire sharing how “flattered” that the young performer honored a tradition passed down in her own family.

We might all have our individual tastes, but sometimes…good music is simply good music. It’s a gift when artists of any kind are able to transcend the limitation of genre or mainstream opinion and truly inspire people. Way to go Ruby.

Source: Upworthy
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