Wynonna Judd Opens Up About How Her Public Grief Connects Her to the Fans

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

When Naomi Judd died by suicide in April, The Judds were in the middle of a comeback. They were less than 24 hours from their long-deserved Country Music Hall of Fame induction. Also, the iconic duo had recently announced their Final Tour. So, with a wave of renewed attention on the duo, it was impossible for Wynonna Judd to grieve privately. She leaned into it, though. Wynonna attended the CMHoF induction and announced that the tour would go on. Now, that tour is a celebration of Naomi’s legacy. More importantly, it’s helping Wynonna heal and giving her a deeper connection with the fans.

On November 3, Wynonna Judd and the artists who came with her on the first leg of the Final Tour took the stage at the Murphy Center at MTSU in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. That night, they celebrated The Judd’s final show which they played in that arena 31 years ago. The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert was a celebration of Naomi’s life and legacy as well as a way to look back at the last three decades.

Before The Final Concert, Wynonna Judd took some time to talk about the show in a press conference. During the event, Wynonna talked about how publicly grieving is helping her form a deeper connection with her fans.

Wynonna Judd on How Her Grief Resonates with Fans

“I will tell you, as an artist, I have never experienced this kind of emotion at a show,” Wynonna Judd said. “Every night, [the fans] are singing so loud that I stand back from the microphone and just weep.”

Wynonna went on to say, “There’s a revival taking place and I think it’s because of the death of mom and the life I’ve had for 39 years on the road. The fans grew up with me and they’re losing their parents and they’re bringing their mothers and it’s just a chance for people to express themselves.” Judd went on to say that the amount of emotion expressed at her recent shows is “remarkable.”

Later, Wynonna Judd talked about how she is incorporating her mother into recent concerts. “I talk about her in a way that people understand… Like, for instance, I’ll say stuff to her and I look up a lot because I talk to her a lot,” she said. “It has been a really interesting deal to try to incorporate her but also live in the moment and look to the future.” Wynonna went on to say that she talks to her late mother often during shows.

“I’m living my life in the public eye through this grief. So, I’m talking to her and I’m saying things like ‘I don’t understand why.’ So, I’m just doing my thing and telling it like it is…what else am I going to do?”