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Interview With Wynonna Judd

Aired March 10, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, country superstar Wynonna Judd, just out of rehab and talking for the first time about her dramatic struggle with the food addiction she couldn't control; Wynonna, an intense emotional hour with your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Wynonna's never been one to keep secrets from her fans and tonight she's spilling a doozy. She's been struggling with her weight since the beginning of her singing career but on January the 8th she took a radical step to get healthier and she's here tonight to talk about it for the first time anywhere. What did you do on January 8th?

WYNONNA JUDD, COUNTRY SUPERSTAR: I went to the next level of asking for help and I went to a place in Texas called Shades of Hope, hate all my friends there, and I checked myself in.

KING: For?

JUDD: It's an all addictions facility. Mine was for eating disorder. I finished the book tour, came home as I do pretty much after every tour, exhausted and spent and I just didn't want to come into 2006 like I had so many years of just being just so tired.

I had taken care of business, taken care of the family but I wasn't able to really take care of myself like I needed to and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, you know. I thought I could handle it on my own.

I've given my music career over to God. I've given my family over to God. But I just thought I could do this on my own, you know. I'm a Judd and I thought I could just say, hey, I can control this and it's an addiction so.

KING: How bad was it?

JUDD: It was consuming a lot of my life. I mean I felt like -- I mean food to me is what alcohol is to the alcoholic and the struggles up and down. You know the business. One minute you're number one. The next minute you're number zero.

And I had just been using food for every emotion I had. If I was joyful, we'd go out to eat. You know how it is when you have kids. It's all about snacks and food and carrying it with me on the road. And, I just -- it became too much, so I did something about it.

KING: Have you always been an over eater? JUDD: No, no. I've written a lot about this. I wrote some in my book but I think I now understand that I had quite a relationship with food that was very unhealthy. Instead of reaching for people my relationship was with food.

KING: And binge eat?

JUDD: Yes, I would. I'd come back from a show and I would reward myself with something warm and creamy, comforting and that was what I did, you know. I didn't party. I didn't go out a lot. I just got room service. And I've made the statement before that room service was the greatest thing ever and that was what I rewarded myself with.

KING: What happened at the -- I couldn't hear what I was saying. What happened at the facility? What did they do?

JUDD: It was like going to college and learning why it is such an addiction and it's quite a spiritual issue for me. Like I said, I isolated a lot. I learned about myself, why I'm as whacky, crazy as I am, why I do the things I do.

We are so distracted by so much in life. I slowed down to a pace where I could take thoughts, feel things. The first thing they do is they take away the addiction and I went through detox literally.

KING: You don't eat?

JUDD: Well, no, you eat but I detoxed through caffeine and sugar, which is some of the worst detoxing you can do. You want somebody to be miserable take them off of sugar and caffeine for a week.

And the reason why I think it's hard for us to stay on a diet is because by Thursday our body is going through such pain from not having what it is you're used to having that it's hard to make it through the weekend.

So, they take the addiction away. That's the immediate thing. So, about the fifth day I got really sick and by the second week I felt clear. I was no longer in a food fog they call it and I started understanding and going to classes.

I wrote a lot. I wrote a lot of letters, one to my dad that I never met. You do a lot of anger work. You talk about your feelings obviously, you know, you...

KING: Are you sitting in the same room with a drug addict?

JUDD: Absolutely.

KING: So, the addictions are treated all as addictions?

JUDD: Absolutely. I'm learning that one out of three people have disordered eating. That's why our country is so obese. We have all kinds of statistics, you know, that prove it. I mean we have more than we ever need and we're the most miserable we've ever been. So, I learned a lot about why food is such an addiction. Sugar is addictive.

KING: But what did you do with -- if they're removing the thing what did you do with hunger?

JUDD: Healthy -- I got hungry twice the whole time and the times I got hungry it was because of an emotional issue. The diabetic, the association for diabetes, it's basically their diet, which is plenty of food. It's just not white flour, no sugar, no caffeine. It's all vegetables and healthy protein, starches and you eat pretty darn normal. That's the thing.

KING: Did you lose weight?

JUDD: Almost 30 pounds.

KING: Are you on a campaign to be healthy. We don't talk about -- weight is not the problem. It's the symptom. Alcohol is a symptom. So, for me it's a healthy lifestyle.

