‘Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Explained Why Singing Was Her ‘Great Fear Forever’

by Clayton Edwards

Melissa Gilbert was the star of Little House on the Prairie. She appeared in more episodes than any other actor. At the same time, she played Laura Ingalls, the girl who would one day write the stories of Plum Creek. Currently, Gilbert is the face of the show. Since the death of her co-star Michael Landon in 1991, fans look to her to learn more about the classic show.

Melissa Gilbert seems to enjoy her status as the face of Little House on the Prairie. She participates in cast reunions and still does interviews in which she discusses her time as Laura Ingalls. Back in 2009, she took on the role of Caroline “Ma” Ingalls in a musical version of the iconic series.

Not only did Gilbert have to take on a whole new role but also she had to sing for the show. She did many things on Little House on the Prairie. Gilbert ran, cried, and went on countless adventures. However, she never sang. In fact, Melissa Gilbert was not a singer until she was an adult.

Singing Was the Little House on the Prairie Star’s Greatest Fear

It’s easy to understand why Melissa Gilbert was afraid to sing, especially on stage. There’s a big difference between belting out your favorite song in the shower and getting up in front of hundreds of people to act as well as sing.

Back in 2009, before the premiere of Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, Melissa Gilbert sat down with The New York Times to talk about taking on the role of Ma Ingalls for the stage.

Gilbert told the times that when she was first approached about the show, she was incredulous. Not only did she not think that she could take on the singing role she also didn’t think a Little House on the Prairie musical would work. However, after seeing the sheer talent behind the show, Gilbert signed on. She still wasn’t sure about her role though.

“Singing was my great fear forever, my whole life,” she told the Times. However, Gilbert has an “inner voice,” that drives her to push her own boundaries. So, instead of missing out on the role of Ma Ingalls, she did all that she could to make sure her voice was ready for the stage.

For starters, she enlisted the help of a Los Angeles-based voice coach. Between the voice coach and her determination, the Little House on the Prairie star was able to confidently take the stage in the role at the time.