Episode 039 - Ruby Leigh Shares Untold Stories From The Voice

Tune in as Ruby Leigh bares her soul, revealing the raw emotions and untold stories that shaped her unforgettable journey on The Voice. Ruby's revelations will leave listeners on the edge of their seats, from her jaw-dropping encounter with industry legends Reba McEntire, and Wynonna Judd to the heart-pounding moments before stepping onto the stage.

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Podcast Transcript

Ruby Leigh: You know, it was just like, it was such a hard time we lost like everything. Like it got to the point where we were living on ramen noodles for like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So it was like a really, really hard time I was almost four. And it's so weird because like those traumatic things like will stick with you.  

Taylor McAdams: Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Kick Your Boots Up podcast. We're so excited to be here with Ruby Leigh, we got to learn more about her. But before we do, don't forget to hit the LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, and SHARE button share with all your friends tell us tell them where and when went tell us where and when you heard this episode. Be sure to give us some feedback, too. We want to hear from you. This girl needs no introduction. Her reputation precedes her. She's so young but has such a good just degree of information. She's a wealth of so many titles, you've done so many things starting at the age of I mean, oh my goodness, six. I mean, as soon as you could start singing you were singing. So I'm just gonna go through a little bit of some of the things that she got to do recently, she was on season 24 of The Voice on team Reba, which you guys know is one of our girls as well. We love Reba. We love everything she does, including the line that we have here at Justin. So that's a really cool tie-in as well. She's from Foley, Missouri, which I thought had 96 people but you said it's 68-68 people a small tiny town. I love the humor that her and her sister have about it all. And the biggest thing to note here is Ruby Leigh is 16 years old. So Ruby Leigh, thank you for being here. We appreciate you taking the time before your show to get to know us a little bit better. And for us to get to know you and share your story. Did you have to skip school to be here? I know you're homeschooled. But

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, um, no, I didn't.

Taylor McAdams: That's good. You got all your work done. You got it all figured out. And you actually got to do a we're gonna do a gig. And so we booked you we love it. We're everyone here has been talking about you. I hope you know that. No pressure. Everyone's like, okay, so Ruby Leigh gonna be here, not the fact like we're having a party or we're gonna give them free food. They're like Ruby Leigh. How does that make you feel at 16 years old, but everyone, like grown men are here like everyone is here to see you?

Ruby Leigh: I love it. I am super excited. And I think it's gonna be a lot of fun. Yeah. And it's just really cool that people know who I am now. It’s really cool.

Taylor McAdams: Okay, so it's funny that you mentioned that then let's talk about that a little bit. Because you truly went from one of the 68 people in Polimoda of Missouri, to now a household name. Everyone talks about you? Reba knows you. Niall knows you, John knows you. I mean, all these people, they now know who Ruby Ruby Leigh is? And what does that like for you? I mean, literally, you went from 60 people to big stages.

Ruby Leigh: It's quite incredible. I like walking out on the stage, just knowing like, Reba McIntyre's are like, John Legend, and Niall. It's just like, super amazing. I was always like, super excited, like, oh my gosh, like the crowd, you know, it's like, I always made it a point to like, perform for, you know, not only the people watching through TV, you know, like the crowd and you know, the coaches. So it was just amazing. Such a wonderful, wonderful experience,

Taylor McAdams: wonderful experience for a 16-year-old at that, too. I know, several people that have like, tried to get to the voice, or they've made it through some of the prelims or whatever, and never made it to the big stage. So I gotta commend you. And I know, we'll get into that more a little bit when we talk more about The Voice, but I want to know you because you have such a cool relationship with your family. Your mom and dad are behind the scenes doing what they do. They got to be on The Voice as well, doing all the talking with all I mean, they got to meet all the people that you got to me, and they're not only your biggest fans, but they're now becoming a little bit of your managers, or maybe your mom and your dad adjure as we would say, along with your fanily. You know, I get that I say that right. Fan-

Ruby Leigh: FANimily.

Taylor McAdams: Okay, yeah. So they're part of that they're leading the nation there. And then your sister handling your merch and all of that. What's the family element? Like for that? I mean, having everyone along on the road with you?