I now, my children came for family week. We have a family week where we all get together and talk about what we're going to do differently. I now do things with my children that are not around food. I don't reward with food anymore, for instance. If they do something good, we go somewhere. I let them pick a movie.

In our country everything is about food. You know that. Every culture it's about sitting around that supper table. Success and failure for me was there was always food there, you know. You can't get away from food. You can get away from alcohol but you have to eat every day.

KING: How did you pick the center you went to?

JUDD: Through my life coach and on site in Nashville. I just said, you know what, I think I need help and that's the first step is admitting you have a problem. The second is knowing that you can't do it alone.

We're not meant to face these things alone and yet we continue to try to isolate ourselves from people. It's like I knew I had a problem but I didn't really understand how bad the addiction was. And now I reach for relationships not food.

KING: How long did it take to learn this?

JUDD: I went for 42 days, for six weeks, no -- I mean I made two telephone calls a week.

KING: Is the first week the toughest?

JUDD: Yes. I cried the whole time because I thought what in the heck am I doing here?

KING: You could have left. JUDD: Yes, I could have left but I knew that I had to do something different. What's insanity, doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting different results.

KING: I understand that when you flew to that rehab it was the first time in 18 years you traveled alone.

JUDD: Yes.

KING: You usually have people with you.

JUDD: I usually have my darling husband with me and my road manager. It's usually the two of us. I went alone. I made the...

KING: Why?

JUDD: Because I needed to, you know. We're born alone and we die alone and at some point we end up in the wilderness with yourself and God. Nobody else could do this for me. I rely so heavily on teamwork but I knew I had to drive myself man. I had to do it and responsibility for it and it was the hardest thing I ever did was walk in there and say "Hi, I'm Wynonna and I'm here to get some help. That was the most painful thing I've ever done but I did it.

KING: What do you sleep in a room with one other person?


KING: Is that the way it...


KING: Everybody's got their own room?

JUDD: No. I asked for my own room for obvious reasons just to have some space and time but I'm never -- I leave my room at 6:30 in the morning and I go back at 9:30 at night so I'm only alone long enough to get the rest I need and the rest of the time is spent working on assignments.

I learned so much. It was like going to college and now I understand that I'm not crazy. This is not a moral issue. This is a disease and I can now separate myself from the disease. I thought that I was weak that I couldn't do it and now I realize like any other disease you treat it as a disease.

KING: Were there many over eaters there?

JUDD: Lots and a lot of under eaters and it doesn't...

KING: Oh, under eaters too?

JUDD: And the thing for me it's all about control, Larry. It's all about your world is out of control. You control your food and that's what it's about. It doesn't matter about the weight because the symptoms are basically the same for over eaters and under eaters. It's about anger. It's about pain.

In the family week I learned a lot about my family structure. My dad came, hadn't seen him in ten years and we made amends and it was pretty -- it's a miracle.

KING: Let me get a break and come back with more. Wynonna Judd, we'll be taking your calls. Don't go away.


KING: Wynonna Judd, beating a problem by going for help. You went to Buffalo Gap, the middle of nowhere, Texas, nothing there right?

JUDD: No. There's a lot of love there.

KING: People don't escape, escape to what?

JUDD: Yes, there's nowhere to run. There's nowhere to run.

KING: Being a celebrity present a problem at a place like this?

JUDD: I wore no makeup, my hair in a ponytail so you didn't see all the...

KING: Yes, but they knew you.

JUDD: They did and they put me on sort of a no talk for a week because they noticed that I was talking to everybody and being sort of sister mommy and they noticed that I was very much distracting myself so I didn't talk to anyone for a week and no one talked to me.

KING: All ages?

JUDD: Yes.

KING: Male and female?

JUDD: Yes.

KING: More male than female or more female?

JUDD: Well, a lot of men don't feel -- they feel like it's a woman's disease and so a lot of men don't come forward. More women were there when I was there but there are men there, yes. There just weren't at the time I was there.

KING: And it's total isolation right?

JUDD: Complete isolation. There's a reason for that. And, I talk a lot about, you know, Jesus went to meditate. He went into the wilderness. You have to -- you have to cut yourself off from all the distractions. That's the point. And so, by about the tenth day I started to feel all the things I wouldn't normally feel because I'd be in the food fog. I don't know about you but when you eat certain foods, you know, you get high. You get sort of like this, the warm and fuzzy feeling. For me it was -- I was a total carb addict and I would wake up with that sort of hung over feeling every day.

