3 Songs You Didn’t Know Featured Wynonna Judd

Wynonna Judd is renowned for being one of the best vocalists in country music history. One of the driving forces behind her powerful voice is her genuine love for music. “I remember singing and feeling really special,” she told American Songwriter about her first time performing in front of an audience in eighth grade. “The first time anyone ever said outside of my family and friends, ‘I am receiving something spectacular that you’re giving,’ I remember that exchange and going, ‘I want this feeling.’ Whether it’s at my eighth grade graduation or it’s in front of 80,000 people, I know what that feeling is. I remember being immediately addicted to that feeling of love.”

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Judd has made a legacy out of conveying that feeling of love through not just through her work in The Judds, but also collaborating with friends and peers. Throughout a career that spans four decades, Judd has appeared on songs with artists ranging from fellow country icons to modern rappers. Check out three songs you didn’t know Judd was a featured artist on.

1. “Bloody Mary Morning” by Willie Nelson

In 2013, Willie Nelson released the duets album, To All the Girls…, that featured him duetting with female artists ranging from icons like Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, and Loretta Lynn, to modern superstars Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, and the daughters of fellow singers. Among the all-star collaborators was Judd, who teamed up with Nelson on his 1974 hit, “Bloody Mary Morning.”

Judd keeps up with Nelson on the fast-paced, banjo-picking number, her strong and smoky voice accenting his gentle tones. To All the Girls… was Nelson’s highest-charting album on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart since 1989, peaking at No. 2. It also reached the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.

2. “Keeps Me Alive” by Yelawolf

Judd’s voice knows no bounds, which she proved when she joined forces with rapper Yelawolf on his 2017 album, Trial by Fire. The country superstar appears on the closing track, “Keeps Me Alive,” which details Yelawolf’s complicated upbringing as he raps in the autobriographical lyrics: Cocaine and alcohol filled up the house party to be frank / It wasn’t too long before I tried it myself and then started to drink / School became boring and doing my homework became rollin’ joints. When Judd’s voice comes in on the chorus, it’s like a force of nature as she belts: This is my story / This is my glory / This is what keeps me alive / This is me flying / This is me trying / This is what keeps me alive.

“My album Trial By Fire was kind of like me tipping the hat to the country hip-hop infusion,” Yelawolf explained to Cleveland.com, adding in an interview with DJBooth TV that he met Judd through mutual friend Mike Wolfe of American Pickers.

[RELATED: 5 Essential Wynonna Judd Collaborations]

3. “Pretty Reckless” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

Ray Wylie Hubbard has been a steady force in Nashville’s songwriting scene, co-writing such hits as Eric Church‘s “Desperate Man.” He’s also had a flourishing solo career, releasing nearly 20 albums, including a pair of collaborations, Co-Starring in 2020 and Co-Starring Too in 2022. Judd appears on the latter singing with Hubbard, Jaimee Harris, Charlie Sexton, and Gurf Morlix on “Pretty Reckless.” “One of my very favorite songwriters,” Judd praised Hubbard at the time of the album’s release. “What a colorful character!! Congratulations my friend.”

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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