Ruby Leigh: It's amazing, you know, you know, especially being on the show, like my sister's like the biggest Gwen Stefani fan.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, I saw that she was so like, aaaaaaa!

Ruby Leigh: I know, I was like, you know, her being there. I was like, the only thing I wanted just I really want her to meet her. Because, you know, like, Gwen is so amazing. 

Taylor McAdams: Yeah. 

Ruby Leigh: It was just such a wonderful experience. And my family is so supportive. Like, they've been supporting me since the very beginning, probably even before like, like, they, it's really like, hard to explain, you know, like, they believe in me from like, very like day one. And, you know, I remember when I was nine years old, when I started singing, I, I told my dad, I'm like, You know what, I'm going to be a singer. And I don't think my dad believed me at that point, but I think he does now, but-

Taylor McAdams: Oh, for sure. And he did deep down as your dad. He was probably like, Okay, we need to get this girl some voice lessons or something. So, you know, that's really cool, too. I love that. I used to say I grew up in the era of Hannah Montana. Do you even know Hannah Montana? Okay, okay. Well, that's good. I love how versed you are on all the musicians, but I would put on concerts like, especially in the shower, but more specifically in the yard, and I would have choreographed backup dancers that didn't exist, but they were like they're, you know, and so I relate to you so much, even though there's there's a huge difference. I don't sing and you do so if anyone heard me they would be like that. No. But anyway, moving on to that I saw on a live recently that you guys were just literally sitting in the car, you're talking to all your fans, people are interacting. They're asking you questions. Are you coming to this state? Are you coming to here? At 16 years old is that hard to keep up with hard to process hard to move through? You know, that so many people are asking so many things of you. And you're like, I don't even know what I'm gonna eat for lunch right now. 

Ruby Leigh: Exactly. Yeah, um, you know, it's definitely different. It's like one of those like, it's, it's such a weird feeling, like, going live. And like, there's so many people from all these different states that, like, know who I am. And they want me to come there, like, they want to see me. It's just, it's shocking and really cool. At the same time, so like, I'm still getting used to it. I mean, it's only been like, a month since the last episode aired. So

Taylor McAdams: I know. It's all still so new and fresh. And it probably feels like a dream still. Yeah, kind of totally does. Yeah. Like when you woke up the next day, you're probably like, What the heck is going on? But along the same lines, there were so many people there that were in the audience cheering you on. But the one specific person I have a question about at The Voice was Carson Daly was did you get to hang out with him much at all? Was he fun? Was he? 

Ruby Leigh: I mean? Yeah, I've met him a few times. I mean, obviously, like, after the rounds, you'd be there. Yeah. Yeah, he's pretty cool.Very calm.

Taylor McAdams: That's very cool. Really, okay. I kind of see -I see kind of seeing him as like, you know, super energetic or whatever. So that's cool. That's cool. And then I have another question too, because Gwen and Blake are together obviously, was Blake ever there. Did you get to meet Blake as well?

Ruby Leigh: I did not.

Taylor McAdams: That's okay. Another day. He's, I'm from Oklahoma. He's a fellow Okie. So I just assumed like, Oh, that's cool. But what did it like? What did it feel like for you then to have? I mean, Niall Horan?  Like he told you, I want to I want to get the words right. So let me find it really quick. Because he had like, the most cool quote, he said, you're from a different planet. Like he's fun and different anyway. But like, what did that mean? Because like, that's just got to be so cool. I was like, I wish you could frame that. Right? Like, 

Ruby Leigh: oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, me growing up before I found country, I was like, the biggest One Direction fan you've ever seen. You know, I was like, I love One Direction. And, you know, going there, I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm just Naill Horan. And being backstage like after my my knockout performance, he came out like, arms wide open. He's like Ruby, I'm such a huge fan. I'm like, I feel like we should be switching spots. I'm like, This doesn't seem real. He was like my biggest cheerleader on the show. He was really just so amazing. Like, I was telling people I'm like, I don't think he would have cared either way who won? Yeah, it's just so proud of everyone. Yeah. Yeah, he was just really, really cool. And yeah, he was like my biggest cheerleader on the show throughout the entire time. 

