Cledus T. Judd, the country singer/parodist born Barry Poole in Cartersville, Georgia 50 years ago, has announced his retirement from the music business.
Judd told Billboard magazine that a combination of factors contributed to his decision, namely his age, his Baptism last year, and his desire to be the best father he can be for his 10-year-old daughter Caitlyn. In a statement posted on his website, cledustjudd.net, the singer – whose latest hit parody is a duet with Georgia’s Colt Ford called “Luke Bryan,” poking fun at the titular Leesburg, Georgia country star – described how God has helped him through some very dark periods. “I failed miserably in my marriages and relationships. I have been a drug addict. I have been suicidal,” he recounts. “When I was at my lowest point in life with no one around, God had his hand on my shoulder… I haven’t been called to preach, but I have been called to speak. I want people to know they aren’t alone and that God has a plan for them… and has their back.”
In addition to his speaking appearances, Judd is writing a book on his life experiences, and will continue hosting a morning show on Huntington, West Virginia country radio station WTCR.