Wynonna Judd: "I Had to Decide Whether I Was Better or Bitter"

On Meeting Her Brother for the Very First Time at 56 Years Old

Wynonna Judd met her brother for the first time this week. She is 56 years old. He is 53 years old. So what took them so long to connect?

Judd shared the whole meandering story when she called into SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live show, and it sounds a little bit like it could wind up in a country song.

"I'll tell you something kinda deep. I met my brother yesterday," Judd said.

"I have a brother I've never met and I called him. He lives in Kentucky and his name is Michael and I called him on his birthday," she said. "I have the recording of me saying, ‘Hi, this is your sister.’ And I've never said that before. And I'm going to put it in the middle of a song somewhere."

Her life is full of stories, Judd said, some she will share and some she won't. But those stories make you who you are, and that's what she sings about. "I sing about my experience."

Judd said she's known about Michael since 1993, when she was 30 years old and pregnant and had just learned that the man she'd always thought was her biological father was not.

"I had a choice. I had to decide whether I was better or bitter," Judd added, "and in music that's what we do. We talk about the hard stuff and we talk about the, 'I don't want to be here anymore. My heart is broken.' That's what country music is: stories about real life. I want want to breathe life into the fans. I want to breathe life into people, by singing from my toenails, that aching part of life and that joy part of life. And it's intertwined.

"You know, I go from heaven to hell in an instant, and it's just part of breathing."

Judd's cover of Smiley Lewis' 1955 hit "I Hear You Knocking" will be released on Friday (Oct. 30).

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