‘Between hell and hallelujah’: Wynonna Judd says performing has helped her mourn mom Naomi

‘Between hell and hallelujah’: Wynonna Judd says performing has helped her mourn mom Naomi
Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd of The Judds attend the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: Wynonna Judd has found touring after the death of her mother to be a bittersweet affair. As she tours the nation, singing for fans and paying respect to her mother and former duet partner, Naomi Judd, the country artist characterized herself as being "between hell and hallelujah" in an interview that aired on Monday, October 24, on the 'Today' show. “I’m somewhere between hell and hallelujah,” the 58-year-old said in an interview with Hoda Kotb.

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“And these shows are healing me, one show at a time. And all my friends are coming and it’s like the greatest party you throw yourself before the end. I feel like I’m doing a victory lap and the fans are watching me and they’re for me because they grew up with me."

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Shortly before the Judds were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Naomi died on April 30 at the age of 76 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Additionally, Naomi and Wynonna had announced 'The Judds: The Final Tour', their first joint tour in almost 10 years. However, Wynonna has decided to go solo on the mother-daughter tour and says she is happy with how enthusiastic the audience has been.

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Wynonna performs during the 15th Annual Academy Of Country Music Honors at Ryman Auditorium on August 24, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.Wynonna performs during the 15th Annual Academy Of Country Music Honors at Ryman Auditorium on August 24, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)

Wynonna and Naomi released six successful albums as the Judds between 1984 and 1990, and several of their radio singles reached the top of the charts. Strong familial affection served as the foundation for their volatile relationship, which was also widely known to be characterized by conflict and stress at work. Mother and daughter, however, was prepared to perform together on stage one more time in 2022, and they did so while singing crowd favorites including 'Mama He's Crazy', 'Why Not Me', 'Love Is Alive' and 'Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain'. Of course, Naomi's tragedy altered everything, and the tour schedule was put on hold.

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“I’ve been around that long and they’re bringing their next generation and sisters — I’m seeing up to four generations at the shows,” Judd said. “It’s a crazy time, Hoda, because it’s not about show business. This is a celebration of life, as well as people going through their own stuff while listening to the songs of what they went through.” 

Wynonna and her half-sister, actress Ashley Judd, claimed their mother's suicide was brought on by mental illness after Naomi's death. “When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease,” Ashley said in a May interview with 'Good Morning America'. “It’s very real, and it lies, it’s savage.”

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