And by about the tenth day I started to feel clear and think clearly and my mood was different. I was very sad but I was also joyful at the fact that I was learning so much about this disease and why it had consumed me.

KING: All right. We all know that food is everywhere. The attraction is always around you. How do you prevent a relapse?

JUDD: I have people that I reach out to. I had a tough moment yesterday when I was pretty overwhelmed by doing all the interviews and I took myself into a room and my husband and I just -- I deep breathe and I stop and I'm aware of what's going on.

And most people go get on the Internet or they turn on the TV or they eat something to distract from your feelings and what I do now is I call people and I say, "You know what, I'm having a really tough time" and that's hard for me to do. Talk to me." And I have a great support group and I have a food plan.

It's the American Diabetic Association that's my food plan. It's based on the diabetic diet, which is I don't eat sugar right now. I've been abstinent for 60 days and I don't get hungry. It's never happened to me. News flash, Wynonna's not hungry ladies and gentlemen. I can now do all the other things I was supposed to be doing.

KING: Why are you going public?

JUDD: There's a tabloid story out next week and it just so happened that you're here today literally. I mean...

KING: You're beating the tabloid.

JUDD: I trust you. I trust you. I called and talked to Tim and I said, "I trust Larry." We've known each other a long time and I think I'd rather be known in my recovery than isolated in my disease. I get very emotional about that. I spent a lot of time alone, miserable about what is wrong with me? Why can't I -- I'm smart. I'm talented. I'm successful. I have everything I need. Why can't I do this? The same reason why you can't, you know, you can't be an alcoholic without getting the right help.

KING: How about appearance though? Wouldn't you like to look slimmer just by the nature of the ego of the...

JUDD: You're going to get me fired up. Here we go.

KING: ...the ego of the performer?

JUDD: Here I go. I am so much more than a number on a scale. Don't get me started. It's not about that anymore. I'm 40. I used to worry about it. Catch me in my 30s and I would tell you yes. I don't care about that as much anymore. I want to be healthy. I want to know that my numbers are normal.

Like when you go to the doctor and they say what your blood pressure is. Mine was so high when I got there and I went from like 130/100 to 120/72 when I left. Those are the numbers I care about. The other stuff -- I'm doing my own clothing line I'm so fired up.

I want women, yes, be happy with where you are right now but it's about a lifestyle. It's not about the number. Why are we so consumed by size two and size zero? Why are we? What has Hollywood done? What is the art form, the arts done to us to make us feel like we are -- about size?

KING: Well, in defense of that...

JUDD: Hum?

KING: feels good to be slim.

JUDD: Well but we don't do it to men. I mean why aren't we measuring men? Honestly, why are we so consumed with a woman's size and is she more beautiful because she's thin?

KING: Too slim is not good.

JUDD: I agree with that and there are a lot of thin people. Listen, I sat next to girls 18 who had perfect bodies and they are raging inside. They're throwing up eight and ten times a day but they look good but they're not healthy. So, you can have the right package and still be miserable.

So, you have to realize it's a spiritual issue as well. I want to have peace of mind. I don't know about you. I want to wake up and instead of being cranky and going, oh God it's morning, I want to say good morning God. Let's start with that and then from there let's go to, yes, I have enough energy to play with my kids without having to sit down and take a break, you know. I just -- I want that. So, the other stuff will come don't you think? The weight is the symptom not the problem.

KING: Sure.

JUDD: If I do all these other things I'll get to where I need to be.

KING: Wynonna Judd is our guest, the country superstar. And we'll take your calls in a little while. Don't go away.



KING: Before we get back with Wynonna, CNN has confirmed the discovery of a body of an American who was one of four Christian activists kidnapped last year in Iraq. Tom Fox was part of an anti- war group known as Christian Peacemakers.

And just this past Tuesday the Arabic language TV network Al-Jazeera aired video of the other three hostages in captivity. The hostages' colleagues quickly responded to that video with a plea to their kidnappers to let them "get back to the peacemaking work which inspired them to come to Iraq."

Anderson Cooper 360 will have more on this breaking story at the top of the hour.

We'll be going to your calls shortly for Wynonna Judd. What is Nashville Star?

JUDD: OK, so I get this call to host, co-host with Cowboy Troy.

KING: Cowboy Troy will be on in the last segment.

