A broadcast of the 2022 CMA Music Festival aired on ABC on Aug. 3. The concert special was hosted by Dierks Bentley and Elle King, and it featured performances by Jason Aldean, Thomas, Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and more. In a special performance during CMA Fest 2022, country singers Carly Pearce and Wynonna Judd performed “Why Not Me” as a dedication to the late The Judds singer Naomi Judd.
Carly Pearce and Wynonna Judd performed ‘Why Not Me’ together
“Why Not Me” was released by The Judds in 1984. At CMA Fest 2022, Pearce and Wynonna Judd performed the song together. The performance was later included in the three-hour broadcast of CMA Fest 2022, and it can be watched on YouTube here.
Before the performance, Pearce introduced the song and Wynonna Judd on stage.
“CMA Fest, we lost one of our absolute pillars in country music earlier this year: Miss Naomi Judd. As a girl growing up in Kentucky, I idolized The Judds and wanted to be like them. My first concert was to see Wynonna,” Pearce said, according to Billboard.
She continued, “And I’ve always loved all of the music that The Judds made, and feel like it is such a representation of the best of country music, So CMA Fest, please make welcome Wynonna Judd.”
The significance of Carly Pearce and Wynonna Judd’s CMA Fest performance
The Judds consisted of the mother-daughter duo Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd. Their first studio album Why Not Me was released in 1984, and over the years The Judds released multiple studio albums and EPs.
Although the musical duo disbanded, The Judds would periodically reunite for performances over the years. The Judds were set to go on The Final Tour in September 2022.
On April 30, 2022, Naomi Judd died. Following her death, Wynonna and her sister Ashley Judd released a statement.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” they shared according to Billboard. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
During her performance with Pearce at CMA Fest 2022, Wynonna Judd gave fans a chance to sing along to the iconic song, and said “For Mama, let’s do it.”
What country music fans thought of the CMA Fest 2022 performance
Pearce and Wynonna Judd’s performance of “Why Not Me” received a positive reception from fans in the audience and fans who managed to catch the performance online.
Fans in particular praised the timelessness of the song and Wynonna Judd’s emotion.
“What a great performance of an all time classic Wynonna and you are so beautiful Carly, love all you stand for Love and Light to you both,” a fan commented on YouTube.
“2 magnificent ladies of country music. Absolutely glorious concert,” wrote a YouTube user.
One fan commented on YouTube, “I wonder why she asked ‘God why not me’ at the end? She was very emotional. Maybe thinking of her mother?”