Kelsea Ballerini has been getting some advice from country legend Wynonna Judd as she moves on from ex-husband Morgan Evans. The "I Quit Drinking" and "half of my hometown" singer's divorce was just finalized on the heels of her on-stage collaborations with Judd, who is continuing with The Judds' planned final tour as a tribute the late Naomi Judd. In an Oct. 26 press conference at Fox & Locke in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee (in promotion of the upcoming CMT special The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert), Judd, 58, opened up about the advice she's been giving the young singers who've joined her on the current tour, specifically addressing the 29-year-old Ballerini. (Click here for ticket info on 2023 The Judds concert tickets.)
"I tell them what I don't do and what I do. I tell Kelsea — because she's walking an interesting road right now — to make sure that she has people around her to tell her 'no.' In other words, honesty," Judd recalled. "Get a good lawyer. For God's sake, save your money. I have wasted so much time worrying about the things I have no control over.
"I just tell her my story, and I think that's what we're supposed to do, tell our stories. In recovery, we don't tell people what to do. We give you our story. We learn from our mistakes or unhealthy choices. I'll tell Kelsea, 'This is what I did when I got a divorce and it didn't work.' When you say the word mentor, I take it very seriously. Because there are several women that I'm mentoring by telling them, 'Please don't do that because I did and it really cost me a great deal of energy and time that I can't get back."
Judd, who divorced two husbands in the years before her current marriage to Scott "Cactus" Moser, also noted the bond extended past life advice and into cross-generational musical collaboration. Plus, Ballerini even put Judd on to the current hot social media app — TikTok.
"[Kelsea] wasn't even born when a lot of my songs were out, and that's weird as heck," Judd said. "And I'm looking at her, and she's singing some of the Judds deep cuts. She knows the words, and I'm going, 'woah,' because they know my stuff, and they're young. And they're taller and thinner and cute as hell. And it's really humbling to look over, and I looked at Kelsea, and she threw off her stilettos. Who the hell sings in stilettos anymore? These young people, right? And I'm barefoot, and I'm marching around the stage, and she just kicked off her shoes, and we got down on the same level, and I thought, 'This is what country music is supposed to be,' where the... elder artists are communicating with the next generation of greatness, and that is key, having just lost Loretta Lynn. I think about all the artists that won't know this woman's music. So I'm still here, and I take it very seriously.
"It's my chance to teach her, and we went back in the dressing room, and Kelsea and I did my first TikTok, which was like, 'What the hell am I doing?' But it made sense somehow. Because it's a trade-off, right? It's so weird."
we said yeehaw. 🤠😍♬ original sound – Kelsea Ballerini
Ballerini is one of many artists slated to appear on select 2023 Judds tour dates. Other artists slated for the run include Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Ashley McBryde and Brandi Carlile. Past shows have also included Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill. Click here for the full list of dates and ticket information.