JUDD: Yes, he will. And they want to know if I'll host the show. There are ten artists who are completing for the number one slot at being the next RCA recording artist and it's really interesting for me because 23 years later, after I signed with RCA, there I am standing as sort of their elder, you know, telling them what it's all about.

KING: Are you a judge or the host?

JUDD: I'm a Judd. No, I'm not a judge. I'm able to be sort of the mentor position. I'm able to tell them what not to do. I'm there to encourage. I'm there to sort of support them as they -- it's an amazing process. These kids have come from all over. They're living in Opryland Hotel on $15, $20 a day, you know, for food and they are -- their whole families are there and it's pretty awesome. It's the American dream.

KING: When does the show start?

JUDD: It airs, what's the date of airing? See, I know everything but that, the 14th, yes, we filmed it last week and it will go for eight weeks, so tune in if you're looking for excitement.

KING: What was appealing to you about this?

JUDD: I feel like after all these years it's time for me to give back. I love to be a part of like I said the process. I love watching someone getting ready for the show and they walk out on stage. I can see how nervous they are. I see myself in every single one of them because they all have such a story.

And the thing about Nashville Star that's so unique is the relationship in country music between the listener and the fan and I'm going to go to hometowns and meet families and I'm there to watch this miracle happen. I was intrigued by it because I think you know me pretty well, I like to take chances and you're a host with the most. I wanted to try it. I thought what the heck, you know.

KING: Cowboy Troy though is hip-hop isn't he?

JUDD: Yes, he is.

KING: He's not country.

JUDD: He's country hip-hop. He's hick-hop.

KING: Country hip-hop.

JUDD: He's hick-hop.

KING: Hick-hop.

JUDD: Come on get with it, Larry.

KING: I have no idea what you're talking about.

JUDD: Well, you will. You will. It's the new...

KING: Is there a big hick-hop song?

JUDD: Yes, he's got -- he's got a lot to offer country music because we are in a stage of mind these days where sort of anything goes. I mean you've got your traditionalists. You've got people like me who color outside the lines. And then all of a sudden here comes Cowboy Troy. We couldn't be any more different but he loves me and I love him and the chemistry is really good so it works.

KING: How's mom?

JUDD: She's great. She's awesome. She came to my family week and we -- we're doing business differently now, you know. We say things like this is how I feel and it's pretty interesting, you know. And I tell her this doesn't work for me and she'll say, "You know what, that really hurt my feelings" and I say "I'm really sorry" and then we move on. It's good stuff. Ashley, mom and I are doing business differently these days.

KING: Ashley going to sing again?

JUDD: Ashley?

KING: Or ever is she going to sing at all?

JUDD: I don't know. That's a great question. I mean Ashley can do anything. She does...

KING: A hell of an actress.

JUDD: Yes, she is. My goal and dream someday is to act with her but it's my dream someday.

KING: Are you all close?

JUDD: Very, so close that sometimes I feel her so much that it's kind of -- kind of strange. It's like... KING: What do you mean?

JUDD: Well, I just -- like she'll call me and before she does I know she's going to call that kind of thing. And we've been apart so much in our younger years that now that we're together we're sort of making up for all that lost time.

KING: Do you all live near each other?

JUDD: Yes, I'm getting ready to -- we live on the same 1,000 acre -- we have 1,000-acre farm and so the three of us, you know, you just can't get enough family so it's a good thing. Ashley and Dario live right by me.

KING: Are you confident you won't go back to the eating habit?

JUDD: I take it -- OK I can tell you what, how I work. This heartbeat, this breath and this minute I'm OK and I live 12 hours at a time. Can I do it right now? Yes, I can. Will I mess up tomorrow? I don't know. I'm not there yet. And it's pretty simple stuff.

KING: We're going to start to go to calls now, Chicago, hello.

CALLER FROM CHICAGO: Hi, how are you, hi Larry, hi Wynonna.



CALLER: I admire your drive and willpower so much but where do you get so much willpower to control your eating habits?

JUDD: I surrender and realize I can't do it myself and I rely on a higher power as well as a support group, which means if I start to feel out of control, I'm accountable by reaching out which means I don't stand there and isolate myself and do it. I distract myself by -- I have other things I do in other words.

I go outside with the kids or I find, OK, am I hungry, no. Do I want to eat right now, yes, I'm really upset. And I realize it and I'm in touch with myself because I'm pretty clear now. I don't have the food fog and I just do other things.

