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.
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