Wynonna Judd is a country artist first known as half of the famous country duo Judds. She later embarked on a popularly offbeat solo career, drawing her sound from rock, pop, and folk music.
Judd was born in Kentucky to a single mother, Naomi, who struggled to make ends meet. Since her childhood home had no phone or television, Judd’s main source of entertainment was the radio, where she found her love for music. When Wynonna received a guitar for her birthday, she immediately mastered the instrument and began singing close harmony with her mother. By the time Wynonna entered high school, it was clear she had talent. She and Naomi moved to Nashville in 1979 and landed a contract with RCA in 1983. Throughout the 80s, the Judds became the biggest-selling duo in country music history.
When Naomi fell sick and retired from music, Wynonna was left to decide whether to continue her music career without her mother. She ultimately signed with MCA, and released her debut solo album, Wynonna, in 1992. The album was a smash hit, selling over three million copies and topping country charts. Her follow-up, Tell Me Why, went platinum in 1993, yielding a number of Top Ten hits like, “Only Love,” “Girls with Guitars,” “Rock Bottom,” and “Is It Over Yet.” After a tabloid fiasco surrounding her pregnancy, Judd married her son’s father, Nashville businessman Arch Kelly, and released her third album, Revelations. The album was more introspective than her previous work, and went platinum as well.
Judd’s sound took a turn toward bluesy, rock-driven roots with her fourth album, 1997’s The Other Side, Judd, which reached the Top Five in country charts. Judd switched to Mercury records due to the album’s lower sales, releasing New Day Dawning in 2000, and embarking on a successful tour with her mother that same year. Returning to her country rooots, Judd released What the World Needs Now Is Love in 2003, which featured a reunion track with Naomi. In 2010, the two were featured in a six-episode reality series The Judds on Oprah Winfrey Network. They also released two successful singles, “I Will Stand by You,” and “Love It Out Loud.”
Wynonna still performs regularly across the U.S. with her new band, Wynonna & the Big Noise, and is often booked for corporate entertainment events and private parties.