So, I guess I'm exchanging relationships for food and I've got other hobbies I'm working on that encourage me not to eat because there are other things I can do now.

KING: What happens when you're in a great restaurant and you look at that menu?

JUDD: I only go to places right now where I know I'm safe like I don't know that, you know, I know I don't go to drive-throughs but I also know that if I'm in a situation I know what I can -- I can make anything work but I go where I know I'm safe and I don't go through drive-throughs because I know that it's going to be too hard for me. I'm not quite there yet. So it's just like any kind of recovery. You sort of know. If you're an alcoholic, you're not going to go to a bar, OK. If I know that I love this certain kind of thing I just don't go and people that I used to eat with and hang out with in food situations we do other things now. We go to a movie and I take my own snack. So, you just have to sort of be creative.

KING: Ashley (sic) Judd is the guest, back with a lot more calls after this.

JUDD: Wynonna.

KING: Oh, I said Ashley.

JUDD: Same family it's OK.

KING: See that?

JUDD: You're tired.

KING: It's lonely at the top.

JUDD: You've done a lot of work today.

KING: Lonely at the top. Back with Wynonna right after this.


KING: That's Wynonna. Who are you singing with there?

JUDD: That's heart. My she-roes, Ann and Nancy Wilson.

KING: And the name of the group is heart?

JUDD: Yes.

KING: Like Heart?

KING: If you laugh at me one more time...

JUDD: Rock 'n roll.

KING: You'll never be back.

JUDD: Hey, I like your loud and proud tie there. I really do.

KING: Corbin, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. And hello, Wynonna. I love your music, Wynonna. I always have and I always will. I wanted to ask a question, Wynonna. I am overweight. I've been overweight since my little child was murdered. He was 14.

And It seems like I can't get close to my family. You know, people would normally get close to their family when they go through something like this. But I wanted to find out if you would be willing to help me to find someone or something for help to get the way up. Because we don't have, like, weight places, or I have no finances to get what I need, if that makes sense.

JUDD: Yes, ma'am. First of all, I want to get your phone number. I would be glad to talk to you. I can tell you this that when you help yourself -- and this is one of my issues. I tried to help everybody else. People react differently to crisis.

For me, I would get -- I would implode. And families are very dysfunctional. We don't have the tools. And we don't know what to do, because no one taught us. When you do work for yourself, miracles happen. By going to treatment, I ended up having my dad come, and he and I, like I told you, made amends.

I think you have to start with yourself. I wouldn't worry so much about your family right now, as dealing with what it is you're feeling and going through. But I would love to talk more to you about...

KING: I'm going to put you on hold, dear.


KING: We'll put her on hold, and they'll get the number and give it to you.


KING: Kansas City, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Kansas City, go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, I was calling in regards to -- I wanted to say hi to you, first, and Wynonna, but I wanted to ask about, if in group, did she ever learn anything about if it could be genetic?

I know that most of it is the people, you know. It's their problem. You know, they put it on their self by putting the weight on. And they have also issues. You know, why they put it on. And I know that, because that is me.

JUDD: Well, I know this...

KING: Possibility of genetics? Of course.

JUDD: It's partially that, but that's only a part of it. I think a lot of it, too -- in other words, when I got into treatment, I could only sort of blame so much. I sort of had to take a look at what I was doing and how I was reacting.

And I was carrying a lot of baggage, literally and figuratively. I also realized that -- I made the choices I did because food was working for me. You know, it did what I wanted it to do. It almost killed me. It was a slow suicide. So I think it is genetic, yes. You have to be aware of those numbers, but there's so much more to it because it's such a spiritual issue for me, that I realized I was so spiritually hungry for more. I kept filling myself with food hoping that would comfort me and make me happier. And obviously it didn't. But I'm hoping to write another book. So stay tuned.

KING: "Coming Home to Myself" was terrific, by the way.

Lebanon, Indiana, hello.



CALLER: Hi, Wynonna. I've been a fan of yours since 1987. And I wanted to tell you how much I love you and how much you inspire me. And I want to know about advice you give to your fans.

JUDD: Advice about what? Boy, oh boy.

CALLER: Food addiction, divorce.

JUDD: There's a great book out that you can read called "Fat is a Family Affair." It's by Judy Hollis. That was one of the first books I read. That's one of the things I did.

