Country icon Wynonna Judd gets real about joys of going solo, finding happiness in ‘living from love’

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Country music icon and female powerhouse Winona Judd may have had an early start to stardom, but true joy lived in finding herself along the way, she revealed on Granthshala Business’s “The Pursuit! With John Rich.”

The young star first took the stage with her mother Naomi Judd at the age of 18 in front of 10,000 people. Together, they hit the road, performing sold-out shows in the 1980s as The Judds. The duo released six studio albums and won several Country Music and Grammy Awards.

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But in 1992, when her manager convinced her to both leave and focus on a solo career, Wynonna performed at the American Music Awards for the first time only as Wynonna. Singer and host John Rich both remembered the breakup as one of the biggest goodbyes in country music.

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“I’m an over-achiever, I’m a perfectionist and I want to be really successful in the light,” she said. “And it worked because it was the biggest campaign… it was the biggest goodbye, the biggest, country music at the time to say, hello, she’s coming on her own.”

Like other eponymous female dignitaries such as Shania and Martina, Winona rose up the ranks. But Starr explained that the marketing team at Curb Records decided to actually drop Judd, so Winona’s records would stand alone and away from The Judds on record store shelves.

After sharing a tour bus with her mother for 10 years, Wynonna’s single moment on the road launched her into a non-stop career, giving her big breaks like her performance at the Super Bowl halftime show in 1994.

“I worked harder than anyone,” she said. “I remember staying home for two weeks at a time like every year… I didn’t have kids. I didn’t have a man. I was a working street-dog girl on a mission.”

The singer recalled moments with her heroes and “She-Rose” such as Loretta Lynn, Aretha Franklin and James Taylor that supported her “authentic” approach to music.

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Now in this modern age of technology and social media, Wynonna doesn’t deny that it’s hard for artists today not to get wrapped up in the noise. During the coronavirus pandemic, she admitted that the inevitable stop of a frantic life was a great blessing.

“I’m trying to figure out a way to never, ever, ever be as distracted as before I got home on March 14 of last year,” she said.

After 39 years in the fast-paced run of celebrity, Wynonna uncovers a recent “reveal” of all of her past experiences, which has made her come to terms with what it really means to live.

“My whole life I’ve lived for love,” she said. “And here I am, 57 years old and I am just now figuring out how to live with love.”

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“I’m learning how to think about whether or not I made you happy and how to give up hope of wondering if you like me,” she went on. “I had to prove myself personally. I knew professionally that I could sing and I could hold my own. That’s what I did. I was trained to be a champion.”

For Americans who have a constitutional right to pursue happiness, Wynonna shares her best advice for “following your joy.”

“I’ve been happy rich and happy poor; size 18, size 8,” she said. “I can tell you how it is on both sides. But I will tell you that what is interesting to me now is the peace that is beyond all comprehension.”


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