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How Reba McEntire Used Her Hair to Land “Gifted Vocalist” Caitlin Quisenberry 

New Coach Reba McEntire is learning what it takes to get talented singers on her Voice team.

By James Grebey

Every Coach on The Voice has something special that they can use to try to get a contestant to join their Team. Reba McEntire has many, many talents, but it seemed like the deciding factor in Caitlin Quisenberry’s decision to join Team Reba was their shared hair color. 

Quisenberry, a 27-year-old redhead from Denver, Colorado, explained ahead of her Blind Audition that she grew up singing, belting out tunes when she was only 3 years old at the Baptist church where her grandfather was the preacher. When she got older, though, it initially didn’t seem like music was in her future. She went to Pepperdine University on an academic scholarship, graduated summa cum laude, and was accepted into the university’s law school. 

“I was feeling super drained,” Quisenberry admitted. “I was chasing the wrong thing.”

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Quisenberry realized that she needed to return to music when her grandmother was on her deathbed.

“I sang with her at her bedside,” Quisenberry recalled. "She wasn’t talking those days, but she smiled. The joy I saw in my eyes, it reminded me of how powerful music is.”

This prompted Quisenberry to go to Nashville, where she has released 20 country music songs that she’s written independently. Such a path has now taken her to The Voice. "This is the meaning of life, to go after your dreams and to step into the unknown with courage,” she said. 

Caitlin Quisenberry’s amazing audition

Caitlin Quisenberry stands onstage during a taping of The Voice

Quisenberry’s performance of the Kasey Musgraves song “Rainbows” started off kind of shaky, as both Niall Horan and John Legend noted. Neither turned their chairs, but Quisenberry rallied, and her performance ended so strongly that Horan was kicking himself. “Why didn’t I turn!? I should’ve turned,” he said.

Legend agreed, saying that it was clear that she worked through whatever nerves she had and that the Coaches could “see what gifts you have as an artist.”

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McEntire, the first Coach to turn their chair, was effusive with her praise. 

“When you started, I heard country, I heard a great quality voice — just what I like to listen to,” she said. “I do have a lot of experience in the music industry. And I’ve had wonderful coaches in my career, people who have guided me, and I think I can help you out with some of the things that people have been so sweet to teach.”

“And we’re both redheads,” McEntire added. 

Gwen Stefani said Quisenberry had “raw talent” with a lot of range in her voice, but noted that the choice of Coach basically came down to, “Are you gonna go with a blonde or a redhead?”

“I’m choosing my fellow redhead,” Quisenberry said, ultimately joining Team Reba.

But how far will Quisenberry go? Find out by watching The Voice Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock