Wynonna Ellen Judd ( //; born Christina Claire Ciminella on May 30, 1964) is an American country music singer. Her solo albums and singles are all credited to the singular name Wynonna. Wynonna first rose to fame in the 1980s alongside her mother, Naomi, in the country music duo The Judds. The duo released seven albums on Curb Records in addition to charting 26 singles, of which 14 were number one hits.
After The Judds disbanded in 1991, Wynonna began a solo career, also on Curb. In her solo career, she has released eight studio albums, a live album, and a compilation album in addition to charting more than 20 singles of her own. Her first three singles—"She Is His Only Need", "I Saw the Light" and "No One Else on Earth"—all reached number one on the U.S. country singles charts, as did 1996's "To Be Loved by You." Three of her albums are certified platinum or higher by the RIAA. Her most recent recording, Sing: Chapter 1, was released on February 3, 2009. Wynonna is most recognized for her musical work, although starting in the 2000s she has also pursued other interests, including acting and philanthropy.
Wynonna was born Christina Claire Ciminella in Ashland, Kentucky, on May 30, 1964. She was given the last name Ciminella after Michael Ciminella, the man her mother quickly married after being abandoned by her boyfriend and Judd's biological father, Charles Jordan. Jordan died in 2000. Her younger half-sister is actress Ashley Judd. Naomi and Ciminella moved with the girls to Los Angeles in 1968 but divorced in 1972. By 1976, Wynonna and Naomi were living in Kentucky, where Wynonna took inspiration from the country music that her mother listened to and learned to play guitar after receiving one for Christmas. The two of them moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1979 in pursuit of a musical career.
- Main article: The Judds
Wynonna and Naomi were signed to RCA Records in 1983 as the duo The Judds. Between 1983 and 1991, The Judds charted 23 hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs) charts, including 14 number ones. They also recorded eight studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations. In their six-year career, The Judds sold more than 20 million records worldwide and had won over 60 industry awards, including five Grammy Awards, nine Country Music Association awards (seven of them consecutive), and eight Billboard Music Awards. At the time, they were the biggest-selling duo in country music and remained so until they were eclipsed by Brooks & Dunn in the 1990s. Although Wynonna sang lead vocals on all of the duo's songs, Naomi ran the duo. The mother-daughter relationship has always been tumultuous, with Wynonna always late and forgetful and Naomi being critical of her daughter.
A chronic bout of hepatitis C forced Naomi into retirement following a 1991 farewell tour. After the duo broke up, Wynonna signed to MCA Records in association with Curb Records as a solo artist.
1992-1998: Breakthrough success
On April 2, 1992, Wynonna performed solo on television for the first time at the American Music Awards. She unveiled "She Is His Only Need," the first single from her self-titled solo debut album. This album, Wynonna, was released in 1992 via MCA/Curb, under the production of Tony Brown. "She Is His Only Need" went to Number One on the Billboard country singles charts that year, as did the album's next two singles, "I Saw the Light" and "No One Else on Earth," the former of which was also the number one country song of 1992 according to Billboard Year-End. "She Is His Only Need" and "No One Else on Earth" were also minor Adult Contemporary hits, and the latter peaked at No. 83 on the Billboard Hot 100. "My Strongest Weakness," the album's final single, was a No. 4 country hit. The album shipped five million copies in the United States, earning a 5× Multi-Platinum certification from the RIAA.
Her second album, Tell Me Why, was released by MCA/Curb in 1993. Also a platinum-selling album, it accounted for five consecutive Top Ten hits on the country charts: the title track, "Only Love," "Is It Over Yet," "Rock Bottom," and "Girls with Guitars," which was written by Mary Chapin Carpenter. "Tell Me Why" was her third crossover hit, peaking at No. 77 on the pop charts and No. 24 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Between "Tell Me Why" and "Only Love", she sang guest vocals on Clint Black's 1993 single "A Bad Goodbye" (from the album No Time to Kill), which became her biggest pop hit at No. 43. The success of this song led to a tour called the Black & Wy tour, featuring Black and Wynonna as headliners.