Taylor McAdams: That is so awesome to hear. Because you get to work with so many people and to have him kind of take you on as like that big brother role. I think that's like, super cool and sets you apart. But one thing too, that I think sets you apart from all the rest is I saw a video and of course, I creeped you because I was like, I want to know, at 13 years old, I you're probably in a bar of Dancehall or something and you sing the song Shallow. Do you remember this performance that I'm talking about? Probably not. Because I've seen it so many times. But the way you built it out like that I was like at 13 years old. I can't imagine what you could do now and then and then now I do know what you can do now. That's just so so mind-boggling to me. 

Ruby Leigh: Thank you. 

Taylor McAdams: But I do want to kind of get back into The Voice questions. And really, you had a lot of different song choices like your first one you saying was Cowboy Sweetheart. How did you pick that song specifically? Did you know that that was like yodeling was the move for you?

Ruby Leigh: You know, um, yodeling is something that I definitely wanted to do on the show because I feel like it showcases who I am a little bit. Oh, yeah. And you know, the song is by Patsy Montana. Her real name is Ruby Blevins. So-

Taylor McAdams: I didn't know that. Yeah. 

Ruby Leigh: Okay. So I was like, that's a really cool connection. And 

Taylor McAdams: Ruby. Ruby.

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, she was the first woman to ever sell a million records. And it was with that song. So I was like, You know what, it's got yodeling like we have the connection there. I was like, I just really want to do the song. And I didn't know if it was the right move or not. Like going into it. I was like, will I will anybody turn I thought my only shot was Reba.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, it makes sense it's like your brand's align. Yeah, exactly. One person got it.

Ruby Leigh: Yeah. And then when John turned first, I was like, Oh, my Gosh. Yeah. 

Taylor McAdams:  Reba didn't turn until you started yodeling. Yeah. Which I was like, okay. That means she respect you even more though, too. She really took the time to listen. She could hit the notes. 

Ruby Leigh: She told me after that. Actually, they didn't air it. But she told me you know, I waited so long because when you started off so high, I just knew that you were gonna fall apart because it only gets higher. So she said, I waited because I wanted to hear that. And she said as soon as you didn't fall apart, that's when I hit my button. So it was really just a really cool moment. Yeah,

Taylor McAdams: because it was like literally, yeah, John turned first and then immediately they're like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. How do Do you keep singing whenever they were turning?

Ruby Leigh: You know what? It's so crazy? A lot of people like, you know, like the TV show Magic, Of course. Yeah.  

Taylor McAdams: Right now what.are you talking about? No, I'm just kidding.  

Ruby Leigh: But I mean, like the buttons don't do anything, like you don't hear them turn around. Stop it. I know. I know.  

Taylor McAdams: It's all added in post. Yeah, now we know. Thank you.

Ruby Leigh: But you know, so I they didn't tell me that so like when John turned first I was looking at Reba chair you know, because I'm like, this week we're gonna turn or not because, you know, yeah,

Taylor McAdams: I thought I cared about her. Yeah, like,

Ruby Leigh: I like, I figured she was my only shot like the only person that would turn for me. And then when John turn, like I saw it on the corner, my eyes like cheer lit up, and then turn and I was like, Oh, my gosh, I'm like your team legend, I guess. Okay. And then, then Reba turned around. You know, before we returned in my mind, after John turn, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I'm like Team legend. That was like, but Reba didn't turn and she's in your genre. She thinks you're horrible. And then she turned. And that's why I smiled so big. Everyone talks about how, yeah, so um, you know, it wasn't like, I went in, like, knowing that Reba was my pick. Yeah. You know, I just thought that she was the only one that was going to turn for 

Taylor McAdams: business wise, it makes sense. 

Ruby Leigh: Absolutely. Yeah. So, like us being country. I figured, you know, obviously, I'm right. Maybe Reba? Yeah, but Yeah, honestly, it was a hard decision, because, you know, they were fighting really hard. And I was like, I love Reba. But I'm like, I need someone that really wants me I need to know that they want me, you know, and then reboot us to our trick, which was the fake hair. 

