Wynonna Judd Shares Her Nerves and Excitement About Performing the National Anthem at the Kentucky Derby

When it comes to performing on stage, Wynonna Judd knows the pressure that can accompany such a profound moment. Throughout her time in the spotlight, Wynonna gained fame thanks to her work with The Judds. But even outside of her collaboration with her mother, Naomi Judd, Wynonna also had a promising solo career thanks to hit songs like “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else on Earth.” And with decades’ worth of experience, it seems that Wynonna is a little nervous when it comes to performing the national anthem at the Kentucky Derby. 

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Getting the offer to perform at the Kentucky Derby, Wynonna knew she would say yes given her background. Recalling her own childhood and the importance of horse racing, the singer explained to People, “I grew up going to Keeneland. Standing on the backside as they come around and hearing the thunderous sound of the hooves hitting the dirt, I was just always overcome with emotion. I still think about it. I think to this day, besides having my children, it’s one of the greatest memories of my life. My sweet Papa was there every single year, and he took me.” 

As for the nerves, Wynonna added, “I will be writing the words on my hand,” she admits with a laugh. “I’m nervous as heck because it is my home state, and these are my people. But yeah, I’m excited because I’ve never done it before.”

Wynonna Judd Admits To Missing Her Mother “Terribly”

Although trying to contain her excitement, Wynonna promised to take in the moment. “I will be going in the morning for a soundcheck, and that will give me a chance to stand there and just bask in the glory of the moment.” She continued, “I just met my brother a couple of years ago and he lives in Lexington, so I’ll be with him. I have this whole new family, and it’s just a whole thing. It’s like the best of the best. It doesn’t get any better.” 

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While surrounded by family, Wynonna shared her longing to have her mother in attendance. “I feel her, and I miss her terribly. It’s the ‘best and the worst of times’ kind of thing, where you’re keenly aware of where you were and what was going on, on that day.”

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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