Wynonna Judd Bio - Biography

Name Wynonna Judd
Height 5' 5½"
Naionality American
Date of Birth 30 May 1964
Place of Birth Ashland, Kentucky, USA
Famous for
Wynonna Judd was raised in various places across the country, beginning in her birth state of Kentucky. As her mother Naomi Judd continued pursuing her nursing career, the Judd family settled twice in California and later full-time in Kentucky. In 1979, Wynonna, Naomi and younger half-sister Ashley Judd settled in Franklin, Tennessee and began searching for a record deal in nearby Nashville. In 1983, an unprecedented sit-down audition with RCA Nashville was successful, and indicated great things to come for country's newest duo The Judds. Several years and awards later, Naomi announced that she had contracted Hepatitis C during her nursing career from a needle stick. Their final concert on December 4, 1991 indicated an end to country music's most influential duo, and a beginning for someone who would break new records within the industry. Wynonna's first solo album, 'Wynonna', sold over 5 million copies, a first in the industry. Today, Wynonna continues her successful recording career along with raising children Elijah Judd and Grace Pauline from her first marriage to Nashville's Arch Kelley.“I have been carrying around a picture from 1983 in my purse. I’m with my Mom, Don Potter and Brent Maher and we are in the first week of making the very first Judd mini-LP. I have really been looking into the face of who that girl was. It was such a special time for me. I was filled with an overwhelming eagerness to play my guitar and enjoy my gift. I was completely unaware and unaffected by “show business”.

I realize now that my life has come full circle with the recording process of this new album. I am back in the studio today with Brent and Don working on my seventh studio album and we’re doing demos for this record like we did in the 80’s. Demos allow us to work with a song, get creative with it and make it the way we want without the pressure of mastering the song. We’re listening to all of the old, great standards with the big band sound, lots of bluegrass and blues. The record we’re making is going to sound very live and will be a mixture of an acoustic sound intermingled with the blues, torch ballads and my own songwriting. More than anything, this record is going to be full of the joy that I remember having in the very beginning of my career.

What I know for sure, is that I’m back to where I started: an 18 yr. old girl sitting on the back porch playing and singing her heart out. I’m ready to begin the journey again.” --- Wynonna

A world-renowned vocalist and entertainer, Wynonna has accumulated sales totals as a solo artist in excess of ten million units, a top Female Vocalist win by the Academy of Country Music and thirteen top ten hits on the charts. Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and her life story, this twenty-three year music veteran has celebrated 20 #1 hits and a multitude of gold and platinum records. Innovative, inspired and imaginative, this phenomenal music icon continues to touch the heart and souls of many with her powerful, soulful voice and presence. In 2008, the range of Wynonna’s achievements and her commitment to stretch her artistic boundaries will undoubtedly shine yet again as she is scheduled to release the highly anticipated follow-up to her most recent #1 debut album, the third of her solo career (What The World Needs Now Is Love) later this year. Guided by her heart and the powerhouse production team of Brent Maher, the producer responsible for the mega-hits and Grammy’s of The Judds, and Don Potter, musical arranger and signature guitarist for many of The Judds and Wynonna’s solo projects, she will remind the world of her rich musical legacy with her latest heartfelt musical compilation. This holiday season, Wynonna will continue to blaze new trails as she embarks on her 2nd annual Christmas tour in support of her critically acclaimed Top 10 Billboard Country album, A Classic Christmas, which not only garnered rave reviews in 2007, but also awarded her with her second Top 10 Billboard Christmas single.

2007 was a year unlike any other for Wynonna. Throughout her documented struggle of survival and redemption, Wynonna’s journey for love and growth found her once again in the lives and in the homes of millions of American’s. Prompted by her friends at Good Morning America, Wynonna recorded the theme song for their February television series on love. Philanthropically, Wynonna aligned herself with some of the most revered charitable organizations in the country. She called upon her dear friend, Patti LaBelle, to join her for the annual Divas NashVegas concert benefiting The Oasis Center in Nashville, she signed on as the honorary chairperson for the United Way of Williamson County, joined The Larry King Live Show on CNN by bringing attention to The Fisher House Foundation which assists military families, revisited The Wheel of Fortune with a special appearance that benefited Hope’s Place in her hometown of Ashland, KY and inspired the Miller Family on ABC’s hit primetime television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with a riveting performance of “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Wynonna was also presented with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame based on her incomparable musical legacy and magnitude of service with which she serves the Nashville community. She also lent her instantly recognizable voice to an international music documentary on BBC radio that reached over 13 million listeners and helped celebrate music icon, Stevie Wonder, at the inaugural ASCAP American Troubadour Awards in Washington, DC. In August, Wynonna graced the cover of Ladies Home Journal for the third time in the last three years and continued to tour with some of the most esteemed symphony orchestras in the United States. She kicked off her wildly successful first-ever 18 city Christmas tour, “A Classic Christmas” by performing at the coveted 81st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC followed by an appearance on The Today Show where she performed a heavenly rendition of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and continued to spread holiday cheer with a television appearance on ABC’s Christmas at Ford Theater. Wynonna wrapped her extraordinary year with a special television event on NBC honoring her 23 year career titled, “Wynonna: A Tribute on Ice,” which featured world-class skating champions such as Kimmie Meissner and Brian Boitano, gracefully skating to her popular hits. The commemorative tribute also highlighted a rare television appearance by Naomi Judd in a performance as The Judds.

Wynonna released her first-ever solo Christmas CD in 2006 titled, A Classic Christmas, on which she delivers soulful, contemporary renditions of her favorite holiday songs. She launched the collection with numerous television and radio appearances throughout the fall, including Good Morning America, The View, Rachael Ray, Delilah, and an NBC Skating Spectacular Special, as well as the cover of Ladies Home Journal in November 2006 and a photo layout in Vanity Fair in November 2006. In this busy year, Wynonna also found time to contribute guest vocals on compilations from Sam Moore, Patti Labelle, Ann Wilson and Dionne Warwick. In addition, she hosted the fourth season of USA Network’s “Nashville Star,” the most watched country music program in the country. But, her television appearances didn’t stop there as she graced the stages of The Billboard Music Awards, the Fox network show Duets, and CMT’s Greatest Moments. She concluded her stellar year by performing at the esteemed 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.

2005 was also a landmark year for Wynonna. She added New York Times Best Selling Author to her already extraordinary resume, as she released her first autobiography, Coming Home to Myself in September of 2005. The heartfelt memoir of struggle and survival arrived as one of the Top 10 Best Sellers on the coveted list and will be released on paperback June 5, 2007. She also released the musical journey of her life (on double-live CD and recently certified gold DVD) entitled Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime. These packages energized the spotlight on her incomparable artistry and firmly established her as a music trendsetter among the most elite, world-renowned entertainers working today. She also appeared on the covers of Ladies Home Journal (February) and Good Housekeeping (September). She successfully tried her hand at comedy on ABC’s hit sitcom, Hope and Faith, and was also honored with the USO’s prestigious Merit Award in 2005 for service to all divisions of the United States Armed Forces. She christened the new Wynn Resort and Casino at a posh party sponsored by InStyle Magazine for YouthAIDS, rocked the house with BB King in New York in June, graced the stage of the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet. Wynonna also 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 dollars for victims of natural disasters to the Gulf Coast. The trio subsequently performed the song at the World Series (a first in her career). She continues to bring attention to the global emergency of AIDS in her fourth year as United States Ambassador for YouthAIDS.

Wynonna signed her first solo record deal in 1992 and the rest, as they say, was history. Or perhaps, Her Story. With vast critical acclaim her first solo project, Wynonna, was certified for sales of over five million units and became the highest-selling debut album by a female artist at the time. A musical force like none other before her, Wynonna followed her wildly successful debut with the multi-platinum disc, Tell Me Why, as well as with the platinum-certified Revelations. Her greatest hits compilation, Collection, was released in 1997, the year which also found her gold record, The Other Side, flying from the shelves. Wynonna burst into 2000 with a torrent of unleashed creativity that is expressed on New Day Dawning, her fifth solo outing which she also produced. She continued to capture the hearts of fans and critics alike with her #1 debut album, the third of her solo career, What the World Needs Now is Love, while also celebrating her 20th year in the music business.

Prior to this solo success, her history with The Judds became a story for the record books. The Judds became one of the most celebrated success stories in country music history. In just six short years, they had sold more than twenty million records worldwide and had won over sixty industry awards including five Grammy’s, nine Country Music Association Awards and eight Billboard Music Awards. The Judds are universally loved and still regarded as country music royalty for music fans around the globe.

Wynonna's List of TWENTY #1 Hits (as certified by Billboard):

Mama He's Crazy
Why Not Me
Girls Night Out
Love is Alive
Have Mercy
Rockin With the Rhythm
Cry Myself to Sleep
I Know Where I'm Going
Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues
Turn it Loose
Change of Heart
Young Love
Let Me Tell You About Love
She Is His Only Need
I Saw the Light
No One Else on Earth
My Strongest Weakness
Only Love
To Be Loved by You

A Year By Year Glance of Wynonna's Career Milestones!

1984 - First professional gig-in March 1984 in Omaha, Nebraska. First #1 hit with "Mama He's Crazy" as part of the duo The Judds in August 1984. They also received the coveted CMA Horizon Award. By year end, the amazing duo had their second #1 hit with "Why Not Me." They also received their first Grammy award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

1985 - The Judds celebrated their first double platinum album with "Why Not Me." The Judds received their first two Academy of Country Music awards for Top Vocal Duet and Song of the Year for "Why Not Me" and their second Grammy. They also won their first four Billboard awards for Top Country Singles Duo, Top Country Albums Duo, Top New Country Artists - Albums, Top New Country Artists - Singles. They didn't stop there, but also went on to receive their first two Country Music Association awards for Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year, "Why Not Me". They chalked up 3 more #1 records with "Girls Night Out," "Love is Alive" and "Have Mercy." They also performed 260 dates on the road in 1985!

1986- The Judds celebrated 2 more #1 songs with hits, "Grandpa" and "Rockin' with the Rhythm," and went on to collect their third Grammy in three short years, three more Billboard awards and awards at both the Academy of Country Music Association and Country Music Association. They also performed around the world and made their debut appearance at Radio City Music Hall.

1987 - The Judds received their first two American Music Awards for Favorite Country Video and Favorite Country Single for the song "Grandpa." They celebrated success at radio with 3 more #1 hits, "Cry Myself to Sleep," "I Know Where I'm Going" and "Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues." In their fourth year, they were honored with their fourth platinum album.

1988 - The Judds released their first Greatest Hits Album in their career, their second album to be certified multi-platinum, and celebrated the success of their 11th #1 hit, "Turn it Loose." They also reigned supreme at the Grammy Awards, collecting their fourth Grammy Award.

1989 - The Judds scored their first CBS television special in January. Their seventh studio album "River of Time" was released. In just 5 short years, The Judds celebrated with their 14th #1 hit, "Let Me Tell You about Love."

1990 - The Judds surprised the world when Naomi Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and with that came the realization that they would have to retire as the reining duo, The Judds. They also created the world's first 3-D music video for their fifth music video, "Love Can Build a Bridge." They were honored as the Top Vocal Duet by the Academy of Country Music, Vocal Duo of the Year by the Country Music Association and #5 Top Artists of the Decade by Billboard.

1991 -The Judds were the top touring act in any genre this year, performing in over 116 cities. In December, the two joined voices for "The Final Concert" which was the highest rated pay-per-view special of all time. They also celebrated their unprecedented 8th consecutive win for Country Duo at the CMA Awards. In eight short years, they had collected over 60 industry awards, including their fifth Grammy, 6 platinum albums, four gold albums (over 20 million albums sold in all) and were honored with two platinum and three gold video awards.

1992 - Released her first solo album, "Wynonna" - the largest selling country album by a female country artist at that time. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and went on to be certified with sales in excess of 5 million units. This same year she celebrated 4 #1 singles from the album as well, bringing her overall shared total to 18 #1 hits in 9 years.

1993 - Wynonna hosted the American Music Awards, performed for the Pope and released her second multi-platinum solo #1 album, "Tell Me Why" and celebrated her fifth solo #1 single with "Only Love." She also recorded and released her first solo duet with Country Superstar Clint Black, "A Bad Goodbye."

1994 - Named by the Academy of Country Music as Country Music's Top Female Vocalist, Wynonna performed at the Grammy Awards and at the Superbowl.

1995 - Wynonna was a guest on the first annual VH1 Honors Show (a precursor to the VH1 "Divas" series), was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and was featured in an NBC Miniseries in May.

1996 - Wynonna was one of the Top 10 grossing tours of the year. "To Be Loved by You" was released from her platinum album entitled "Revelations." The song peaked at #1 on both the Billboard and Radio and Records charts, raising her overall total to 20 #1 hits (6 as a solo artist). Wynonna also landed in her first solo television special on CBS.

1997 - Wynonna released two albums, a Greatest Hits package entitled "Collection" and a fourth studio album entitled "The Other Side." She also made her first appearance on "Sesame Street."

1998 - Wynonna lended her voice for the "Prince of Egypt" soundtrack with the song, "Freedom." She also co-headlined "The Voices" tour with Michael Bolton, sang at the Daytona 500 and chaired a celebrity auction for the American Liver Foundation with her family.

1999 - Wynonna marked her acting debut on the hit television show, "Touched by an Angel," marking her first of three featured appearances on the show. Her first appearance in 1999 (Psalm 151) was voted as the series favorite by voters as www.cbs.com. At the dawn of the millennium, Wynonna celebrated one of the nation's premiere entertainment events by reuniting with her mother in Phoenix for The Judds Reunion Concert. It was spotlighted by cover stories in USA Today and papers around the globe.

2000 - Wynonna was the national spokesperson for the Power to Change Program, sponsored by Kmart and Ladies Home Journal. She was also the celebrity spokesperson for the Kmart Corporation and was featured in three commercials for the retail giant. Wynonna and her mother were featured in a third CBS primetime special. She also performed in the highly acclaimed series for MTV, "Music in High Places," where she performed acoustically throughout Italy.

2001 -Wynonna co-wrote, produced and recorded her first major motion picture soundtrack song, "You Are," for the 20th Century Fox film, "Someone Like You," featuring her sister, actress Ashley Judd. She also made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry in September and sang duets with Huey Lewis and Kelly Price. She also performed twice for President Bush, making him the fourth sitting United States President for whom she had performed.

2002 - As part of the amazing Superbowl festivities, Wynonna performed to a worldwide audience of over one billion people. She also sang at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, sang at Carnegie Hall for the first time and celebrated platinum soundtrack album success with her involvement in the Disney film "Lilo and Stitch" with her hip rendition of Elvis' "Burnin' Love." She was the cornerstone of all marketing efforts for the Disney's company launch of the film and was spotlighted in a primetime ABC special celebrating its release.

2003 - Wynonna returned to the music charts with her fourteenth solo Top 20 hit, "What the World Needs." She also released her sixth solo album, "What the World Needs Now is Love" where it debuted at the coveted #1 position on the Country Album charts. It was her first trip to #1 in over a decade, her third solo album to do so. She was also the first country artist to serve as Grand Marshall for the Indy 500 Festival and Race.

2004 - Wynonna released her new single, "Flies on the Butter," to country radio. This is her 42nd commercial release in 20 years. Wynonna and D.R. Roach are featured in ABC's primetime special, InStyle Celebrity Weddings in January. She also honors friend Sting at the MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year gala with a special musical tribute. She graces the cover of Good Housekeeping in September, appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show three times and is featured on the smash hit CMT show, Crossroads, with she-roes-Heart.

2005 - Wynonna appears on Good Morning America as part of their tribute, Songs for Tsunami as well as on the cover of Ladies Home Journal in February. She tries her hand at comedy on the hit ABC show, Hope and Faith. Wynonna is also honored with the USO's prestigious Merit Award, is nominated for a Dove Award for "Rescue Me," performs at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem with Wynton Marsalis, performs in New York City with B.B. King and releases her New York Times best-selling memoir (Coming Home To Myself) and musical journey on cd/dvd (Her Story: Scenes from a Lifetime) in September. She appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Ellen to promote her products. She also joins voices with Eric Benet and Michael McDonald to sing "Heart of America" for hurricane relief (to benefit Habitat For Humanity).

2006 – Wynonna released her first-ever solo Christmas CD titled, “A Classic Christmas” which debuted as a Top 10 Billboard Country album. During the holiday season, she releases her first solo Christmas single, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" which peaked at #7 on the Billboard charts. She appears on Good Morning America, The View, Rachael Ray, Delilah and an NBC Skating Spectacular Special. She also graced the cover of Ladies Home Journal in November and a photo layout in Vanity Fair. She also found time to contribute guest vocals on compilations from Sam Moore, Patti LaBelle, Ann Wilson and Dionne Warwick. In addition, she hosted the fourth season of USA Network’s “Nashville Star,” the most watched country music program in the country. But, her television appearances didn’t stop there as she graced the stages of The Billboard Music Awards, the Fox network show Duets, and CMT’s Greatest Moments. She concluded her stellar year by performing at the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.

2007 – Recorded the theme song for Good Morning America series, performed with Patti LaBelle at the Divas NashVegas concert in Nashville, honored as chairperson for the United Way of Williamson County, presented with a star on The Music City Walk of Fame, graced the cover of Ladies Home Journal for the third time in three years, appeared on The Larry King Live Show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Wheel of Fortune, The TV Land Awards and We Love Ella! A Tribute To The First Lady of Song honoring jazz legend, Ella Fitzgerald, joined BBC radio in a live music documentary reaching 13 million listeners, celebrated music icon, Stevie Wonder, at the inaugural ASCAP American Troubadour Awards in Washington, DC, kicked off her first-ever 18 city Christmas tour with numerous television appearances including The 81st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Today Show, and Christmas at Ford Theater on ABC, garnered her second Top 10 Billboard Christmas single, Winter Wonderland and concluded her stellar year with an NBC television show tribute honoring her 23 year musical odyssey titled, “Wynonna: A Tribute on Ice.”

Wynonna Judd Photos