Wynonna Judd

  • Country music singer and musician born Christina Ciminella in 1964, from Ashland Kentucky.
  • Her mother, Naomi Judd (born Diana Judd), gave birth to Christina, and Christina took the surname Ciminella after the man that Diana married after Christina’s actual father abondoned them. They moved to Los Angeles when Christina was 4 years old. After Diana got a divorce, they moved back to Kentucky, and Diana changed her name to Naomi. Christina decided to change her name too, so at 13 years old, she chose Wynonna, taken from the song Route 66, from the lyric, “Flagstaff Arizona, don’t forget Wynona.” While in rural Kentucky, Wynonna and Naomi would sing around the kitchen table, duplicating the bluegrass harmonies that they heard on the radio. They realized that they sounded good, and they decided to try to make singing a career. They moved to Nashville in 1979.
  • Naomi was a nurse in addition to a singer, and while in Nashville, she met a producer while treating the producer’s daughter. She used this as a way to gain an audition, and after one performance, they were signed to a record deal in 1983 – the duo was known as The Judds. They became the most successful duo in country music during the 80s – with 14 #1 singles on the Country charts, 6 studio albums, 2 EPs, and 5 Grammy award wins. Wynonna was the lead vocalist of the duo, but Naomi was the face of The Judds.
  • In 1990, Naomi was stricken with Hepatitis C. The Judds had a farewell tour in 1991, and Naomi retired. This launched Wynonna’s solo career. Professionally, she became known as just Wynonna. Her debut solo album, Wynonna, was released in March 1992. It reached #1 on the Country album charts, #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. Her first 3 singles all peaked at #1 on the Country singles chart – She Is His Only Need, I Saw The Light, and No One Else On Earth. A fourth single, My Strongest Weakness, made it to #4 on the chart. No One Else On Earth was the best selling country song of the year of all artists.
  • Three more studio albums followed during the 90s, 2 of which were certified platinum sellers. Six consecutive singles were in the Country Top 10, with To Be Loved By You reaching #1 in 1996. The final album, The Other Side, showed her evolution toward more of a blues/rock sound (her vocal style has often been compared to that of Bonnie Raitt, even back in her days with The Judds). In 1993, she was the featured vocalist on Clint Black’s single A Bad Goodbye, which reached #2 on the country charts and was her highest charting single on the Hot 100 chart, reaching #43. They supported the song with a tour with both of them as headliners, billed as the Black and Wy Tour.
  • In 1999, she reunited with her mother for a series of concerts, and they recorded a 4 song EP that was included with Wynonna’s next solo album, New Day Dawning, released in early 2000. It was her first album that she co-produced. Her final single to break into the top 15 of the Country charts was What The World Needs, from the 2003 album What The World Needs Now Is Love. She released 2 more studio albums since then, plus a live album and a Christmas album. Her most recent record, Wynonna & The Big Noise, was released in 2016 – the music is a blend of country, blues and Americana, and it features collaborations with Jason Isbell, Susan Tedeschi, Timothy B. Schmidt, Derek Trucks and Cactus Moser.
  • Judd has received many accolades for her philanthropy, with a particular emphasis on her support of the U.S. Armed Forces and Veteran groups, Habitat for Humanity, and the AIDS awareness organization YouthAIDS.
  • Here’s a performance of Wynonna’s first #1 song, She Is Her Only Need.

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