Wynonna Judd Welcomes Brandi Carlile, Others for Judds-Themed Special

As Wynonna Judd adds dates to what was to have been a final Judds tour, which now has other female stars rotating in Naomi Judd’s spot, a taping has been set with some of those guest performers for a “Last Concert” CMT special that will both cap off the current tour and pay homage to the Judds’ original swan song as a duo in 1991.

“The Judds: Love Is Alive — The Final Concert” will feature Wynonna being joined by Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Martina McBride, all of whom have taken their respective places as her singing partner in recent road dates and a touring addendum that has been announced for early 2023.

The taping will take place Nov. 3, six days before the CMA Awards has many of these performers in Nashville, at the Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, south of Music City. Although it’s not actually the last concert on the routing for Wynonna’s Judds-celebrating tour, the special will air on CMT in March, after her “The Judds: The Final Tour” outing wraps up on the road.

The concert and special will serve as a tribute not just to the Judds but specifically to the farewell special the Judds taped at MTSU’s Murphy Center on Dec. 4, 1991. After that initial split, the duo later reunited for a few select dates and mini-tours, but it marked the end of their time together as an ongoing recording and touring concern.

As with the tour, Sandbox Productions’ Jason Owen — the Nashville manager who’s also a driving force behind the current “Monarch” TV series — is acting as executive producer. “I remember when I was 15 years old, watching ‘The Judds 1991 Farewell Concert’ on repeat when it first came out on pay-per-view,” said Owen, an unabashed Judds mega-fan. “This is such an incredible, full-circle moment to reproduce that same iconic special with Wy, and having her joined by all the powerhouse women she has brought with her on tour.”

Said Judd, “Stepping onstage at the Murphy Center for the first time since Dec. 4, 1991 will be so surreal for me. It was an emotional night over 30 years ago and will be an emotional night, for different reasons, now. I can’t wait to lean into the nostalgia with the artists who have made this tour so special, and recreate one of the most iconic nights in Judd ‘Herstory.’”

Joining Owen as executive producers are CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Ladypants Productions’ Patrizia DiMaria. Executives in charge of production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino, while Leslie Fram serves as executive in charge of talent and Shanna Strassberg and Donna Duncan are talent producers.

The current leg of the “Final Tour” includes a sold-out stop Friday at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena before wrapping up Saturday in Lexington, Kentucky. The newly added dates begin Jan. 26 in Hershey, Penn. and conclude Feb. 25 in Hollywood, Florida.

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