Ruthie was born in 1964and grew up in Gause, Texas. She went to college to study music and sound engineering. She joined the Navy and performed with the navy band.
After, the navy Ruthie moved to New York and began playing in folk clubs, eventually signing a deal with Atlantic Records.
In 1997, she released her first Album, Full Circle, and in 2010, her album The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.