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Wynonna Judd

Wynonna Judd


"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.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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