Wynonna Judd surprised country music fans at the 57th annual Country Music Association Awards, when she joined Jelly Roll on stage to open the show with a duet of his song “Need a Favor.” The country legend’s performance, however, sparked concern among fans, eliciting a response from Wynonna herself, who admitted to being “so nervous.” It’s undoubtedly been an emotional couple of years for the singer, following the loss of her mother in April 2022, and she had actually opened up about learning of Naomi Judd’s death on an episode of The Voice that aired just a day before the CMAs.
Wynonna Recalled Asking For Help After Learning Of Naomi Judd’s Death
The Voice has welcomed Wynonna Judd into its family for Season 24, with The Judds artist serving as the Mega Mentor. During rehearsals she became emotional as contestant Tanner Massey sang “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes — which includes the lyrics, “Help me, it's like the walls are caving in / Sometimes I feel like giving up / No medicine is strong enough / Someone help me” — and told the singer:
I felt that way a year ago when my mom died. And I remember getting the phone call and I literally said, ‘Somebody help me.’ Right about here [in my chest], I felt it well up, and that’s what songs are supposed to do, as painful as they are. And whatever you went through to get there, I’m sorry too… You’re saying what we’re feeling, so amen. I mean, this hillbilly got it.
Wynonna Judd and her sister Ashley confirmed on April 30, 2022, that their mother Naomi Judd had succumbed “to the disease of mental illness” at the age of 76 — just a day before she and Wynonna were set to be inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The sisters honored their mother with emotional speeches at the Hall of Fame ceremony, and Ashley broke her silence soon after about their mom’s heartbreaking death by suicide.
The singer’s recollection of that tragic day aired on a pre-recorded episode of The Voice just a day before she took the stage with Jelly Roll.
Wynonna Judd Responded To Concerned Fans After CMA Performance With Jelly Roll
Fans were thrilled to see Wynonna join Jelly Roll for a surprise duet to open the CMA Awards on November 8, but their excitement quickly turned to concern when she appeared to be uncomfortable on stage. She grabbed onto Jelly Roll’s arm and held tight for the duration of the song, causing some to wonder if she was experiencing vertigo, which has apparently been an issue in the past.
In response to her worried fans, Wynonna Judd posted a video on Instagram to assure fans that, “All is well.” She said:
OK, so they say don’t read the comments. I’ve read the comments. And I’m just gonna come clean with y’all. I was so freaking nervous. I got out there and I looked at Jelly Roll, I wanted it to be so good for him. I could cry right now, but I’m not going to, because I’m such a fan of his, and he asked me to sing and I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I got out there and I was so nervous that I just held on for dear life. And that’s the bottom line.
I guess nerves can get the best of anybody, even a music legend who’s been performing for four decades. Wynonna said she felt some pressure to do Jelly Roll and his song justice, which apparently caused the jitters that prompted her to cling to the rapper’s arm. You can see their performance below:
It certainly looked like Wynonna Judd might not be as confident as she normally is in front of a crowd, but hopefully she really is OK and continues to take care of herself after what has been a rough time for her family.
As the country artist continues to tour through the month of November, fans can also see her on The Voice, as she will continue to appear for the remainder of the Knockouts. New episodes of the singing competition air at 8 p.m. ET Mondays and 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays on NBC and can be streamed the next day with a Peacock subscription.