Naomi passed away at the age of 76, one day before she was to be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside her daughter Wynonna.
And at the request of the family, the Medallion Ceremony went on as planned today.
According to the Associated Press, Wynonna and her half-sister Ashley were in attendance, and held each other closely while they tearfully honored their late mother.
Her daughter Ashley tearfully told the audience:
“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.
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.
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 probably talk the most. I’m gonna make this fast because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed and it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.
Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing.”
The sisters also recited Psalm 23 together.
The Judds were inducted alongside Ray Charles, Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake, with performances from Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Bettye LaVette, and more.
Beginning in 1983, the duo released six studio album, scoring twenty top-10 hits and winning five Grammy Awards. In 1991, Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and Wynonna resumed her career as a solo artist.
Known for singles like “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” and more, The Judds were one of the cornerstone country acts from the mid to late ’80s.
The tragic news also comes as the Judds were gearing up for a comeback.
The Judds recently announced plans for their first tour in over a decade. Dubbed The Final Tour, it was expected to be their last.
Wynonna said that they’re looking forward to seeing their fans out on the road for the final time and celebrating their 38 years in country music:
“What I’m looking forward to most is celebrating Judd music with the fans. Mom and I have had quite the journey over the last 38 years, and the fans have been with us through it all. This tour is a celebration for them!”
“The fans have always been my family of choice. I love them dearly, so I’m chompin’ at the bit to belt out our hits and reconnect with them once again.
The cherry on top is singing with my beloved, wild and extremely talented daughter… the best singer of any genre, Wynonna. She asked me if I was still going to twist, twirl and crack jokes. I answered, “Heck yeah! I’m too old to grow up now!”