Wynonna Judd Addresses Fan Concerns Over Her 2023 CMA Awards Performance: ‘I’ve Read the Comments’

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Wynonna Judd addressed fans’ worries about her health after the country star opened the 2023 CMA Awards alongside Jelly Roll to perform his hit “Need a Favor” on Wednesday (Nov. 8) at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.


During the set — which Judd was previously not announced for — she delivered powerful vocals alongside the new artist of the year winner. However, fans noticed that she seemed to be a bit stiff and was hanging on tightly to Jelly for much of the performance.

“Is #WynonnaJudd ill?” tweeted one viewer. “The way she was moving during this performance looks like she can’t was struggling to keep her balance.”

“OK so they say don’t read the comments — I’ve read the comments!” the “To Be Loved by You” singer began in a video message shared on her TikTok and Instagram accounts. “I’m just gonna come clean with y’all. I was so freakin’ nervous! I got out there and I looked at Jelly Roll. I wanteed 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.”


The singer — who appeared to be on a plane while recording her message — told viewers that she was on her way to Texas for a show Thursday. She’s currently on her Back to Wy Tour. “I’ll be on stage tomorrow night with the people I love the most, and with you, the fans I love the most,” she said. “And all is well!”

After her performance, Judd spoke to Billboard‘s Lyndsey Haven backstage about her taking the stage with Jelly Roll. “That was a kick in the pants!” the country star said of their duet.

She then explained how Jelly got her to open the show with him. “He literally phoned me and said, ‘So, can you sing on the CMA Awards?’ and I went, ‘No, I can’t because I have to be in Texas Wednesday night.’ He said, ‘What if I can get you there on a private plane?’ and I said, ‘I’m in!’ So he got me a private plane, and here I am! See how it works?”

Watch Wynonna Judd’s video message to fans, and her chat with Billboard below:

.@Wynonna shares how Jelly Roll got her to perform at the #CMAawards and more backstage at the show with Billboard. 👀 pic.twitter.com/4gOY2yAX6J

— billboard (@billboard) November 9, 2023

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