Wynonna Judd Thinks Ahead to Touring Without Naomi: ‘I’m Gonna Be Angry Because She’s Not There’
"As I walk out on stage that first night, I'll probably say something like, 'It's not supposed to be like this,'" a visibly emotional Wynonna explained during a CBS Sunday Morning segment that aired on Sunday (Sept. 25.) "Because it's not, right? It's supposed to be the two of us. And I'm gonna be angry because she's not there."
Just weeks after the Judds' 2022 tour dates were announced, Naomi died by suicide on April 30, at the age of 76, after a lifelong, public battle with mental illness. In the weeks that followed, Wynonna confirmed that the tour would go on, re-imagining her show as an all-star, all-female lineup featuring Brandi Carlile, Ashley McBryde, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill. Martina McBride, who was the opener originally booked for the tour, will remain a fixture for all dates.
Still, no amount of talent could replace the legendary blood harmony of the Judds, and elsewhere in her interview, Wynonna spoke to the powerful sense of connection she and her mother experienced through music, despite the fact that their relationship could otherwise often be "incredibly complicated," the singer points out.
"There's nothing like family harmony," she reflects. "And sometimes the only harmony we had in music." Though they sometimes fought bitterly, and even spent time apart from each other, the mother-daughter duo were inextricably bound to each other, and always eventually came back together.
"We tried really hard, and those are the tears, because I know that we tried. And we did pretty damn good -- most of the time," she continues. "...She told me one time, she took my hand and said, 'My life is better because of you.' Those are the memories that are starting to come through, more and more."
Even after death, the mother-daughter relationship between the Judds is complicated -- in her interview, Wynonna says she continues to deal with anger about Naomi's absence, and about the circumstances of her death -- but she says that she and her sister, actor Ashley Judd, have found a new perspective in light of the loss of their mom.
"I think when you lose your mother, a lot of that crap goes away, because it doesn't matter anymore. It just doesn't," Wynonna adds.
The Judds' Final Tour begins Sept. 30 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Carlile will join Judd for the first show.