Wynonna Judd rose to fame in the 1980s as half of the country music duo The Judds, with her mother, Naomi. She is known for her deep voice, fiery red hair and rock-star attitude.
But she also has made headlines for her outspoken personality and for publicly dealing with issues ranging from food addiction to her tumultuous relationship with her mother and sister, actress Ashley Judd, who has announced she is considering a run for the U.S. Senate.
Everything has been documented in Judd’s almost 20 appearances on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” a book and a reality show.
Her husband and drummer, Cactus Moser, had his leg amputated after his motorcycle collided with an oncoming vehicle in August — two months after the couple married. Moses returned to the stage three months after the accident.
“I was on the road with a drummer who was filling in for him and I think that drove him crazy,” said Judd, 48. “I think he was so determined to show me as well as his family that he’s not a complainer, that he’s not a victim.”
Judd shared details about her husband’s recovery. She also talked about her relationship with her mother today and what she has learned from fame. She snapped when asked about a controversial comment she made about Taylor Swift winning the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 2009, which she called premature for the young singer.
Q: Why did you and your mother choose to be so open about your private lives?
A: I know my house manager and my band and my assistant are going to tell on me if I don’t. So I know I might as well say it first. That way, they can’t call me and say, “I want $100,000 or I’ll tell the story about dot, dot, dot.” I can say I already talked about it on “Oprah.” There’s nothing you have on me so you can just forget it (laughs).
Q: Do you ever regret saying or doing anything in your career?
A: I’ve had a tendency to be late. The reason I’ve been late, it’s because I procrastinate. I didn’t realize it for the longest time. I had to really work hard to get back to a place I was respected in that department.
Q: How did becoming famous at an early age, 18, affect you?
A: When you become famous, you’re in a battle for your life. You have to learn to say no or you will perish. I’ve had that happen to me since I was 18. My mother has always been my queen. She’s always said, “When we do Johnny Carson, I’ll sit next to Johnny and when the first commercial break comes we’ll switch seats.”
There has to be a time when I have to stand for myself and say “No, that doesn’t work for me.”
Q: Your mother, Naomi, used to be the leader of The Judds duo. How hard is it to stand up for yourself against her?
A: I think there will always be a conflict between alpha females of who gets to talk first. Just out of respect, if I’m in her house I’ll let her take the lead. There are times when it’s hard because we are both so strong and opinionated and willful.
Q: You said a controversial comment about Taylor Swift being elected entertainer of the year. What do you think about the new generation of country artists?
A: I can’t believe you’re asking me all these questions. Part of me is very aggravated when you guys do this. But I’m going to tell you what I can tell you now because I’m in a pretty good mood.
I made a comment that when mom and I started in 1984, we were in a car for a year visiting radio stations every day. We would pick certain weeks out of the month and we would visit those radio stations.
It was slow enough that fans can grow into it and make us sort of like the American heroes because they were right there with us. Now there’s not a whole lot of the old-fashioned shaking the hand of the guy who runs the station. Now you can become famous overnight because of YouTube.
I think where I got in trouble was that I made a comment about somebody winning ... you have got to earn it. You’re not entitled to it because you’re selling a lot of records.
Q: Your sister, Ashley, announced she is considering running for senator for Kentucky. What is your opinion about that?
A: No comment and I really don’t like your questions at this point. I’m really not interested in talking about my sister.