There will never be another like the late, great Naomi Judd.
On April 30th, at 76 years old, the country music icon Naomi Judd tragically died by suicide, just a day before her formal induction into the the Country Music Hall of Fame.
CMT broadcasted Naomi’s live public memorial this evening live from the Mother Church of Country Music at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, with plenty of great performances in attendance to honor her, including Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Reba, Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, Little Big Town and Martina McBride and Jamey Johnson and more.
But the most poignant and stirring tribute came from from her daughter, Wynonna, to open the show.
Naomi’s other daughter, Ashley Judd, introduced her sister who was part of the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame duo with her mother, The Judds.
Ashley gave a beautiful opening speech, noting what an extraordinary and wonderful human being her mom was:
“She was totally extraordinary. The five-time Grammy award winner, the multi-platinum artist, the Hall of Famer who was lauded by millions.
And tonight, we remember her in song, and so for our first song on she wrote about the tincture of time, is the one with whose voice I grew up. To me the GOAT, the greatest of all time, please welcome my big sister Wynonna.”
Wynonna took the stage visibly and understandably emotional, remarking this before singing “River of Time”:
“How appropriate… the Mother church.”
“River” was the title track to The Judds’ 1989 fifth studio album, and was written by Naomi along with John Jarvis.
Seeing Wynonna up there alone singing this song in particular just brings the chills (and tears), and while I can’t begin to imagine what they’re going through right now, this was such an incredibly special performance, and I know Naomi is bursting with pride and smiling down on them tonight:
She also sang “Love Can Build A Bridge,” which was the song The Judd’s sang together during their final live performance at the CMT Awards last month:
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741 if you or someone you know is considering suicide.