Wynonna Judd and her mother Naomi reached country music stardom together as the legendary duo The Judds. They ruled the scene in Nashville from their debut in the mid-80s until the early '90s when the duo was unfortunately forced to disband. When Naomi was given a potentially fatal hepatitis C diagnosis, her daughter decided to pursue a solo career in order to keep making music. It must have been a bitter-sweet debut because she hit the country charts with multiple number one hits and just kept them coming. Wynonna has one of those incredibly powerful voices that doesn't sound like anyone else. She still has some of the strongest vocals in country music after decades as a country star.
From 90s country hits to some of her most recently recorded songs, here are the 12 best solo songs Wynonna Judd has recorded to date.
1. "No One Else on Earth"
Wynonna's third No. 1 hit from her self-titled debut is really just '90s country at its best. It has the perfect melody to dance to and is impossible not to sing along with. This is one of Judd's early songs that really proved she had the country star power to make it solo.
2. "I Saw the Light"
Just further proof that Judd's debut album was truly amazing. It's full of good songs but her second single, "I Saw the Light" is pure fun. It's all about a woman who discovers her lover is cheating on her by witnessing their infidelity through the window. Despite covering a sad subject matter, the tempo is upbeat with a really fun electric guitar solo thrown in the mix. It was her second solo No. 1 hit on the charts.
3. "A Bad Goodbye"
Judd and Clint Black's duet "A Bad Goodbye" is one of the most heartbreaking breakup songs you'll ever hear. The lyrics fully capture how difficult it is to move away from a relationship with the two singers bringing an exceptional amount of emotion to their respective parts in the song. The duo earned a nomination for Vocal Event of the Year at the ACM and CMA Awards.
4. "The Child"
Judd co-wrote this song with Cass McCombs in 2019 and it's unlike anything you've heard from the country star. The autobiographical lyrics mention Kentucky and California, two states where Judd lived as a child. The bluesy melody is almost hypnotic with Wynonna belting out the incredibly personal lyrics, "The queen was tough, she pushed me back, I still had the dream, so I dream, 'Cause I'm the child that woke up and ran to where had never been."
5. "Only Love"
Written by Roger Murrah and Marcus Hummon, "Only Love" was the second single released on Tell Me Why. This is really just a solid love song, about trusting love above everything. Judd earned a Grammy nomination for the song which reached number three on the charts. The lyrics are as beautiful as the country star's vocals which make it one of the most memorable love songs she's ever recorded.
6. "Rock Bottom"
Leave it to Wynonna to turn such a tough topic into one heck of a country-rock song. This song has all the catchy twang you'll hear in some of the best '90s country songs with inspiring lyrics about what to do if you reach your lowest point in life. Not to mention, you've gotta love that the opening lyrics get straight to the point and set the overall tone of the song perfectly. No wonder "Rock Bottom" reached number two on the charts.
When you hit rock bottom
You've got two ways to go
I have seen my share of hard times
And I'm letting you know
Is my way
7. "Come Some Rainy Day"
Written by Billy Kirsch and Bat McGrath for Judd's fourth album The Other Side, "Come Some Rainy Day" only made it to number 14 on the charts and I'm really not sure why it wasn't higher. It's an absolutely stunning song about the relationship of two sisters, allegedly inspired by Judd's relationship with her own sister Ashley Judd. If you have siblings, you'll definitely tear up listening to these touching lyrics.
8. "Ramble on Rose"
While it's undeniable that Wynonna is a country powerhouse, she is also an expert at genre-bending. This collaboration with Grateful Dead member Bob Weir gives a fresh new sound to the Grateful Dead song, originally released in 1971. Judd takes the lead on vocals with Weir jumping in to harmonize. The twangy banjo paired with Judd's amazing voice really makes this collaboration shine.
"They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears," Judd said in a press release when the song was released in 2020. "Robert Weir showed up in my life just in time. And I am so very thankful to have yet another opportunity to celebrate our musical gifts together!"
9. "Girls With Guitars"
Written by Mary Chapin Carpenter, this cheeky country rock song was released on Judd's sophomore album Tell Me Why. This song is playful and fun, with Wynonna belting about being a woman who wants to be a rock star. It wouldn't be called "Girls With Guitars" if there weren't some seriously stellar guitar solos as well.
10. "To Be Loved By You"
Gary Burr and Mike Reid co-wrote "To Be Loved By You" which became the first single from Judd's third solo album, Revelations. It's a booming ballad that really lets Wynonna's incredible vocals shine.
11. "Other Side"
This is the first new recording Judd released following the tragic passing of her mother, fulfilling her pledge to continue making music. Recorded with Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield, the duo co-wrote this catchy indie country tune with Judd's husband Cactus Moser. The lyrics are empowering the listener to keep moving forward, regardless of what's in your way. "If we move our way against the tide, There's something on the other side."
"In the midst of everything that has happened, I said that I would continue to sing," Wynonna said in a statement. "So, here I am. I met Katie Crutchfield [Waxahatchee] last year and we connected immediately. We recorded 'Other Side' in the studio here on the farm and it was one of my favorite recording experiences ever. I'm thankful for the opportunity to sing with the next generation of greatness."
12. "My Strongest Weakness"
Naomi Judd co-wrote this emotional ballad with Mike Reid. It ended up being the final single on Wynonna's debut album. "My Strongest Weakness" reached number four on the country charts, a standout from the album as a touching heartbreak anthem. Lyrics like "I surrendered heart and soul, it's gonna be a long long time, 'til I regain control" are words anyone can relate to who's had to endure the pain of a broken heart.
READ MORE: Wynonna Judd Announces Star-Studded List of Women as Special Guests for The Judds' Final Tour
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