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Wynonna Judd

As one half of the Judds, Wynonna Judd became one of the most popular and respected female country stars of her time. On her own since the early '90s, Judd demonstrated an eclecticism that increasingly confounded hardcore country fans and radio programmers but also helped her retain a core of admiring followers. Her solo records might stick with Judds-style country-pop or delve into roots rock, blues, gospel, adult contemporary pop, folk, or Southern R&B.

Judd was born Christina Ciminella in Ashland, KY, on May 30, 1964. Her mother, Naomi (then known by her birth name, Diana), was still in high school at the time, and her biological father abandoned the family almost immediately; Naomi married another man, Michael Ciminella, to create a traditional family unit. In 1968, they moved to Los Angeles, but the marriage disintegrated in 1972. Wynonna spent parts of the next few years living on welfare and returned to Kentucky with her mother in 1976. They lived in a mountain home with no phone or television, and listening to country music on the radio was a major source of entertainment. Wynonna learned to play guitar after receiving one as a gift and was soon singing close harmony with her mother. By the time she was a teenager, her vocal talents were apparent, and in 1979, the family moved to Nashville to try their luck in the music business. Naomi and Wynonna landed a contract with RCA in 1983, and over the remainder of the '80s, they became the biggest-selling duo in country music history (a title that would later be taken over by Brooks & Dunn). Wynonna wasn't always as career-minded as her mother, who effectively ran the group, and was growing ever more rebellious when, in 1990, Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis C; she retired from performing after a farewell tour in 1991.

Wynonna was at first unsure whether she wanted to carry on without her mother but quickly decided to embark on a solo career, signing with MCA. Her first album on her own, Wynonna, was released in 1992 and was an instant smash, selling over three million copies; it also topped the country charts, reached the Top Five on the pop side, and earned many positive reviews as well. Her first three solo singles -- "She Is His Only Need," "I Saw the Light," and "No One Else on Earth" -- all went to number one on the country charts, and "My Strongest Weakness" also made the Top Five. Judd's 1993 follow-up, Tell Me Why, was another platinum-selling, number one country/Top Five pop album; it gave her five more Top Ten hits in the title track, "Only Love," "Girls with Guitars," "Rock Bottom," and "Is It Over Yet." However, Judd's career hit a snag when it was revealed that, like her mother before her, she had become pregnant out of wedlock. The tabloids had a field day, and more conservative country fans attacked her as being an immoral role model.

Judd eventually married her son's father, Nashville businessman Arch Kelly, in 1996, and that year she finally released her third album, Revelations. It was a more introspective affair that gave her a number one single in "To Be Loved by You" and eventually went platinum despite not producing any further Top Ten hits. For the follow-up, 1997's The Other Side, Judd refashioned her sound into a bluesy, rock-driven roots music blend that often recalled Bonnie Raitt. It reached the country Top Five yet failed to sell a million copies for the first time in Judd's solo career, prompting her to split with MCA and move to Mercury. By this point, Judd had also had a second child, but her marriage fell apart in 1998; instead of releasing another solo album right away, Judd reunited with her mother for a New Year's Eve concert to ring in the year 2000. They embarked on a full-fledged tour together in 2000, and four new Judds songs were released on an exclusive bonus disc with Wynonna's Mercury debut, New Day Dawning. Her most eclectic effort to date (and her first as a co-producer), the album featured covers of Joni Mitchell and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and while it didn't spawn any major hit singles, it again climbed into the Top Five on the country album charts.

Judd returned to her country roots in 2003 with What the World Needs Now Is Love, which found her reuniting on one track ("Flies on the Butter") with her mother. The live Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime, released on DVD and CD, arrived in 2005, hitting number two on the Top Country Album charts, and the next year, just in time for the holiday season, the singer released Classic Christmas. An album of covers and standards, Sing: Chapter 1, appeared in 2009. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

burtgm59
Not much I can add to all this love... unless I can get Wynonna to marry me, lol
3bazatas
I grew up listening to THE JUDDS & I can't imagine my life without all the good memories....
Seeing her play tonite!!!
margoemay
She inspires, she creates a new dimension in performance, she rocks. What else can be said about this amazing artist? Thanks Wy.
I love Heaven help my heart and Love can build a Bridge are my all time favorite songs
you go Wynonna. This is such a BEAUTIFUL song and I don't think ANYONE could do but Wynonna!
lnacre1991
I love her voice on this song...beaut i f u l song and then you add Wynonna and have instant awesomeness! !
I love the Judds,their songs really touch my heart. Would love to see them one day in person.
please come to river bend in cinncinati!? i want to go to your concert at music call this october but the tickets are a little to expensive. :(
rabbitrock0
Isaw you in 2005 in Billings, Mt while I was ushering at Alberta Bair Theater. I stood as close to the front row as possible and fell in love with you. What a performer. You are coming back to Blgs. this Sept and I already have 2nd row middle seats. Thanks so much for coming back and making an 86 year old's dream come true. Bunny Stone
Can someone help me find the live version sung by Wyonna "Freebird"? Aboslutely phenominal!
What a survivor and such a inspiration to others with music and your new show with much love and under standing of your relation ship with your mother.It will help others to heal and mend there past and move forward.Hugs to you and your mom good luck!
wynonna you are the best one i can find noonecan sang like you
Wynonna - you are just awesome. I love that voice. Your songs rock and the lyrics just hit my heart and soul.
wynonna is amazing! she and naomi will forever hold a special place in my heart. i cannot wait to see their farewell tour in sacramento!! ! Much love!
for what she has had to go through she has taken on her mothers strenght so she is soooo great....I love her songs....go girl...
Wy talks about having "sheros" well Wy's Mine. Thanks Wy.
Oh Lord what soul! The woman is abosuletly amazing. I love everything that she does...what a gift!
I've heard her cover of Burning Love. She is good.
ONE OF THE BEST OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!! ! ! ! T h i s one has a set of unmatched pipes and can tell a story through her songs better then most.Unmatch e d by everone in story telling except Dolly Parton who is the queen of ballads.
Wynonna Rocks. She is sooooooo TOTALLY AWESOME
still the greatest female voice in the industry!
lghunters
Really would like more of Wynonna!
Christina aka Wynonna has a unique style and this is why she is a famous singer.
All you singers out there, next time you sing, stop trying to sound like someone else. Be yourself and sing from your soul your heart- Wynonna does and we can feel it when she does. Wynonna email me if you check out this fan base. Love to sing with you..nothing famous I enjoy my freedom shopping at the mall. Just having fun jamming- Lori; itildu4r@yah o o . c o m
i love her
You so wonderfull.
Wynonna is the best singer in the world!
What an inspiration to everyone around the world.
I wish for health, safety, and happyness always.\
Sandra Driscoll
I click on K. T. Oslin music. I get 1 song and then everthing by everybody else. I would like to hear all of K. T. Oslin, then move to something else.
One song is not enough.

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