In 1994, she also made an appearance on the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album Skynyrd Frynds, on which she covered their song "Free Bird." She also sang duet vocals on pop-Christian singer Michael English's debut single, "Healing," which peaked at No. 120 on the pop charts. After "Girls with Guitars" fell from the charts, Wynonna became the subject of negative publicity, as she had a child out of wedlock. She was absent from the country charts for all of 1995, and in response to feedback from conservative fans she married Arch Kelly, the father of her son, in 1996.
Revelations was the title of her third album, released by MCA/Curb in 1996. Also certified platinum, this album was led off by her fourth and final Number One hit, the Mike Reid/Gary Burr co-write "To Be Loved by You." Despite this song's minor Adult Contemporary success, the album's other three singles did not fare as well: "Heaven Help My Heart" peaked at No. 14, while both "My Angel Is Here" and "Somebody to Love You" missed Top 40 entirely.
Wynonna's fourth and final album for MCA was titled The Other Side. Unlike her previous country pop-oriented albums, this album focused on a more blues and rock sound. It was released in 1997 and produced four singles. The album did not sell as well as her first three, however, only earning a gold certification. Its singles were not as successful on the charts, either: although "When Love Starts Talkin'" and "Come Some Rainy Day" reached No. 13 and No. 14, respectively, "Always Will" fell short of Top 40 and "Love Like That" became the first single of her career not to chart at all. After the release of a greatest hits album called Collection, Wynonna left MCA in favor of Mercury Records.
2000-2004: Success in the new millennium
In 2000, Wynonna decided to reunite with her mother for a tour beginning on New Year's Day. A month later, Wynonna released her fifth solo album, New Day Dawning. This album, the first of her career that Wynonna co-produced, included a four-song bonus disc entitled Big Bang Boogie composed of four new Judds songs. New Day Dawning produced the minor singles "Can't Nobody Love You (Like I Do)" and "Going Nowhere." "Stuck in Love," one of the songs from Big Bang Boogie, also had minor chart success, peaking at No. 26.
What the World Needs Now Is Love, released in August 2003, was Wynonna's first album for the Asylum-Curb Records label. Lead-off single "What the World Needs" reached the Top 20 on the country charts, followed by the lesser singles "Heaven Help Me" and "Flies on the Butter (You Can't Go Home Again)", at No. 37 and No. 33 respectively. This latter song, originally recorded by Lari White on her album Stepping Stone, featured backing vocals from Naomi, and was credited on the charts as "Wynonna with Naomi Judd" instead of The Judds. Judd had success on the Hot Dance Airplay charts with a cover of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is". Her rendition peaked at No. 12 on that chart in 2005. Also included on What the World Needs Now Is Love were two songs from soundtracks: a cover of the Elvis Presley hit "Burning Love", which Wynonna recorded for the animated movie Lilo & Stitch, and "You Are", which was included in the movie Someone Like You, a film starring half-sister Ashley Judd.
2005 present: New career directions
Her second release for Asylum-Curb was a live CD/DVD package called Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime, released in 2005. The album included one new studio track, "Attitude". Written by Wynonna and John Rich of Big & Rich, this song was issued as a single, peaking at No. 40 on the country charts. One year later, she released her autobiography, Coming Home to Myself, followed by a Christmas album called A Classic Christmas. She also sang an overdubbed duet with Elvis Presley on the late 2008 album Christmas Duets.
Sing: Chapter 1, her first studio album in six years, was released on February 3, 2009. This album is largely composed of cover songs, except for the title track, an original composition by Rodney Crowell. It also reunites her with producers Brent Maher and Don Potter, who produced all of The Judds' 1980s albums. This album's lead-off single is "I Hear You Knocking", a blues standard first recorded by Smiley Lewis. On May 9, 2009 a seven song EP containing dance remixes of the title track was released.
Wynonna and Naomi, also known as the Judds, will reunite in 2010, which will include a new album release and tour. The tour's name is "The Last Encore," which will include 18 shows.
On September 14, 2010, The Judds appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Wynonna discussed "her recent weight loss, her year of living dangerously and what it's like going back on stage as part of the iconic duo, The Judds." The Judds also performed their new single "I Will Stand By You", released Oct 4, 2010.. "I Will Stand By You" was released as the title track to the Judd's 2011 Greatest Hits collection
A new single, "Love It Out Loud" was released in May 2011. On November 27, 2011 Wynonna debuted her new band "Wynonna & The Big Noise" in Nashville, TN at 3rd and Lindsley. A new album is scheduled to be released in early 2013.
