Country superstar Wynonna Judd recently began an unexpected new endeavor—designing shoes! Judd talked to FOX411 about her new project, how her husband is coping after a serious motorcycle accident, and just how important family is to her.
FOX411: How is your husband doing? [Wynonna’s husband, Michael Scott “Cactus” Moser, lost his left leg in an Aug. 2012 motorcycle accident.]
Wynonna Judd: It’s hard. He’s always going in for a new fitting or something. I’ve learned about appreciating women and men who have had their limbs removed, having been a nurse of my husband for nine plus months. [Cactus] is a spokesperson of hope and he’s just constantly a blessing for so many people. I would be lost. He is so joyful. It’s almost irritating, like are you seriously happy? He just gets out of bed, hops to his leg and is ready to take on the world. He never complains. That would be very hard for me. He’s a maverick and I’m very blessed.
FOX411: You recently introduced your new line of shoes, Got Soul. What prompted this new venture?
Judd: It started very authentically. I’m not one to be a spokesman for just anything. There are major deals that I’ve turned down because it didn’t fit. I’m artist, not a celebrity. I have a pair of tennis shoes that got to be so comfortable and I would wear them on stage. I looked at my assistant and, “I want you to take these and glue something on the shoe and turn them into a fabulous pair of bedazzled shoes.” From the audience, people were literally shouting, “Let me see your shoes!” It became a conversation piece. I said, “You know what these people are saying stuff about these shoes. The heck with my talent, they’re staring at my shoes.” The next thing I know, I’m at a Vegas shoe convention meeting all of these people, what are the chances of this?
We’re off and I’m being shown 30, 40 pairs of shoes. [For the name,] I said I’m gonna go with something that would make sense to me as an artist. I have heard from all walks of life, “You’ve got soul sister.” It just came out. It was awesome. It just happened. It’s a no-brainer for me. First of all, I wear them already. I don’t have to start drinking Pepsi. We’re going to start out with this and get into kids and men, and broaden as we go.
FOX411: You recently tweeted about how upset you were with Wendy Williams insulting your sister [actress Ashley Judd] for not having any children. How do you typically deal with negative reports about you and your family in the media?
Judd: It was pretty obvious. It was public, you saw it. If you [say something negative], you’re dealing with me. I’m a mother, sister and daughter and am pretty passionate. I’m about relationships and people connections. You can talk smack about me, but if you talk about my family…. I know how to [direct message] you. I sent her a DM and I never got one back. I got one through the public Twitter, which I find to be a bit half-ass, but it is what it is. I believe in using my voice. I don’t do this because I’m looking for fame. If I’m offended and take something to heart, I speak my truth.
FOX411: You competed in “Dancing With the Stars” this year and were eliminated first. Was the rejection hard for you? Would you do it over again if you had the chance?
Judd: Yes and no. I danced for eight weeks and four hours a day. It was absolutely excruciating. That’s a really great question, I hadn’t thought of it until you asked. I might do it for the teamwork. I’m an artist, not a competitor and I don’t compete with anyone onstage. I go out to join the crowd, communicate and connect. I had turned down six seasons and they courted me and surrounded me with 14 reasons why I should do the show. Am I glad? I’m happy for myself. I had just come out of taking care of my husband. I was not in great shape. I had taken myself off of the priority list. I did it for personal reasons to get back to life and try something that I’ve never done. Half of my friends were saying, “Why are you doing this?” It is what it is. I learned and it helped me to realize how much more I love being an artist. The wardrobe fitting itself took up most of my life. It’d be like me trying to be in the modeling field. I can’t sit still for very long. Everyone worked really hard. We all were working four hours a day, injury or not. I’d turn around and make friends with somebody, and then I’m supposed to be up against them to win? That doesn’t make sense. In country music, we’re a family. Carrie’s my family, Keith lives down the road. I don’t think of life as a competition. I did it, I tried it, am I proud? I would say that I’m willing and I show up and see what happens. Music is where I belong.
FOX411: You’re known for your extensive philanthropy, especially with veterans. Are you working on any projects?
Judd: I’m involved with a movie with Mike Boettcher, a 30-year war correspondent. He’s been covering the war since he started and he has literally been in the field and dodged bullets. They now made a movie, no actors, literally camera on the helmet of the soldier. It’s very real, it’s pretty graphic. It has its moments when I can’t breathe. I’m doing a soundtrack with my husband for the movie. I’m doing a lot of military work and am very involved in different charities. I’m blessed all year long and it’s an opportunity to step outside myself and get involved. Between [my husband and me], we have a message of hope. We’re helping to build homes for amputees. We are never not without work.
FOX411: You have a Christmas tour coming up. [Wynonna is performing 12 shows in 19 days beginning Dec. 3.]
Judd: I am going on tour so I don’t have to shop. It keeps me out of the mall. I’m looking at TV the day after Halloween and I even Twittered, You have got to be kidding me! Christmas commercials the day after Halloween? We’re bypassing Thanksgiving now? It’s gotten crazy with commercialism. I’m going on tour to stay on the reason for the season. We’re doing four or five shows in a row, most people do two or three and then take a break. Let’s just say it’s enough. We’re fitting as many as we can into that time frame.