Wynonna Judd Praises Her Mother Naomi for Being a ‘Hard, Strict Single Parent’

Wynonna Judd and her sister Ashley were raised solely by Naomi Judd, who worked hard to provide for her family. But even in the lean years, she still made giving a priority, even when money was really right.

“She was a hard, hard, strict single parent, and she said, ‘Give it away. You’re supposed to only keep the cup for yourself, and you give away the overflow.,'” Wynonna tells People. “So you keep enough for yourself, but then you give away the overflow. And that’s what I’ve been doing now for 40 years.”

Wynonna has herself given away plenty, including to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Children’s Miracle Network, Habitat for Humanity and more. Unfortunately, the biggest lesson Naomi, who succumbed to suicide last year, tried to instill in her daughters, she couldn’t adhere to herself.


“She was really good at teaching me ‘Never let ’em tell you who you are. Never,’” Wynonna says. “She didn’t make it though. She didn’t do the same for herself.”

The music Naomi and Wynonna made together as The Judds is being honored with A Tribute To The Judds album, out on October 27. The record includes Wynonna’s collaboration with  Trisha Yearwood on “Cry Myself to Sleep,” Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani singing “Love Is Alive” plus songs by Jelly RollDolly PartonLainey WilsonReba McEntireTrisha YearwoodAshley McBrydeGabby BarrettJamey JohnsonCarly PearceCody Johnson and more.

Wynonna’s biggest hope with the record is to introduce a new generation of fans to the music of her era.

“There’s a whole generation of people that don’t know our music, right?” Wynonna reflects. “The kids that are born now, I’m hoping that someone will listen and go, ‘Huh, I really like that.’ So that’s my hope, is that somebody gets it.”

The project is a lasting legacy to the music of The Judds, even as Wynonna continues making music as a solo artist.

“It’s beautiful,” Wynonna boasts. “It’s really weird. I listened to it and I cried and I was overwhelmed,”

Wynonna opened up about the loss of her mother when accepting the Country Champion Award at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards.

“I went to her house, and she died there, but we followed the ambulance anyway, to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead,” Wynonna remembered. “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.’ I walked out of that room, went home and showed up the next morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. “You know why? Because that’s how much we love music.

“Regardless of what has happened to me and who, I show up, and I show out,” she remarked. “I looked up the word ‘champion’ today, and it says, ‘to do battle for other’s honor,’ and that is exactly what I’m going to do tomorrow, when I get on a commercial flight and fly to Denver to do one more show, because I can’t get enough of you.”

All of Judd’s music and tour dates can be found at Wynonna.com.