Wynonna Judd Says She Still Feels Her Mom’s Criticism While Onstage

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

A little more than six months after her mother’s death, Wynonna Judd says she still feels Naomi’s criticism while performing onstage. 

Taste of Country reports that during a recent press gathering outside of Nashville, Wynonna Judd opened up about feeling her mother’s presence on stage. “I feel my mother onstage, but a lot of time, it’s not appropriate,” she explained. “Because when you’re grieving, you go from hell to hallelujah really fast. There are moments when I feel her going, ‘You have on too much makeup’ or ‘You need to lose weight.’”

Wynonna Judd admitted that the criticism is a continuation of a pattern she and her mother shared for years. “And then I realized, ‘No.’ And I talk back to her,” she said. “Because she’s my mom. That’s what we did.”

Meanwhile, Wynonna Judd said she’s on time now for events she attends. “So, she can’t b—- at me anymore about that. I’m chronically on time. I used to be late just to make her mad. Some things never change. That was my way of controlling.”

Although her mother is gone, Wynonna said she doesn’t think the relationship ever ends. “I still talk to her and I say things like, ‘Why aren’t you so I can argue with you?’”

Wynonna Judd’s Mother Naomi Died By Suicide

As previously reported, Naomi Judd passed away in late April at the age of 76.  It was revealed by multiple sources that the country music Hall of Fame died by suicide after personal mental health struggles. Prior to her unexpected death, Judd had been outspoken about her own personal experience with depression. She shared that she used to lock herself in her room to help control her illness. 

At the time of their mother’s death, Ashley And Wynonna Judd revealed the news, which made others suspect that Naomi’s death was due to suicide. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered,” the statement read. The sisters then said that they are navigating through profound grief.“[We] know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”

Wynonna Judd also recently said on Today that her fans have helped her through the grieving process. It is because I get really sad and I get stuck in my own head,” Judd explained. “I’m swimming in the lake of me. And I go out on stage and I look out and I see a mother-daughter with the vintage – we don’t say old – vintage t-shirts and all of a sudden, things are better. I just feel better.

The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert will be taking place at Middle Tennessee University’s Murphy Center on Thursday (November 3rd). The performance will re-create The Judds’ 1991 farewell concert and will air as a TV special on CMT. Wynonna Judd will be performing on stage with Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride, and Little Big Town during the event.