And also, there are places that you can go to learn. You know, it's not as expensive as you think, and you're worth it. And I just became a speaker. I wanted to know everything from why my grandmother was the way she was, why my mom was the way she is.

Because I wanted to understand that we continuously pass down generation to generation our addictions. And this goes back generation after generation. Take a look at your family. Find out what doesn't work. And then find people to help you change the dynamics of that family system.

KING: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have come out very strongly attacking the response to Katrina by the federal government. McGraw said he's mad as hell. They called it an outrage. Do you share that view?

JUDD: Yes, I do. I absolutely do. I've done everything I can. And like I said, we've raised $90 million for Habitat for Humanity. I show up everywhere I can. This hair gets a lot of attention. And I've always said, my name is good for a good seat in the restaurant, and to get people's attention.

KING: You did that record, right, with Michael McDonald and...

JUDD: Absolutely I did. Absolutely. Yes. I will literally go to someone's house if I have to. That's just the way I am. I'm at a place in my life, where I don't just talk about it, I've got to do something about it.

KING: Missoula, Montana, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry. Hi, Wynonna. I wanted to let you know, you have been, as far as I'm concerned, one of the most amazing female singers I've ever heard.

JUDD: Thank you.

CALLER: You and Trisha Yearwood are my favorite singers. And I just wonder, I think you're both so graceful and beautiful. And your voices are amazing.

JUDD: Thank you.

KING: Hello? Hello? I don't know what happened. We'll figure out what happened. We'll take a break and be right back. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Wynonna Judd.

Greenville, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Wynonna. I have a question for you. I'm definitely an emotional eater through stress just for different things, my dad died and a bunch of other things. And you mentioned about caffeine and soda. Did you give it up totally? And how did you do that?

JUDD: I do diet right. First, when you go to treatment, you don't really have a choice. So for six weeks I had nothing. So you sort of cleanse yourself. You get rid of it. And, you know, honestly, I took a sip of a Coke the other day, and it was so sweet, I couldn't do it. It's interesting.

My taste buds have changed. Because I didn't have any of it for six weeks. So you have to retrain. It's like retraining your brain. You have to retrain your body.

KING: Why is caffeine bad?

JUDD: Well, first of all, it's addictive. I mean, let's face it, we drink it all day long or some of us do. The point of my recovery is about moderation, variety and balance. I have learned to appreciate different things.

Like I used to drink caffeine. You get tired, you drink caffeine, right? What else would you do if you were tired? You know, you've got to pick other things. Either meditate, take a nap, maybe get to bed an hour earlier so you're not tired. You know, there are other things you can be doing.

But, we as Americans work harder than any other country. I mean, we're sleep deprived. We don't take care of ourselves. So we substitute sleep and the things we need with food or at least I did.

KING: To Starke, Florida. Hello. CALLER: Yes, Wynonna. My question is regarding your mother's survival of hepatitis c. I have a cousin who is battling the disease. And the treatment right now is so horribly excruciating on her body, that it is literally just tearing her apart.

JUDD: Yes.

CALLER: And she's been in the treatment about three months now. And unfortunately has about 11 more months to go. Are there any support groups out there for her?

JUDD: Absolutely. Go on my mom's web site, and there's a lot on there about hepatitis. Of course mom's been to hell and back so many times. But go on her web site. You can Google Naomi Judd. I don't know the address. But she talks an awful lot about it.

Absolutely, we have -- there's all kinds of support groups, yes. I mean, your church. Just call around, get on the phone, ask other people. Ask your doctors.

KING: OK. To Lexington, Kentucky, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry. Hi, Wynonna.


JUDD: Hello.

CALLER: Wynonna, any insights into why we can be disciplined in some areas and just not in others?

JUDD: Well, for me, I put myself at the bottom of the list, my dear. I had no confidence, no self-worth in terms of -- this is personal. And you can't find that in your career. I wish you could have a number one and be on top of the world, but you've heard the term lonely at the top.

And I'm going to be writing a lot on my web site about this particular thing. Because I'm a teacher, not a preacher. I don't want anyone to think that I'm ever telling them what to do. For me, I just had to make the time to do it. And I had to realize that no one's going to take care of me the way I take care of myself. I just have to make the time.

