Wynonna Judd to Recreate Her and Mom Naomi’s Farewell Concert Next Week
On Wednesday, Wynonna Judd took a day away from her ongoing tour to announce another key stop. Wynonna and a series of very special guests will take the ongoing The Judds tour — booked before her mom Naomi’s death and now serving as a tribute to the duo’s legacy — to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, next week. What’s so special about Murfreesboro? Well, Murphy Center, the local basketball arena at Middle Tennessee State University, hosted the final Judds concert featuring Wynonna and Naomi during their initial run. That Dec. 4, 1991, show was immortalized in a concert special. Now Wynonna and company will recreate the night for a new CMT special, titled The Judds: Love Is Alive — The Final Concert. (Click here to find tickets to the concert.)
Wynonna will be joined by a fleet of guests, including Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Martina McBride. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster with proceeds partially benefiting NAMI Tennessee (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Those unable to attend in person will be able to watch the special (a co-production between CMT and Sandbox Productions) sometime in March 2023. In a press conference held at Fox & Locke in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, Wynonna revealed they will be recreating many details of the 1991 special, including the stage set and costumes.
✨The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert✨
Join @Wynonna at @MTSU’s Murphy Center next week, November 3, for a history-making live concert taping! pic.twitter.com/m9VVkxrHiA
— The Judds (@juddsofficial) October 26, 2022
“Similar clothing, hair, lips. The stage is similar, but it’s modernized enough for the new fans to go, ‘Oh, that’s new,” Wynonna told PopCulture and other media. “Look, everything comes back around. You know this, right? It’s similar to the past, but it’s in the now. All the guests are all going to be on stage. Back when we did the show, Garth (Brooks) and Reba (McEntire) were there, and I’m not sure if they’re coming, but we’re going to invite them. We’re going to do everything we can just to celebrate 31 years later.”
Many Judds fans remember the initial farewell special well thanks to repeated home video viewings, but it turns out that Wynonna has a much different takeaway from the show. She remembers having to persevere through the concert after falling ill.
“I remember how sick we were,” she recalled. “We were quarantined. We were not able to see each other until the show. I could barely sing. They told me that if I sang, I could damage my voice for good. That’s what I remember the most. If you listen to my voice, I’m barely there. I don’t know if you noticed it or not because just the spirit of it was so strong. It was almost like people couldn’t tell that my voice was gone.”
As for this recreation, Judd is excited to capture all the love fans have been giving her and her family in the wake of Naomi’s suicide on April 30. But that doesn’t mean she won’t also be nervous, though. She noted that shows like this Murphy Center gig and her upcoming sold-out concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena bring out some hometown jitters.
“The truth is, it’s weird as hell to play your hometown because you have to see these people,” Wynnona said. “Look, I did a show where my cape got stuck in the lift, and I did the first song on my knees. People thought I had fallen. It was this big drama and s— happens. It’s not fun to do it in your hometown. It’s fine if you do it in Biloxi (Mississippi) because you can leave. Playing Nashville is tough. All your people are there from the label, the agency, the record deals. Everybody’s there, and they’re looking at you going, ‘So you work all year long everywhere else but (not) that one night here.’ I’m really nervous, I’ll be honest.”
As for the venue, Murphy Center was long a beacon for high-caliber arena acts looking to play Middle Tennessee. Elvis Presley, U2, Garth Brooks, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Tina Turner and the Beach Boys during some of their peak years. However, in recent years it has only hosted a handful of concerts for MTSU students including Ludacris, Jack Harlow and Icona Pop. This Judds performance is being billed as the “largest concert to take place” at the venue since the 1991 farewell show they’re recreating. The concert comes as the facility celebrates its 50th anniversary; MTSU also recently completed $6 million in renovations in an attempt to lure arena-level acts to the growing Nashville suburb.
No exact release date is set for The Judds: Love Is Alive — The Final Concert. Margaret Comeaux (CMT), Jason Owen (Sandbox) and Patrizia DiMaria (Ladypants Productions) are credited as executive producers, Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino are credited as Executives in Charge of Production, Shanna Strassberg and Donna Duncan are talent producers, and Leslie Fram serves as Executive in Charge of Talent.
Tickets are available now via Ticketmaster. The Judds tour will continue with more dates in 2023. Click here to see a full list of upcoming tour dates.