Judd provided the voice of the rock star Molly Cule in the cartoon The Magic School Bus (Meets Molly Cule). During the fifth season of Touched by an Angel, Judd guest starred as a singer whose son was dying of cystic fibrosis. In the year 2005 Judd was a guest star on the show Hope & Faith in the episode "Wife Swap: Part 1 and Part 2" where she played the mean and rich Cynthia. In 2007, Wynonna starred in a special television event on NBC honoring her 23 year career titled "Wynonna: A Tribute on Ice", which featured skating champions such as Kimmie Meissner and Brian Boitano. Both Wynonna and Naomi performed on this special. Additionally, in 2007, Wynonna hosted the fourth season of USA Network's Nashville Star. She also appeared as herself on the NBC sitcom Kath & Kim. In August 2009, she guest starred as herself on the 10th anniversary of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Regis Philbin for Backpack Ministries. In May 2010, she guest starred as herself on Lifetime's Army Wives.
Awards and nominations
Wynonna won the ACM Female Artist of the Year award in 1994. Not being present at the ceremony, her mother Naomi accepted the award on Wynonna's behalf.
In 2007, Wynonna was presented with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame.
In 2005, she received the USO's Merit Award for service to all divisions of the United States Armed Forces and teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to record "Heart of America", with Michael McDonald and Eric Benet which in turn helped raise over $90 million for victims of natural disasters to the Gulf Coast. She continues to bring attention to the global emergency of AIDS in her fourth year as United States Ambassador for YouthAIDS.
On June 7, 2008, Wynonna sat down for a live Internet chat for her fans in which she was asked questions submitted during the session. Over 6,000 fans signed up in a 5 minute span causing the server to crash. A total of 18,000 fans eventually logged on to watch Wynonna's chat live via stickam.com. She also lent her voice to an international music documentary on BBC radio about Stevie Wonder. In 2009, she also became the spokeswoman for alli, the only FDA-approved over-the-counter weight loss product, which features the artist in a national marketing campaign.
Wynonna met Arch Kelley III in 1993, and their son Elijah Judd was born on December 23, 1994, in Nashville by C-section. She married Kelley on January 21, 1996, when she was four months pregnant with their second child. Their daughter Grace Pauline was born June 21, 1996. Kelley was an observer rather than a participant in his wife's fame and felt out of place in her world. He settled into the role of househusband on her 500 acres (Expression error: Missing operand for * ) farm outside of Nashville. They divorced in 1998.
Wynonna's second husband was her former bodyguard, D. R. Roach, whom she married on November 22, 2003, in Tennessee. On March 22, 2007, Roach was arrested for sexual assault of a child under the age of 13; Judd filed for divorce five days later.
In November 2003, just two weeks before her DUI arrest, Wynonna taped an appearance of an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show discussing what she described as a "severe" dependency on food. The episode aired in February 2004. Judd had been working with the show in an effort to lose a significant amount of weight and get to the root of her dependency. In September 2005, Wynonna made a second appearance on the show, discussing how she had lost some weight, had patched up relationships with her mother and with the man she considered "her dad", Michael Ciminella, from whom she had been estranged for almost a decade.
Wynonna was also a judge for the 6th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
On July 21, 2010, Judd, along with her daughter and tour manager were involved in a head-on collision in Salt Lake City, Utah, on their way to a sushi restaurant. The three of them were taken to a hospital where their injuries were treated, and all three were released at midnight that evening.
On December 24, 2011 Judd became engaged to her boyfriend, musician Cactus Moser, best known as the drummer for Highway 101. She married him on June 10, 2012 at her home in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.
On August 19, 2012, Judd announced she was postponing concerts scheduled in Canada the next week after Moser was hurt in a motorcycle accident in South Dakota. Moser was on U.S. Route 16 in the Black Hills the previous day when he crossed the center line and hit a car. This accident resulted in his left leg being amputated above the knee.