Taylor McAdams: And that was awesome, by the way. Like, how could you say no? 

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, I'm like, I have to pick. So obviously, I picked Reba and we we went pretty far.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah, you did? Then there's a lot to unpack there. But before we do, I've got to get back to one more thing because,   Reba McEntire Hey there, It’s Reba McEntire, the Justin cowboy Crisis Fund has been crucial to the rodeo community for more than 30 years, over $9 million has been awarded to the rodeo athletes and their family so far. I love that 100% of every dollar you and I contribute to the Justin cowboy Crisis Fund goes directly to those injured cowboys, cowgirls, and their families. So please donate today at Justin cowboy Crisis Fund We really appreciate it.

Taylor McAdams: The second that it was all over. I kind of have a two parter here. The first part is, did it really take a long to like, did it take longer than the TV made it seem for them to pick because on TV, it seemed fairly fast. You know, it was like, or for you to pick, it seemed fairly fast. Was it like 30 minutes? How long was it in real life?

Ruby Leigh: For my audition, I was on stage for over an hour. And that's all of the coaches talking. I sing a second song for Reba? I mean, Niall asked, actually, now I was like, Do you sing any Reba songs? So like, that's funny. I'm like, Yeah, I do, actually. And then Reba was like, well let it wrap. And I'm like, okay, so I sing a second song for Reba. And, you know, it was it was a long time. That's why it was so hard for me to pick like, the only air like five minutes. And but like, yeah, that time I was like, oh my gosh, 

Taylor McAdams: Did you truly go back and forth?

Ruby Leigh: I really did. I really did. At the very end, like, I was like, you know, like, obviously, you have to like narrow it down. Like yeah, really wants to help me. Yeah, we're

Taylor McAdams: How could you do the best? How could you succeed the most? 

Ruby Leigh: Exactly. Yeah. Like I was really looking between Niall and Reba. I was very close to picking Niall at one point. And then, obviously,Reba did her trick because the whole time, she was like sitting there just smiling at me. And Niall was like, banging on the chair like being dramatic.

Taylor McAdams: You're right. Yeah. 

Ruby Leigh: So I was like, Okay, maybe now wants to be more. Yeah. Because, you know, in my mind, I'm like, I can't just pick Rebajust because IU’m country.

Taylor McAdams: you're exactly right. Good for you at 16, and know that. Honestly.

Ruby Leigh: I mean, it was it was definitely a hard decision. Yeah. Obviously, like when she used her trick. I'm like, I have to go with Reba

Taylor McAdams: okay, and then okay, so that was the first part. My second part to that was one thing that stood out to me was Gwen Stefani was yodeling. At one point, things got really crazy for you Ruby Leigh. like Gwen Stefani the Hollaback girl the girl that I know she was the yodeling for you. That was so cool. And then Reba Yodeled? Did you guys ever get a chance to like have a moment of yodeling? Did you ever have like behind the scenes? You know, like you Gwen, Reba yodeling. If not, let's make it happen. 

Ruby Leigh: A trio? Me and Reba yodel together, did you? I didn't get a chance to with Gwen because obviously, like, you know, they all the days that they do it, it's like separate days. Okay. So it's like, maybe like Niall and Reba’s team will be on one day and then went to John. So like, you don't see them all.

Taylor McAdams: You didn't get that as much intimate interaction.

Ruby Leigh: I mean, I did get to see them. Like, obviously after the performance they get through backstage. Right. We're all sitting back there. Yeah. So I did get to see them a lot after performances, and that's where I met most of them. But obviously like rehearsal with Reba sometimes, like Niall would be there. Usually it was Reba and Gwen Stefani , you know, and I've seen one a few times. She actually said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that I was her favorite on the show. I was like, Whoa, it was crazy. 

Taylor McAdams: Oh my gosh, I know another moment that if we could frame sound bites and put them on the wall, that's exactly. Wow.

