Wynonna Judd is well aware of the commentary surrounding her opening performance at the 2023 CMA Awards. The 59-year-old country crooner took to Instagram and TikTok to respond to fan concern over her after she took to the stage singing “Need a Favor” with Jelly Roll.
During the performance, Judd held onto Jelly Roll, which prompted several fans to become concerned about her health.
“‘Don’t read the comments’ they say…” Judd captioned the post.
In the video, a smiling Judd spoke into the camera, saying, “Don’t read the comments, I read the comments!” before showing a headline sharing that fans were “concerned” after watching her and Jelly Roll open the annual award show.
“I’m just gonna come clean with y’all. I was so freaking nervous,” Judd admitted. “I got out there and I looked at Jelly Roll. I wanted it to be so good for him. I could cry right now, but I’m not going to because I’m such a fan of his and he asked me to sing and I said, ‘Absolutely!’ I got out there and I was so nervous that I just held on for dear life. And that’s the bottom line.”
Judd shared that she was traveling to Texas to resume her Back to Wy Tour, assuring fans, “All is well!”
ET’s Rachel Smith spoke with Judd after her performance at the CMA Awards where she spoke about her decision to join Jelly Roll on stage.
“I have to show up for people like people did me,” Judd explained to ET. “That’s my job now is to pass it on because people have been so generous with me and now it’s my turn to be generous with people like Jelly Roll and that’s what I’m doing.”
Judd also spoke about her own health journey, and her recent emotional displays on stage.
“I have my ups and my downs and that’s life, and I’m just telling the fans,” Judd shared. “Like the other night, I got emotional, I felt Mom. And I got overcome and I just said, ‘I need some water and I need somebody to hold onto me for a second while I take a deep breath and cry.’ And I just do it because that’s the way life is.”
Wynonna’s mother, Naomi Judd, died in April 2022.
Jelly Roll also closed the show with K. Michelle doing a tribute to Wynonna and Naomi’s mother-daughter duo, The Judds, singing their song, “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
“The first thing I said was, ‘I won’t do this without Wynonna’s blessing. Even before I did the song or recording. I called Wynonna,” Jelly Roll told ET on Wednesday’s red carpet in Nashville. “I have an immense amount of respect for Wynonna, I grew up listening to The Judds. I love Wynonna. And she said, ‘Not only do I want you to do it. I want you to do it big!'”
The 2023 CMA Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, aired live on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The 57th annual awards show is now available to stream on Hulu.
Check here for the full list of the night’s big winners!