Wynonna Judd was recognized as the first-ever Country Champion at the inaugural People's Choice Country Awards on Thursday (Sept. 28).

Brothers Osborne presented her with the award, applauding her longstanding commitment to musical excellence as well as the advocacy and inspiration she's long provided to others in the genre.

"She's an artist, activist, philanthropist, champion. Her spirit, her soul and her strength are an inspiration. The definition of a 'shero'," John Osborne said.

The duo's T.J. Osborne spotlighted Judd both for her power as an advocate and her strength through adversity, pointing to the devastating death of the singer's mother and the Judds bandmate Naomi Judd, who died by suicide in April 2022.

"Her unwavering strength provides hope in times of despair. Wynonna's voice echoes in her music and the countless lives she's impacted, the lives she's inspired and the lives she's empowered," T.J. said.

Judd performed a mashup of two hits during her time onstage, beginning with "I Saw the Light" and modulating into a bluesy rendition of "No One Else on Earth." Judd stood center-stage amid a dazzling array of lights while she sang, periodically pointing out into the crowd with a smile.

After she finished performing, Brothers Osborne returned to the stage to present her with her award. As she addressed the crowd, Judd remembered her storied history in country music, both as one half of the Judds and as a solo artist. She also spoke about working through tragedy after her mother's death, and getting up the morning after Naomi died to attend the ceremony where the Judds were being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"Regardless of what has happened to me and who, I show up and I show out," Judd concluded. "I looked up the word 'champion' today and it says, 'To do battle for others' honor.'"

"... It's getting harder and harder out there. Never give up on your dreams," Judd concluded. "And for half of y'all in this place tonight, I know you do not know who I am or you were not born when I had my years of being fabulous. But back in 1990 blah-blah-blah, Tim McGraw opened for me. Four weeks ago, I opened for Tim. The highs are high and the lows are low, baby. But don't ever let them tell you who you are."

Judd was recognized as the first-ever Country Champion for the awards show. The honor is given to those who have contributed to the format and have supported other artists in the genre.

This fall, Judd will embark on her solo Back to Wy Tour. The trek will launch on Oct. 26 with a stop in Indianapolis, Ind. and wrap on Dec. 1 in Knoxville, Tenn.

2023 People's Choice Country Awards Red Carpet Pictures

The best dressed from the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards include several bold fashion choices and plenty of mid-summer crop tops. See pictures from the red carpet at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, taken before Thursday night's (Sept. 28) live broadcast.

The 2023 PCCA's air live on NBC from 8-10PM ET. Little Big Town will host while Toby Keith and Wynonna Judd will receive special honors.