Ruby Leigh: It was just it was insane. John said the same thing. He didn't say that in the interview. But he him and Gwen Stefani told me behind the scenes, like that's really cool. And then my sister sent me this. She was like, Oh my gosh, did you see this? I'm like, no, what is this? So she sent me this clip. And it's Gwen Stefani talking on like, this huge, like, you know, news platform and saying that I'm her favorite, and she still had her whole team was like, that's insane.

Taylor McAdams: That is, yeah, that's truly insane. And I think it's worth mentioning. I know, this wasn't in rehearsal that you mentioned rehearsing with Reba and all that. One of your coaches. One one week was Wynonna Judd. And girl I love me some Wynonna the Judds I grew up listening. Then my parents did too. What was Wynonna like? because she really took what I thought was cool was she took like, a special interest in you. She maybe felt like, saw you as a daughter figure or sister figure something. So what just tell us about that moment, and like, what it was like getting constructive criticism, because a lot of people don't like that either. Like a lot of people don't want to do better. And so for you, you were like, Okay, I'll go higher. I'll go lower. I'll do that. Because she wanted you to sound like professional and real, because she knew you could do it. She knew you had it. Yeah.

Ruby Leigh: Yeah. It was amazing. Like, obviously, you don't know who it is. They don't tell you beforehand. Like they really know like, you have no idea who it is.

Taylor McAdams: Really? So when you walked in, it was a full It was a shock the way you reacted.

Ruby Leigh: Absolutely. And you know, like, obviously, I was sitting back there. And I'm like, Who is it? I'm like, I hope it's someone I know. Like, I don't want to walk in and be like, imagine. Yeah, like someone I'm like, Hi.

Taylor McAdams: Do you want me to sing one of your songs? Good. Let me Google it really quick.

Ruby Leigh: That would be like, what's your name? Do you play any? It's like, yeah, so I was like, Oh, my gosh, I hope it's someone I know. And then when I walked in, I was like, so loud. I'm like, why? No, no. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, you screamed it out. So embarrassing. 

Taylor McAdams: So one of the other redheaded queens. Exactly. Yeah.

Ruby Leigh: And, you know, it was like, a lot of like, the country, people on the show didn't know who it was. And I'm like, 

Taylor McAdams: Okay, first of all disappointment. I'm disappointed.

Ruby Leigh: I know. I was like, how do you not know who I know, John? And you know, like, they're so iconic. Yeah, so it was specially cool. For me. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, like Reba and Wynonna? And then obviously for the top 12 They had Chance The Rapper and Reba. Oh, yeah. Like when I walked in? I'm like, what an interesting duo.

Taylor McAdams: What an interesting situation we have going on? Yeah,

Ruby Leigh: I walked in. I'm like, you really don't expect that? No. Yeah, he was awesome. So he was really really cool. Yeah, but it was just like, a great time. Like, I was just like, expecting like, Who's it gonna be?

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, yeah. Well, we're almost out of time. But I do have to ask you one week oh, there towards the end you Sang long, long time. And I love that they did your makeup, they made it look like you had to your drops, you know, with the rhinestones or whatever. How did you channel such hurt or, like, such a sad emotion and then, like still seeing and still handle all the pressure too because that's hard, like 16? You know, I'm not just kind of anything you've experienced, but you haven't had a lot of like, true heartbreak from boys, even if you have you know, so how did you how did you channel that?

Ruby Leigh: You know, um, also, first thing about the makeup, that was my idea. They weren't going to do it. And, you know, they put it on. And, you know, the lady was like, you know, I don't know if they'll clear this for the show. And I'm like, oh, please do and they did. I was like, Oh, yeah. So anyway, long story short, you know, doing the song. I was in a tornado when I was younger. And you know, like, there was a lot of like, emotional, like, pain that came with that. You know, it was just like, it was such a hard time we lost like everything. Like it got to the point where we are living on ramen noodles for like breakfast, lunch and dinner. So it was like a really, really hard time I was almost four. And it's so weird, because like those traumatic things like will stick with you like, yeah, you forget so many, like great things that have happened, but like anything that's traumatic, like, you'll always remember that. And, you know, like, going through with like, the sad songs. I was like, I have to like dig deep and like channel something like that, you know, even though like I haven't, like been through a heartbreak or something like that. 

