Wynonna Judd announced she’ll honor her mother by doing The Judds: The Last Tour as planned.
Wynonna shared the news Sunday during Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, which aired live on CMT. The country legend died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 30, after a long battle with mental illness and just one day before she was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Actress Ashley Judd kicked off the remembrance for her mother at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, on a stage laden with 2,500 roses, revealing Naomi herself had chosen the Mother Church of Country Music as the location for the tribute.
Wynonna offered the evening’s namesake tune, which was written by her mother, as the first musical performance. Martina McBride read Maya Angelou‘s “When Great Trees Fall,” in a service hosted by ABC’s Robin Roberts.
From there, country music’s finest offered the greatest hits from the Judds’ catalog: Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman traded verses during Little Big Town‘s take on “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ole Days),” while Ashley McBryde struggled to keep her emotions in check during “Love Is Alive.”
Brad Paisley remembered opening for the Judds at 13, before doing “Young Love.”
“I have this mental image that I feel like Naomi’s flipping her skirt in Heaven tonight,” Carly Pearce said with a smile, before launching into “Why Not Me.”
U2‘s Bono quoted “Guardian Angels” in the first of several pre-recorded messages by the likes of Reba McEntire, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Morgan Freeman, and Salma Hayek. Bette Midler reminisced about singing “The Rose” with Wy, before Brandi Carlile joined her to recreate the duet with Judd.
Wynonna closed with “Love Can Build a Bridge,” with the audience finishing the song Naomi co-wrote a cappella, while waving funeral fans featuring her childhood photo.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.
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