By Michele Kort
Originally published on Advocate.com September 26 2005 12:00 AM ET
“It’s to keep me cool, babe,” says
country superstar Wynonna when asked why two
fans—not the ones in the audience—blow on her
throughout the live concert DVD/CD she’s just
released, Her Story: Scenes From a Lifetime
(Curb Records), on which the belter-balladeer celebrates 20
years of making hits with mama Naomi Judd and then as a solo
artist. “But if it also makes me look like
I’m on my Harley, it’s OK with me.”
I would think gay men love you because you’re a
classic diva—big voice, big emotions, big hair…
Big thighs. No, I think it’s because I overdo it.
I try to do things really big. I’ve always been
this way—I was always making my hair redder or
wearing more sparkle. Whether they’re gay or
straight, people are drawn to someone who has a lot of
life going on.
I would think lesbians love you because you’re
take-no-shit tough, you ride a Harley, and
you’ve sung on an Olivia cruise.
Yeah, I received a standing ovation when I did
the song “Mama, He’s Crazy” [her
first number 1 with the Judds], and it came to the chorus,
and I went [she sings]: “Mama, she’s
crazy.” I thought there was going to be a riot;
they went ballistic.
Because you were on the boat—on the
cruise—did anyone wrongly assume you were
on the boat, so to speak?
No, because my husband came up to put on my guitar, and
I said, “Thanks, honey.”
Ultraconservatives started a letter-writing campaign when
it was announced you were going to perform on the
cruise. Do you have anything to say to them about tolerance?
Honestly, when that mail started, the first thing [I
thought] was, Fear is a terrible thing. I’m a
Judd, not a judge. My job is to lighten the spirit and
love the heck out of people who feel really unloved.
Did you always know you had a gay following?
Yes. I will tell you, I think people identify
with me because I’ve always felt like I
didn’t fit in, and I’m drawn to them because
it’s a natural connection.
But you stay out of the political scene.
I’m not trying to gloss over it—if
you’re around me, I have many gay employees.
Everybody that knows me knows my heart. But I don’t
get involved a lot with panels of people because
it’s just a pissing contest, and it’s
not my style. I home-school, and I’m raising my kids
with absolute tolerance. They know they are loved and
that we all deserve it.
Have you ever seen a drag queen do Wynonna?
I had a yard sale after my divorce [from her first
husband, the father of her children Elijah, 10, and
Grace, 9] where 5,000 people came, and one man in
particular bought several pairs of my shoes. You know
you’ve made it when a drag queen comes to your yard
sale and buys your stuff!
In 2003 you married D.R. Roach, a man who was your
bodyguard and road manager for 14 years. How did
like turn to love?
We went to visit a friend of mine who was dying,
and that day I met the spirit man [in him]. Prior to
that he was a worker in a suit—very close to
me, but I couldn’t see past the suit and the job.
Speaking of your kids, in another eight years or so will
there be a new set of Judds, with you as Mama this time?
Oh, Lord help me. I’d have to get my own
bus, I’ll tell you that. I can’t even
imagine it, but if it happened, obviously it would be the
road they’re supposed to be on.
Do you and the kids do a lot of harmonizing at home?
We’re not there yet. We’re in
unison at this point. Loud and in unison.
You seem to have found a lot more balance in your
life—does that include the overeating
issues you’ve talked about in the past?
It depends on what state I’m in—and
what state I’m in. If I’m in California,
I try to eat healthy. If I’m in Texas, it’s
hard not to order barbecue. Like I said, I do
everything big, and whether it’s love or money
or food, it’s gotten me in a lot of trouble. So
I’m working on the word moderation.
When you get to heaven, what would you like to be greeted
by—a great song, or a great dish of food?
I’ve been told there’s no food in
heaven. I just want to meet Elvis.