I use to put it off. I don't know about you, but I'd get distracted by being on the phone with a fan or I'd write a letter or I'd call somebody else, and put working out off. I have now decided to absolutely make myself a priority and tell myself -- I do affirmations every day. I tell myself I'm worth it. I talk to myself a lot.

And I tell myself, you know what? I really deserve better. And so you just -- you don't reschedule your priorities. Well, you schedule your priorities. You don't just prioritize your schedule. I would make a list of three to four things every day, and I do them.

KING: Do you have to go back to that place at all to like re-up prep work?

JUDD: Absolutely. Yes, Miss Tinny (ph), who's one of my favorite people, and I told you need to have her on, because she taught me so much. But it's like anything else, definitely you have a maintenance. And if you ever have any kind of a relapse, you pick up the phone and you reach out and you make a phone call. And you say, I need help, and you go back. Absolutely. And I will reach out again if I need to.

KING: We'll be right back.

By the way, the address of her mother is Not hard. We'll be right back.


KING: Before we get back with Naomi Judd let's check in with Anderson Cooper.

JUDD: Wynonna.

KING: Keep it up.

Anderson, it's you. See you distract me, Anderson. The impact of you causes me to identify the wrong sister.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I have that impact on a lot of people.

KING: Yes, you do.

JUDD: Hey, Anderson.

COOPER: Hey, how's it going. I saw Wynonna perform a couple of months ago. She was amazing.

KING: She's unbelievable.

COOPER: Yes, she is really just incredible.

JUDD: We connected.

COOPER: We did. We did. It was a fantastic meeting. And glad to have you on Larry's show.

We've got a lot coming up at the top of the hour, though. The latest on the breaking news out of Iraq. American Tom Fox is confirmed dead. Fox was there in Iraq with a Christian peace group. He was kidnapped on November 26, along with three others. Their fates still unknown.

We are going to talk to a life-long friend of Mr. Fox. We are awaiting a press conference regarding any details.

And we'll have the latest on the investigation into the brutal murder of New York student Imette St. Guillen. Police had hoped forensic tests would turn the man they have in custody, the person of interest, into a suspect. It doesn't seem to be working out that way. We'll examine the case and the forensic evidence police have gathered.

That's in about 10 minutes from now, Larry, on "360."

KING: Thanks very much, Anderson. That's right at the top of the hour.

Cowboy Troy will join us in just a couple of minutes.

Let's get one or two quick calls in for Wynonna.

Columbus, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry. Hi Wynonna.


CALLER: I just wanted to ask you -- you mentioned that you had a clothesline coming out that you were working on that. And I wondered what the name of it was going to be and when it was going to come out. And congratulations on your weight loss.

JUDD: Oh thank you. I don't have a name for it yet. I'm still working on it. I'm in this first -- I can't even believe I said something tonight but I just had to speak it, because I feel like at this point, I'm going to do everything I can to support everybody I can. And give you support.

So, it's sort of like in the works. But go to I'm sure I will be in touch with the fans, letting them know.


Scottsdale, Arizona. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I am thrilled for your recovery, Wynonna. I've wanted to speak with you since you shared your personal situation on Oprah. I actually had two questions. One, I was wondering if your relationship with your mom was changing along with the other things that are changing for you with rehab?

JUDD: Absolutely.

CALLER: And I also was wondering if I might in any way be a part of your support system. I am a personal trainer, and you nailed it when you said it's not about the number on the scale but about loving your health, about love of health and stewardship of your body.

KING: Why don't you contact her on her web site?

CALLER: OK. I will. What is her web site?

JUDD: I often say if you don't go within, you go without. I used to go outside in. Now I'm going inside out. And that's why I wrote the song "Attitude." I've been outside in and inside out.

I am glad to say that my relationship with my mom is healthier than ever. So all you tabloids can back off because there is no more sensationalism, news flash, that, you know, we're not getting along anymore.

KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back, Cowboy Troy who co-hosts the show on "Nashville Star" with Wynonna Judd will join us. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Cowboy Troy Coleman is a standout among country music stars, and not just because he happens to be six foot five or African-American. It's his particular brand of country music that makes him unique. It's called hick-hop. Take a look and listen to the song that just landed him a CMA nomination.


COWBOY TROY, "HICK-HOP" ARTIST, "NASHVILLE STAR" CO-HOST: hick-hop sounds and the way the crowd screams when I thump the ground. I am big and black, clickity-clack. And I am in the train, jump the track like that. I played chicken with the train chicken, with the train. You know that I played chicken with the...