Taylor McAdams: Yeah. 

Ruby Leigh: I was just like, You got to connect with the feelings that you had to really sell the song because, you know, a lot of people don't think about it. But being a musician, you're also an actor. Yeah. Because you can't get up there and like smile and sing blue because then they're gonna be like, she's just singing that doesn't line up. Yeah, it doesn't make sense. 

Taylor McAdams: Well, you're a performer for a reason you perform. 

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So it's really like, like, a musical. I guess. It's just Yeah, it's like this acting. So I think I did really well, with the long run time. I was like, who did a lot of people's favorites that we wish we'd heard obviously,

Taylor McAdams: of course, beginning at you like really went in with a bang went out with a bang. It was great. Yeah.

Ruby Leigh: I mean, it was really, really cool. I had a great time on the show. 

Taylor McAdams: No, it looked like it to like you truly were like living in every moment, all of it. And I know we're I, like I said almost out of time, unfortunately. But the last question I want to ask, I always asked someone on this podcast, what's your best piece of advice for whatever, whatever. But what's your best piece of advice for someone that's going to go through a TV show like that? Because like I said, there's all kinds of shows out there. There's American Idol, The Voice all of them, and you have to go through a strenuous process to get to TV. And a lot of people don't know that. It's like dedication, you have to make the cut. So what's your best piece of advice there? 

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, I mean, a lot of people think that you just audition and then they call and they're like, Hey, man, on the show. 

Taylor McAdams: You won a million dollars! 

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, exactly. So like going through and doing the audition process, like how long it is, I sent in my first video audition in November, and I was on stage for my actual blind performance that was in June. So all those months is all casting, all cuts, even being flown out for the show. You're there for two months, and you can you're not promised an audition, like you can be cut being in there. Like on the day that they tell you you're gonna perform. And you'd be like, Sorry, we don't have room for you to try it next season. Like I had friends next to me that they did that to. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, are they going down the line? Am I next? So I would just say like, be yourself? Um, definitely. I mean, there's a lot of like, stress with being on a show like that. Yeah. And that, I mean, obviously, there's a lot of like, great memories to be made being on the show. But, like, you know, sometimes there can be drama. You know, obviously, it's a competition show.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah. So yeah, we watched some drama. You want some like competition? 

Ruby Leigh: Yeah, exactly. So, you know, just like, work hard. Do you know, do whatever your coach tells you to do? You know, that was one thing that I like, really, like paid attention to anything that rabid had to say, I'm just like, I'll do that. So yeah, just be yourself and do what you want to do.

Taylor McAdams: That is so wise, for 16 years old. Truly, I'm like, I need to take some of that advice. Not for the musical shows. But just in life, like things happen. People get fired, you know, all this stuff. Like, you just got to take it and leave it and love and be yourself. And that was so so good. And I want to say to thank you for being yourself on stage and in person. Your style got to show through on the stage your style shines through now. Keep it up, girlfriend. You are going to big places, and I am humbled and honored to sit next to you. So thank you, Ruby Leigh, you're gonna you're gonna crush it one day, you're already crushing it now. And I know you have to go get ready for your performance tonight. So, thank you again. We really appreciate it. 

Ruby Leigh: No, no, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Taylor McAdams: Of course. And if you guys want to check out her social media, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, all the places you want to tick tock. She's a Tik Toker. Ruby li official is where you'll find her good to go. Feel free to ask her some questions. She's really good about answering questions the best she can her and her family rock. So if you guys have any questions, feel free to do that. Like, subscribe to this podcast share with your friends. We love you and thank you for kicking up your boots. See you next time. Thanks for joining us on Kick Your Boots Up. I'm your host Taylor McAdams and we can't wait to share the next story of the West. Until then, feel free to like subscribe and leave us a review. Follow us on social media at Justin boots to keep up with our next episode. And we'll see you the next time you kick your boots up.