Singer makes announcement during Naomi Judd celebration of life ceremony
Wynonna Judd has announced that she will honor her mother and fulfill what was to be The Judds Final Tour this fall. The flamed haired singer made the surprise announcement during her mother Naomi Judd’s celebration of life ceremony that aired on CMT on Sunday (May 15th).
“I will continue to sing. I said I would. I can’t imagine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Not sure when or when, but it’s gonna shine. And with your help,” an emotional Wynonna shares live from the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. “So I’ve made a decision and I thought I’d share it on national television that after a lot of thought, I’m gonna have to honor her and do this tour. I’m just gonna have to because that’s what you would want. And Bono once told me, ‘Give [the fans] what they want, not what you want.’ Plus there are 2500 roses up here, so tonight as we close, I say ‘And the show must go on’ as hard as it may be and we will show up together and you will carry me as you’ve carried me for 38 years once again because I didn’t think I could do it. Just like in 19– I didn’t know if I could go on without her. Life is so strange. It’s so devastatingly beautiful what happened here tonight, so we will continue this spectacle. That’s what she would want, right?”
CMT and Sandbox Live, in partnership with The Judd family, presented Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of country music icon Naomi Judd. The event aired commercial free and saw daughters Wynonna & Ashley Judd come together with Naomi’s closest friends, family and fans for healing and remembrance at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
Hosted by Co-Anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America the public celebration featured all-star tribute performances that each received standing ovations from the industry, artist and fan-filled crowd, including The Judds biggest hits from Ashley McBryde, Brad Paisley, Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, Gaither Vocal Band, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town and several show-stopping performances from Wynonna herself. The special also featured messages from Naomi’s closest friends and fans, including Bette Midler, Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Reese Witherspoon and Salma Hayek. Wynonna & Ashley Judd, Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland, and Martina McBride who all delivered touching remarks in Naomi’s honor. Carly Pearce and Cody Alan served as hosts for CMT, setting the stage for an incredible and emotional evening.
Wynonna brought the Ryman to its feet for the final standing ovation of the night, closing the show with a larger-than-life, all-sing performance of “Love Can Build A Bridge” with a spontaneous a cappella ending.
Judd passed away Saturday, April 30th at the age of 76 outside of Nashville by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a longtime battle with mental illness. The death happened one day prior to The Judds being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at its annual Medallion Ceremony. Despite their grievances, the family asked that the ceremony still honor The Judds as members of Class of 2021 as planned.
The Judds, one of the most successful duos in country music history and pioneers for women in country music, had announced their first tour in over a decade, The Final Tour, with nearly all ten dates selling out.