- Main article: Wynonna Judd discography
- Studio albums
- 1992: Wynonna
- 1993: Tell Me Why
- 1996: Revelations
- 1997: The Other Side
- 2000: New Day Dawning
- 2003: What the World Needs Now is Love
- 2009: Sing: Chapter 1
- Compilation albums
- 1997: Collection
- 2005: Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime
- 2010: Love Heals
- Holiday albums
- 2006: A Classic Christmas
- 1996: The Associate
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- 2.0 2.1 Wynonna: Bio. Wynonna official website. Retrieved on April 6, 2009.
- Wynonna-Review of Wynonna's first self-titled album. About.com. Retrieved on April 8, 2009.
- Buttars, Lon, "Black & Wy" give 2 great shows in 1, Salt Lake Tribune, September 25, 1993. URL accessed on April 24, 2009.
- Billboard Music Charts.
- See Wynonna's Personal Interview & Judds Performance on Oprah TUES 9/14!
- Wynonna Guest Starring on Kath & Kim.
- Walk of Fame: Inductees. Music City Walk of Fame. Retrieved on April 6, 2009.
- CNN Transcripts.
- Youth Aids Ambassadors.
- Wynonna: Stickam blog. Stickam Blog. Retrieved on April 6, 2009.
- Wynonna: Timeline. Wynonna official website. Retrieved on April 6, 2009.
- Wynonna Judd: an alli weight loss success story..
- Wynonna Judd's Husband Arrested In Texas, CBS News, March 27, 2007.
- Wynonna Judd: Oprah.
- Independent Music Awards 6th Annual Judges
- Horner, Marianne (July 23, 2010). Wynonna survives head-on collision in Salt Lake City. The Boot. Retrieved on July 24, 2010.
- Wyononna Engaged (December 29, 2011). Retrieved on December 29, 2011.
- Gicas, Peter (June 20, 2012). Wynonna Judd Ties the Knot!. E! Online. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
- Wynonna Judd Postpones Shows After Husband's Crash. AP. Retrieved on 19 August 2012.
- Wynonna Judd's Husband -- Leg Amputated After Motorcycle Crash. TMZ. Retrieved on 21 August 2012.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Wynonna Judd
|Studio albums||Wynonna · Tell Me Why · Revelations · The Other Side · New Day Dawning · What the World Needs Now Is Love · Sing: Chapter 1|
|Collection · Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime · A Classic Christmas|
|Top 20 singles||"She Is His Only Need" · "I Saw the Light" · "No One Else on Earth" · "My Strongest Weakness" · "Tell Me Why" · "A Bad Goodbye" · "Only Love" · "Is It Over Yet" · "Rock Bottom" · "Girls with Guitars" · "To Be Loved by You" · "Heaven Help My Heart" · "When Love Starts Talkin'" · "Come Some Rainy Day" · "What the World Needs"|
|Related articles||Discography · The Judds|
|Naomi Judd · Wynonna Judd|
|Studio albums||Wynonna & Naomi · Why Not Me · Rockin' with the Rhythm · Heartland · River of Time · Love Can Build a Bridge · Big Bang Boogie|
|Compilation albums||Greatest Hits · The Collectors Series · Greatest Hits Volume Two · From the Heart: 15 Career Classics · The Judds Collection: 1983-1990 · This Country's Rockin' · Talk About Love · Reflections · The Judds: Number One Hits · The Essential Judds · Spiritual Reflections · Greatest Hits: Limited Edition|
|Christmas and live albums||Christmas Time with The Judds · Live Studio Sessions · Christmas with The Judds and Alabama · The Judds in Concert · Reunion Live|
|Top 10 singles||"Mama He's Crazy" · "Why Not Me" · "Girls' Night Out" · "Love Is Alive" · "Have Mercy" · "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)" · "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain" · "Cry Myself to Sleep" · "Don't Be Cruel" · "I Know Where I'm Going" · "Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues" · "Turn It Loose" · "Give a Little Love" · "Change of Heart" · "Young Love (Strong Love)" · "Let Me Tell You About Love" · "One Man Woman" · "Born to Be Blue" · "Love Can Build a Bridge" · "One Hundred and Two"|
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