Wynonna Judd Addresses Health Concerns After CMA Awards Performance with Jelly Roll

“I just held on for dear life,” she said.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

November 9, 2023


11:50 am

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Jelly Roll, Wynonna Judd; Photo Courtesy of ABC

Wynonna Judd is addressing her surprise CMA Awards performance with Jelly Roll after fans took to social media with concerns about her health and well-being. 

Judd, 59, joined Jelly Roll, 38 to sing “Need A Favor” during the opening moments of the 2023 CMA Awards. Throughout the performance, she appeared to be gripping Jelly Roll’s arm tightly and her body appeared to be stiff. 

Was Wynonna Judd OK At The CMA Awards

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Hours later, Wynonna responded to fans’ concerns via Instagram in a video message taken from a plane in Nashville en route to her upcoming show in Texas. 

“Okay so they say don’t read the comments – I’ve read the comments,” Judd said in the video. “And I’m just gonna come clean with y’all – I was so freaking nervous. I got out there and I looked at Jelly Roll, I wanted it to be so good for him.”

The country music icon admitted, “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 Just Held On For Dear Life”

Judd went on to detail how her nerves got the best of her. “I got out there and I was so nervous that I just held on for dear life. And that’s the bottom line.”

The “Why Not Me” singer is currently in the midst of her Back To Wy Tour, which launched on October 26 in Indianapolis. During each show, the powerhouse vocalist delivers the entirety of her debut and sophomore solo albums, Wynonna and Tell Me Why

“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 in closing, adding, “And all is well.”

Wynonna Judd; Photo by Jamie Schramm/CMA
Wynonna Judd; Photo by Jamie Schramm/CMA

She Was ‘So Excited’ To Perform With Jelly Roll

Wynonna spoke with the press backstage before exiting Bridgestone and said that her performance was Jelly Roll will go down as one of her “favorite” performances of all time.  

“Jelly Roll is a force to be reckoned with, and he’s his own person. And getting to stand toe to toe with him was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done,” she stated. “It was too much. He’s so powerful and great at what he does in a way that I was so nervous and so excited. I don’t know how many more of these moments I have left, but I can tell you this, that was definitely top 10 for me.” 

Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards aired live on Wednesday, November 8 on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The star-studded show featured performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and more. 

Jelly Roll, Wynonna Judd; Photo Courtesy of CMA
Jelly Roll, Wynonna Judd; Photo Courtesy of CMA

Always known for epic collaborations, the 2023 CMA Awards also featured a Jimmy Buffett tribute from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Mac McAnally, and Zac Brown Band, a not-to-be-missed performance of country classics from Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, and HARDY, a performance honoring The Judds from Jelly Roll and K. Michelle, plus special duets from Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion and Megan Moroney, and Little Big Town with Tanya Tucker.  

Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, Nate Bargatze, Kevin Cahoon, Jordan Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Sara Evans, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Martina McBride, Parker McCollum, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Corey Seager, Gerry Turner, Keith Urban, Hailey Whitters and Chris Young appeared to present during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” 

Those who were unable to watch the show in real-time can watch the CMA Awards now on Hulu. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.