Carly Pearce Reflects on CMA Fest Performance With Wynonna Judd: ‘One of My Musical Heroes’

by Lauren Boisvert

Carly Pearce surprised everyone at CMA Fest by bringing Wynonna Judd out on the Nissan Stadium stage, where the two performed “Why Not Me” from The Judds’ repertoire. Pearce introduced Cole Swindell, Lainey Wilson, and Gabby Barrett, and then brought out Country Music Hall of Famer and just general legend Wynonna.

“Why Not Me? Seeds of a dream,” Carly Pearce wrote on Twitter. “What a magical night at #CMAFest with one of my musical heroes. I love you Wynonna.” She accompanied the tweet with a photo of her and Wynonna performing on stage, where they look to be having a great time.

The surprise CMA Fest appearance was Wynonna’s largest performance since her mother Naomi’s memorial at the Ryman Auditorium in May. CMA Fest hosted over 50,000 fans, and this performance blew them all away. It’ll definitely be good practice for when Wynonna goes on tour again; she promised she would go through with it at the memorial. “I will continue to sing,” she said that night at the Ryman. “I made a decision, and I decided to share it on national television. After a lot of thought, I am gonna have to honor her and do this tour because that is what you [the fans] would want.”

Now, Wynonna seems to be enjoying performing again after such a sudden tragedy. She’s not letting it slow down her life, and is honoring her mother with her talent and love of music. After Pearce and Wynonna’s show, host Storme Warren called it one of the most impressive performances in the Fest’s 50-year history. High praise, and definitely worthy of it and more.

Carly Pearce Surprises Fans While CMA Fest 2022 Curates Best Night of Country Music This Year

Darius RuckerZac Brown BandJason Aldean, and Keith Urban performed on Thursday, June 9, bringing the house down with performances of hits like “Only Wanna Be With You,” “Chicken Fried,” and “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” On Friday, Deana Carter took the stage to perform her legendary song “Strawberry Wine” (who remembers waking up on the couch in the middle of the night to the Time Life Ultimate Love Songs CD commercial blaring that song? Just me?)

Thomas Rhett was the joy of Friday night, thought, when he played all the hits for over 40 minutes. Then, Cole Swindell performed “Never Say Never” with Lainey Wilson, who has just been appointed to the “Yellowstone” season 5 cast. The show went on towards midnight, with Kane Brown closing it out. A big night all around, and more to come this weekend. Make sure to keep a close eye on Outsider’s Twitter page to get the latest in CMA Fest news.