Wynonna Judd to Receive Country Champion Award at 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards

Wynonna Judd is set to receive the first Country Champion Award at The People’s Choice Country Awards which airs on NBC and Peacock Sept. 28.

By Alexandra Bellusci Sep 08, 2023 5:32 PMTags
Watch: How Wynonna Judd Is Keeping Naomi Judd's Memory Alive

This free bird is flying right to the stage.

Wynonna Judd will receive the Country Champion Award at the first ever People's Choice Country Awards, Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The show, is set to air live on NBC and Peacock from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

"Wynonna is one of the most recognized and lauded performers in country music," Senior Vice President of NBCUniversal Entertainment Cassandra Tryon said in a press release Sept. 8. "Not only is she incredibly talented, her selflessness and passion for putting the needs of others in the spotlight is unmatched. We can't think of a better person to honor as our inaugural ‘Country Champion' and to celebrate the holidays with across these two major country music events." 

And the accolade honors far more than her musical achievements. In fact, the award notes the contributions Wynonna—who will host NBC and Peacock's Christmas at the Opry holiday special later this year—has made to organizations like Wounded Warrior Project and Habitat for Humanity. 


CMA Awards 2022 Red Carpet Fashion

"Wynonna will be celebrated for her decades-long career and heroic efforts around philanthropy and activism," the press release notes. "She has consistently used her public platform to create meaningful change and advocate for children."

However, she's not the only country superstar set for special recognition during the People's Choice Country Awards. Also up for an award on the big night is Toby Keith, who will be presented with the Country Icon Award.

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

The special recognition also comes as the 59-year-old works to keep the memory of her mom Naomi Judd—with whom she made up the country music duo The Judds—alive following her death in 2022.

I'm the matriarch now, so I've got my Naomi Judd cookbook," Wynonna exclusively told E! News at the 2022 CMA Awards last November, "and I'm going to be making the recipes as close to hers as I can possibly make them."

"She took us out in the woods and made us sit still in the cold and read us the Christmas story about Jesus," she continued, "I used to complain about having to go to the bathroom because we had so much clothes on. I miss her. I'm going to miss those times. So, I'm going to do it to my grandchildren."

Wynonna noted that attending the ceremony without Naomi was "bittersweet," but told E! that she feels "a lot of hope" adding, "I'm in pain because I miss her. I'm like, you should be here."

Check out E! News' People's Choice Country Awards page for a full recap of every show-stopping moment and photos from the inaugural ceremony.