Wynonna Judd made one special request for Carly Pearce before her performance at The Judds Country Music Hall of Fame induction. According to Taste of Country, Pearce was asked to perform "Grandpa (Tell Me About the Good Old Days)" at the event at the request of Wynonna herself.
"I got a call that Wynonna had a special request for someone to sing 'Grandpa,'" Pearce said. "And she didn't know that I was gonna be there. And I had to change my song at the last second, and it truly was, I think, the most nervous I've ever been in my career."
Wynonna hoped someone would sing “Grandpa” so Carly Pearce stepped up. https://t.co/k4d8Qw8rBd— Taste of Country (@TasteOfCountry) May 5, 2022
Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd were both on-hand for the event after urging the Hall of Fame to go on with the inductions despite mother Naomi Judd's death one day prior. Pearce was set to be a surprise performer at the ceremony before the tragic news, receiving the call to perform months before the event.
"I was called a few months ago by the Hall of Fame and was asked to be one of the surprise musical guests honoring the Judds at their induction into the Hall of Fame, so, I was already freaking out. I love the Judds. 'Why Not Me' was one of my absolute favorite songs of all times," Pearce continued. "And in light of what happened I certainly didn't think that the ceremony would go on, but I think that's such a testament to the strength of the Judds daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, just that they wanted to keep it going."
Pearce's performance was a special layer to the emotional night, with the performance meaning so much to the young singer who idolized the mother-daughter duo and would become friends with Wynonna Judd after her Female Vocalist of the Year win at the CMAs.
"Wynonna was my first concert. And when I won Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMAs, I got a random phone number that I answered, and she said, 'Carly, it's Wynonna.' And we've become friends since then, and she's been such a pillar of wisdom for me in this business, which has blown my mind even that I get to say that. The Judds are from Kentucky, too, and I've idolized them since I was a little girl and, especially Wynonna," Pearce said. "And just to actually look in her eyes and see the pain as I'm singing this song that was one of the greatest country songs of all time with her sweet mom, I really don't have words for it."
The Judds were one of four acts that entered the Hall of Fame this year. The duo entered alongside Ray Charles, Pete Drake, and Eddie Bayers. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings also performed, honoring the Judds at the event.
Naomi Judd passed away on April 30 at 76 after struggling with "mental health" for years. Her daughters honored the singer at the induction event with a touching speech and poem, while the world of country music flooded social media with messages of mourning and tributes.