During last weekend’s Country Music Hall of Fame ceremony, country icon Wynonna Judd had a song request for fellow singer Carly Pearce. Wynonna and her mother, Naomi Judd, were set to be inducted to the Country Hall as members of the mother-daughter duo The Judds. Just one day prior to the ceremony though, Naomi passed away, but Wynonna and her sister, Ashely Judd, chose to press on with the induction.
What was to be a celebration of The Judds’ legendary career turned into a somber event following Naomi’s death. Pearce was already scheduled to sing at the event, but she got a call that changed her plans. The country singer already had a song prepared. But Wynonna asked her if she would sing The Judds’ 1986 hit “Grandpa (Tell Me About the Good Old Days)” instead.
“I got a call that Wynonna had a special request for someone to sing ‘Grandpa,'” Carly Pearce revealed. “And she didn’t know that I was gonna be there. And I had to change my song at the last second. It truly was, I think, the most nervous I’ve ever been in my career.”
Carly Pearce Changed Her Song at the Last Minute at Wynonna Judd’s Request
As a lifelong fan of Wynonna Judd, there was no way Carly Pearce wouldn’t tackle the request. Pearce jumped at the opportunity, especially after news spread of Naomi’s death. However, she didn’t think the ceremony would continue following The Judds singer’s passing.
“I was called a few months ago by the Hall of Fame. [They asked me] to be one of the surprise musical guests honoring the Judds at their induction into the Hall of Fame. So, I was already freaking out. I love the Judds. ‘Why Not Me’ was one of my absolute favorite songs of all times,” Carly Pearce shared.
“And in light of what happened I certainly didn’t think that the ceremony would go on,” Pearce admitted. “But I think that’s such a testament to the strength of the Judds daughters.”
Carly Pearce has been a huge fan of Naomi and Wynonna Judd’s music since she was a child. Later in life, she even became friends with Wynonna after getting into the music industry. It was a bittersweet moment singing at the ceremony, but she was happy to oblige for her hero and friend.
“Wynonna was my first concert,” Carly Pearce explained. “And when I won Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMAs, I got a random phone number that I answered. And she said, ‘Carly, it’s Wynonna.’ And we’ve become friends since then. She’s been such a pillar of wisdom for me in this business, which has blown my mind even that I get to say that. The Judds are from Kentucky, too, and I’ve idolized them since I was a little girl and, especially Wynonna.”
“And just to actually look in her eyes and see the pain as I’m singing this song. That was one of the greatest country songs of all time with her sweet mom. I really don’t have words for it,” she added.