Naomi had expected to attend the event
Wynonna and Ashley Judd honored their mother, Naomi, during Sunday’s (May 1st) Country Music Hall of Fame Induction’s Medallion Ceremony. Wynonna and Naomi were inducted as members of the Class of 2021, which was delayed a year due to the pandemic.
Naomi had passed away from mental illness a day earlier at the age of 76. Despite their grievances, the family asked that the ceremony still honor The Judds as planned.
Both Naomi and Wynonna were expected to attend Sunday’s event and walk the red carpet, the latter which was canceled out of respect to Naomi’s unexpected death.
“My mama loved you so much and she appreciated your love for her, and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley shared in an emotional speech.
She continued, “Your esteem for her and your regard for her, really penetrated her heart and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in these last years — and please do come see Pop. Please do come see him.
“And while this is so much about The Judds as a duo, I want to take a moment to recognize my sister… A GOAT. You know what that means?”
“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew Mom would talk the most. I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed,” Wynonna shared during a four minute speech. “It’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed. You all know that I’m all about the songs. The music. I could give a rip, really, about the rest, because it all comes and goes. Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing because that’s what we do.”
Wynonna said her mother passed at 2:20 pm and she kissed her forehead before walking away. The sisters concluded their speeches with a passage from a Bible verse that had the entire audience reciting along.
Fans had gathered outside of the museum in downtown Nashville to honor Naomi where a photo of her stood surrounded by a white bouquet at the entrance.
Tommy Simms honored the mother-daughter duo with a performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge,” Gillian Welch and David Rawlings performed “Young Love (Strong Love)” and Carly Pearce performed “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).” Fellow Kentuckian Ricky Skaggs inducted the duo into the Hall.
Drummer Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles, Pete Drake were also honored at the event.
The Judds were one of the most successful duos in country music history and pioneers for women in country music. Together, The Judds have 16 Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum albums and longform videos, led by 2x Platinum albums Why Not Me and The Judds Greatest Hits.