Wynonna Judd Talks Mourning Mom Naomi Through Music, Being "Somewhere Between Hell And Hallelujah"

The country star sat down with Hoda Kotb to talk about the healing process.

Wynonna Judd
Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

A jam-packed schedule of performances is helping Wynonna Judd grieve the loss of her mother and musical partner, Naomi Judd.

"I'm somewhere between hell and hallelujah," Wynonna told Hoda Kotb on Today this morning.

"And these shows are healing me, one show at a time. And all my friends are coming and it's like the greatest party you throw yourself before the end," she explained. "I feel like I'm doing a victory lap and the fans are watching me and they're for me because they grew up with me."

"I'm seeing up to four generations at the show," Wynonna continued. "It's a crazy time because it's not about show business. This is a celebration of life, as well as people going through their own stuff while listening to the songs of what they went through."

Naomi, the other half of the mother-daughter country music duo known as The Judds, died in April at the age of 76 after a long battle with severe depression and anxiety. In a public memorial for her late mother back in May, Wynonna announced her plans to continue with the tour they had planned for this year.

The revised arena tour includes appearances by Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, and more. Wynonna told Hoda that having a group of singers around her during this time has been a blessing.

"It's incredibly overwhelming," she said. "It's like at a funeral when you have your entire family there and yet you wouldn't have it any other way, even though it's the hardest thing to do sometimes, is just to be present and do the next thing that you're doing, and they're there to support. Country music is a community."

The show has been so popular that she recently added 15 more stops.

As for how she manages to sing through the pain? Wynonna said she relies on the same trick her mother used to use.

"I will cry and then go right into the next song, and I keep Kleenex right here at all times," she said, gesturing to the tissue tucked inside her shirt.

Visit thejudds.com for tour dates and tickets.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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