There might be another place setting at Wynonna Judd‘s holiday table this year. The singer reveals she just met her brother for the first time, sharing the story with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy.
“I met my brother yesterday,” Wynonna divulged. “I have a brother I’ve never met, and I called him. He lives in Kentucky and his name is Michael. I called him on his birthday and I said, ‘Hi,’ and I have it on tape. I say tape, ’cause that’s where I come from. I have the recording of me saying, ‘Hi. This is your sister.’ I’ve never said that before. I’m going to put it in the middle of a song somewhere. That’s just the way I work. I just apply real life to my stuff.
“I’ve got two children,” she continued. “I’ve got three bonus children and my two children that I birthed. They’re grown. I’ve got one on parole, one on patrol. I live in a very odd world. People have a story. Andy, you’ve got stuff that you’ll probably never tell the world, but it’s part of who you are and what makes you who you are. And that’s what I do. I sing about my experience. I met my brother yesterday. He’s 53, I’m 56 years old. My father died before I met him. And that’s part of my testimony.”
Wynonna’s biological father is Charles Jordan, who dated her mother, Naomi Judd, although the two never married. Her mother later married Michael Ciminella, which is the last name Wynonna took. Michael is the father of Wynonna’s half-sister, Ashley Judd. Wynonna has known for 27 years that she had a brother, but never reached out until now.
“I found out about all of this in 1993, when I was pregnant with Elijah,” Wynonna recounted. “I was 30 years old and I found out part of my life. I thought this man who was my biological father is not. And it’s Ashley’s father and you know what? I had a choice. I had to decide whether I was better or bitter and in music, that’s what we do. We talk about the hard stuff and we talk about the, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be here anymore. My heart is broken.'”
This new experience, along with all of the other experiences Wynonna has had over the years, will undoubtedly continue to appear in the music she makes.
“That’s what country music is,” Wynonna maintained. “We’re stories about real life. In music, I mean, from the artists I’ve met from the Rolling Stones to Dolly Parton to everything I’ve experienced. Loretta Lynn, I talked to her every week and I listened to her stories and that’s what I want to do is, I want to breathe life into the fans.
“I want to breathe life into people, by singing from my toenails, that the aching part of life and the joy part of life. And it’s intertwined,” she added. “I’m a mama. I go from heaven to hell in an instant, and it’s just part of breathing.”