KING: That's country Troy performing "I Play Chicken with the Train." He's performing it with the country duo Big and Rich. How did you get together?

TROY: Accident, really. I mean, management asked me if I would be interested in co-hosting "Nashville Star" with Wynonna. I said of course, that's a simple question. And they said OK, we will go back and speak with the folks at the network. And that's about as quickly as it came about for me. KING: Did you know his work?

JUDD: No. I do now.

KING: You didn't know it then?

JUDD: No, I didn't. I was sort of -- I was in treatment.

KING: So what did you say when they said you got this?

JUDD: I was like, are you serious? Of course I'll do it. I'm all for it. I mean, two-foot Fred is also on the show. So we've got him.

KING: Yes.

JUDD: We've got, you know, this big, beautiful black spirit personality, and then we've got me. I mean, it couldn't be any more crazy. So I love it, though. It's a good combination. KING: And we'll see it on the 14th on USA Network.

JUDD: Yes, please tune in. Plan your day around it. Because this is the future of country music, so be a part of history. History and her-story.

KING: What is hick-hop?

TROY: Hick-hop music is the combination of country music with fiddle, steel banjo, acoustic guitar, and also shredding rock guitar, rifts, and me running off at the mouth rapping basically.

KING: How did you come to this?

TROY: Growing up in Texas and listening to country music. I spent a lot of time as a kid listening to Charlie Daniels and Jerry Reed and, you know, a little bit of Roger Miller also. And it got to the point where it made perfect sense to combine that with rap music, because I started listening to rap and rock as well.

KING: Is this now former music or is it just yours?

TROY: So far it's just me.

JUDD: He's a pioneer.

TROY: You know, I'm happy to say that I get in there and work at it and hopefully it gets even better.

JUDD: And the kids love him, too. And I think he's very positive. His lyrics are clean. What a concept.

KING: How do you like working with the kids?

TROY: It's really cool. You know, people come up to me and say, hey, you know, my son is six-years old, and he's a big fan of yours. You see him in the meet and greets. And you see these little bitty kids looking up to you and they're smiling. And it's like, OK, I understand now.

Because I remember when I was a kid and when I would see somebody I looked up to I would have that same look on my face. So I make sure that I, you know, behave in the proper fashion and make sure that do what I can to influence those kids in a positive way.

KING: In what category are you nominated at the CMA awards, which will take place May 23rd in Las Vegas?

TROY: Vocal event of the year. It's with Big and Rich and myself. And it's for "I Play Chicken with the Train." And the Academy of Country Music is really excited, I think, and so am I. So it's going to be fun.

KING: You collaborated with Tim McGraw too?

TROY: As a matter of fact, Tim McGraw made an appearance on my album. And he was very gracious to lend his voice. It's a song called "Somebody Smiling on Me," and it's a really spiritual song about myself and my family and things of that nature.

KING: Have you two sung together, Wynonna?

JUDD: Not yet. But I think we're going to. I can feel it.

TROY: Yes. That would be cool.

KING: Well, one would think if you're co-hosting a show together, you're becoming anointed together.

JUDD: Absolutely. It's on my list.

TROY: Yes, makes perfect sense to me.

JUDD: Makes perfect sense to me. I am not stupid.

TROY: It's all about the logic, all about logic.

JUDD: Well, and I know that it's about reinventing yourself, and allowing yourself to jump outside your comfort zone. Blues, rock. I mean, I'm ready. Bring it on. You know what I mean?

KING: You're really back.

JUDD: I'm back. I'm better than ever, and redder than -- watch out, America.

TROY: Hello, America.

KING: I hope you win a Country Music Award.

JUDD: I do, too.

TROY: Thank you. Thank you very much.

KING: Great meeting you Cowboy.

TROY: Pleasure meeting you.

KING: Cowboy Troy, the hick-hop artist and Wynonna Judd. And you will see them on the 14th USA Network. They co-host "Nashville Star."

We thank them both for being with us.

Tomorrow night a special look at the tragedy that took place in Atlanta a year ago tomorrow, the killing of the judge and others on the streets outside the courthouse. And Sunday night a two-hour special of LARRY KING LIVE looking at the life and times of Chris and Dana Reeve.

Right now it is time to head to Washington tonight where Anderson Cooper stands by to host "AC 360" -- Anderson.


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