Wynonna Judd recalls moment she held mother Naomi in her arms after suicide: ‘I love you, Mom’
This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Wynonna Judd lost her mother, fellow country music icon Naomi Judd, just over a year ago.
After speaking with Fox News Digital on the red carpet, the singer delivered a moving speech while accepting the Country Champion Award at last night’s inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards. There, she shared details about the day her mother died from suicide and the last moments she shared with her mom.
“So I graduated high school in 1982,” Wynonna began after receiving the award. “In 1983, I got a record deal with RCA Records, and I got on a Silver Eagle bus with my mama and did her hair every night for 10 years for free.”
The record deal was one she shared with her mother – together they formed The Judds. The duo was remarkably successful, winning numerous awards and racking up hit after hit. In 1991, Naomi retired after struggles with her health led to a diagnosis of hepatitis C, and, as she explained in her speech, Wynonna went on to have a successful solo career.
“And then on August the 30th of last year,” Wynonna told the audience at last night’s show, “my mother committed suicide, and I went to her house and she died there, but we followed the ambulance anyway to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. I walked into the room and I held her in my arms, I kissed her on the forehead, shut her eyes and said, ‘I love you, Mom.’”
“And I walked out of that room, went home, got up the next morning and showed up at the Country Music Hall of Fame to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
The Judds had been scheduled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Naomi’s other child, actress Ashley Judd, went on to accept the honor with Wynonna.
During last night’s speech, the singer explained that she made the effort then, “Because that’s how much we love music. Regardless of what has happened to me and who, I show up and I show out.”
WATCH: WYNONNA JUDD EXPLAINS HOW THEIR SHARED LOVE OF MUSIC BROUGHT HER AND MOM NAOMI JUDD CLOSER
Wynonna also discussed her relationship with her mother on the show’s red carpet, telling Fox News Digital that the two got through any issues they had “by singing.”
WATCH: WYNONNA JUDD REVEALS HER FEELINGS ABOUT THE JUDDS’ TRIBUTE ALBUM, ‘A TRIBUTE TO THE JUDDS
“We had something in common that bypassed all the bullcrap and gave us purpose,” she explained. “So we had a place to take our pain into purpose together.”
She also told Fox News Digital her thoughts about “A Tribute to the Judds,” an upcoming album of The Judds’ covers featuring Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire and others.
“It reminds me that there’s a whole generation of people out there that don’t know who I am and that maybe somewhere, somehow someone will go, ‘Oh my god, I love that song’ and find out who The Judds are,” she laughed.
Wynonna concluded her acceptance speech for the Country Champion Award by saying, “Let me tell you something, it’s getting harder and harder out there. Never give up on your dreams. And for half of y’all in this place tonight – I know you don’t know who I am or you were not born when I had my years of being fabulous, and I’ll let that go.”
“But back in 1990, Tim McGraw opened for me. Four weeks ago, I opened for Tim. The highs are high and the lows are low, baby, but don’t ever let them tell you who you are.”