Naomi Judd Dead at 76: Country Stars Pay Tribute
The country music community honored the life and legacy of Naomi Judd with music.
Friends, family and fellow artists gathered at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium on May 15 to pay tribute to the late singer at a public memorial. The service—hosted by Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts—aired live on CMT in a special titled Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.
Early in the ceremony, Wynonna Judd, who along with her late mother was half of the country duo The Judds, sang “River of Time.” Later, she paired up with Brandi Carlile for a duet of “The Rose,” recreating the band’s signature mother/daughter harmonies.
Among the other musicians paying tribute in song to Naomi were Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell.
In an especially touching moment, country singer Martina McBride read a Maya Angelou passage to the crowd, while Bette Midler, Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Reba McEntire, Salma Hayek, Reese Witherspoon and Morgan Freeman all offered heartwarming testimonials.
Towards the end of the telecast, actress Ashley Judd joined Wynonna on stage and the sisters exchanged a playful banter, sharing their favorite memories of their mother and what Wynonna described as their “dysfunctional family.”
“Let’s talk about what a sultry single mama she was,” she joked to Wynonna at one point. “Enough of this love stuff.
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