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The 2023 CMA Awards kicked off with a surprise appearance by Wynonna Judd. Though her presence at the awards show was exciting for the A-list crowd, fans took to social media after noticing some odd behavior on stage.
What Was Wrong With Wynonna Judd at the 2023 CMA Awards?
Jelly Roll brought Wynonna out for a performance of his song “Need a Favor.” The songstress’ appearance was not previously announced and instead came as a total shock. Wynonna wore a black leather ensemble as she launched into the song.
As they performed, Wynonna grabbed onto Jelly Roll’s arm. It was a gesture that many viewers at home took notice of.
“I’m worried about Wynonna Judd on this opening song from the CMA Awards,” one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, during the performance. “She looked [like] she could barely walk, grabbed Jelly Roll’s jacket and didn’t MOVE.”
Another viewer wrote, "I hope #wynonnajudd is OK!" adding "After her performance just now, I’m a bit worried."
Others wondered if she was "struggling to keep her balance" or was simply "OK." One fan wondered if she was "having a bout with vertigo," something Wynonna opened up about experiencing in the past. She previously pulled out of CBS' New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash show on December 31, 2022, due to "an extreme bout of vertigo."
"Nashville, I am absolutely heartbroken and so sorry to have let you all down tonight," Wynonna wrote on Instagram at the time.
What Did Wynonna Judd Say After the 2023 CMA Awards?
A few hours after her performance, Wynonna posted a TikTok video to address concerns over her health.
"I'm just going to come clean with y'all. I was so freaking nervous," she said in the clip. "I got out there, and I looked at Jelly Roll. I wanted it to be so good for him. I could cry right now, but I'm not going to because I'm such a fan of his and he asked me to sing, and I said, 'Absolutely!' I got out there and I was so nervous that I just held on for dear life. And that's the bottom line."
Her decision to take the stage that night was inspiring to the next generation of country music artists.
"I have to show up for people like people did me," she told Entertainment Tonight afterward. "That's my job now is to pass it on because people have been so generous with me and now it's my turn to be generous with people like Jelly Roll, and that's what I'm doing."
Prior to attending the 2023 CMA Awards, she teased her appearance in her Instagram stories while getting ready. "What's everyone else doing tonight?" she asked her followers while showing off a closeup of her glam makeup look, featuring glitter eyeshadow, false eyelashes and rhinestones on the corners of her eyes.
Just a few days before her surprise performance with Jelly Roll, it was revealed that Wynonna would be the Mega Mentor on The Voice during season 24. The "She Is His Only Need" singer was brought on to help out coaches Niall Horan, John Legend, Reba McEntire and Gwen Stefani as they watch their team members battle it out in an attempt to make it into the next stage of the competition.
"When they told me Wynonna was going to be the Mega Mentor, I was thrilled to pieces," Reba gushed about working with her friend during her first season as a coach on the show. "Wynonna knows music. She knows soul."