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‘American Idol’ contestant sings about dad’s struggle with addiction in emotional audition

in People

"American Idol" viewers may want to break out the tissues after this emotional audition.

Sunday night's episode saw another round of singers step in front of the judges in the hopes of scoring a golden ticket to Hollywood. Among them was Ash Ruder, a 21-year-old social media manager from Turlock, California, who came to the audition accompanied by her dad.

Though Ruder's dad is the inspiration for her music, their relationship hasn't always great. According to the singer, her father has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction since she was very young.

"By the time that I got older, I was super angry with my dad," she said. "But the few times that my dad would show up, it meant the world to me, and I know that he felt ashamed and felt guilt."

Continue Reading on USA Today

Turlock woman catches the eyes, ears of American Idol judges

in Entertainment

TURLOCK, Calif. — She is normally skeptical of auditions for voice competitions, partly due to fear of rejection, which is why she believes her husband didn't ask before submitting her name for American Idol.  

Ashlyn Ruder, an American Idol contestant from Turlock, told ABC10 she called her husband screaming after learning she would be on the reality show.

"That excitement hasn't happened for a really long time, especially because COVID has been happening and everything else in the world is kind of closed," Ruder said.   

After hearing Ruder perform a song about how proud she is of her dad being sober going on three years on the show, Lionel Richie gave her advice she won't forget.  

"He said, 'I've been in this business for a really long time and the one thing that never goes out of style is talking about love and sharing love through music," Ruder said. 

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Turlock native to appear on ‘American Idol’

in Entertainment

Growing up, Turlock native Ashlyn Ruder could turn anything into a stage. From her grandmother’s bed where she’d belt out “The Sound of Music” to the tailgate of her dad’s truck performing the songs she had written, music has always served as a way for the 22-year old to express herself. 

On Sunday, Ruder will sing on one of the world’s biggest stages when she appears on the newest episode of “American Idol” in its 19th season. 

“Music has been a pastime of mine my entire life. I was always doing something music related, and that’s just how it was for me growing up,” Ruder said. “Now, it’s become a dream that’s real and it’s a career. It’s crazy.”

Ruder was born and raised in Turlock and graduated from Turlock Christian in 2017. During her younger years, she kept busy by performing in her church’s worship band and even recorded an album at age 13. That endeavor never came to be — producers saw Ruder as a pop star, while her heart was with country music — and it would be almost a decade until the singer got her big break. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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