The ultimate country vocal powerhouses came together for a jaw-dropping duet at the 2023 CMT Music Awards on Sunday night (April 2), as Wynonna Judd and Ashley McBryde performed an emotional rendition of Foreigner’s 1984 hit “I Want to Know What Love Is.” The rock hit topped the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart for two weeks in 1985.
In addition to mind-blowing vocal runs and harmonies, the most touching part of the performance was when Judd seemed to address her late mother, Naomi Judd, toward the end of the performance. “Mama, you need to be here tonight,” she sang before the last chorus, as McBryde smiled at her in support. “I miss you and I love you and I don’t understand.”
Naomi, 76, who had battled depression, died by suicide on April 30, 2022, one day before The Judds were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Wynonna was nominated twice in the CMT performance of the year category at this year’s ceremony, for The Judds’ “Love Can Build a Bridge” from the 2022 CMT Music Awards, and her Brandi Carlile duet “The Rose” from Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.
McBryde, meanwhile, also has two nominations. Her “Bonfire At Tina’s” collaboration with Caylee Hammack, Brandy Clark and Pillbox Patti is up for video of the year and her “One Way Ticket” CMT Crossroads collaboration with LeAnn Rimes and Carly Pearce is nominated for CMT performance of the year.