As she continues to grieve the death of her mother and Judds bandmate Naomi, Wynonna Judd is reconfiguring her relationship with her remaining family members, the singer explains during a stop on NBC’s Today.
For example, she has been focusing on building a relationship with a brother she only met two years ago, Wynonna relates.
“I’m doing it one person at a time, you guys. I’m just saying, ‘Okay, let’s have a conversation,'” the singer goes on to say. “I’m an orphan. So I feel a lot more tender than I did. And I was always tender-hearted, but I feel even more so now.”
Naomi died by suicide in late April. She was 76 years old. The Judds were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the following day, and despite the devastating loss of her mom, Wynonna — along with her sister, actor Ashley Judd — attended the ceremony and offered shell-shocked but eloquent tributes to their late mom from the stage.
The weeks that followed involved several interviews and public statements, most of which were spearheaded by Ashley, as Wynonna didn’t yet feel ready to speak on camera about the loss of her mom. But she and Ashley worked closely on how best to publicly remember Naomi, and how to attend to her affairs — including their decision to obtain a court order to seal the late country legend’s death records so that they won’t ever be seen by the public.
Wynonna explains that her relationship with Ashley — much like her relationship with many of her family members, including Naomi — has never been simple. But she shares that she and her sister are closer than ever before, despite some reports from the press that have stated otherwise in recent weeks.
“When I became an orphan, I took a real strong look around me, and I said, ‘Okay, forgiveness. Forgiveness is key,'” she reflects. “Ashley and I are closer than we’ve been in a long time. So get off our backs, there, press. We love each other. And we show up for each other.”
In fact, the siblings have learned how to be supportive even when their opinions are at odds. “We don’t agree on much, but we support one another, and we agree to disagree,” Wynonna continues. “And we’ve had some tough conversations lately about, ‘What are we gonna do, now that we have each other?'”
Wynonna also says she feels massive support from her country music family; specifically, the singer is currently in the midst of The Judds: The Final Tour, which she reconfigured as an all-star girls’ night after her mother’s death. A revolving cast of country’s female stars are joining her on the stage, including Ashley McBryde, Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town, Brandi Carlile and Kelsea Ballerini.
During her stop on Today, Wynonna also played one of the beloved Judds’ hits that she’s been performing out on the road for her final The Judds tour dates: “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days,” which was a hit for the duo in 1985.
Naomi Judd Dies: Country Stars React
Country stars mourn the loss of Naomi Judd, following her death on April 30 at the age of 76.