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Wynonna Judd Is Leaning on Her Faith After Her Mother’s Death

The country singer talks about finding healing after the tragic passing of her mom, Naomi Judd.

Country music artists Wynonna Judd performing onstage in her story of faith
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Before she lost her mother, Naomi Judd in April 2022, Wynonna Judd had a multi-state tour planned with her. Now the tour takes on a new meaning for Wynonna as she processes her grief and leans on her faith.

The mother and daughter duo performed together from 1983 to 1991 as The Judds, singing hits such as “Why Not Me” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days).” They won five Grammy Awards, nine Country Music Association awards, and are in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Their music focused on the struggles of everyday people— particularly working-class women. Those years of traveling around the country, singing music with her mom, were formative for Wynonna.

“I have a really wicked sense of humor,” she told People, “because I worked with my mother for eight years and I shared a bus with the woman.”

But hitting the road will feel markedly different this year after her mother’s suicide. Later this month, Wynonna will set out for The Judds: The Final Tour, without Naomi by her side. According to the singer, planning the cross-country performances became a way for her to work through her grief, though she admits the process has been one of contradiction.

“I am walking a paradox,” she said. “I feel joy, I feel pain, I feel light, I feel dark.”

Wynonna and Naomi Judd sing onstage together in their story of faithWynonna and Naomi Judd onstage  for the U.S. Air Force in 2008 (U.S. Air Force photo/Ken Hackman)

Judd describes how she marks her days with moments of normalcy and moments of deep sorrow. She will be talking with her husband about dinner plans one minute, and then the next she will start crying. Yet she knows that crying is not a sign of weakness. It is a natural and necessary part of the healing process. “I’m crying a lot,” she said, “and that’s okay.”

Through every part of her healing, Judd says that her faith in God helped her. “It’s the Holy Spirit thing for me,” she said. “I feel the Lord, and I feel joy and I feel sorrow all at the same time.”

Judd now plans to bring that sense of healing to the tour, which will begin September 30th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The tour will be a celebration of the inspiring life and music of Naomi Judd. And Wynonna will not be alone on stage. She will be joined by fellow musicians like Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Brandi Carlile, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, and Trisha Yearwood. Judd hopes this tour will bring healing not only to herself, but also to her and Naomi’s fans.

“I want people to know that they’re loved,” she said. “I want people to know that there is hope.”

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