“I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley, the youngest daughter of Naomi Judd, spoke to the crowd during the official induction of The Judds into the Country Music Hall of Fame last Sunday. Wynonna accepted the Hall of Fame medallion, with Ashley receiving it on behalf of their mother, Naomi Judd, who unexpectedly passed away just a day before.
A few weeks before the induction, the Grammy-winning vocal duo reunited after 20 years and performed for the 2022 CMT Music Awards and even announced an arena tour for their fans to say their final goodbye. And so, everyone was shocked to hear about the news. But though sisters Wynonna and Ashley were heartbroken and grieving, they still wished to go through the induction ceremony as scheduled.
According to Taste of Country, Ashley gave a speech sharing some of her memories growing up in a musical family. Wynonna also delivered her own, but she kept it quick, saying she didn’t have anything prepared because she knew that if her mom Naomi were there, she would probably talk the most. She also expressed how she felt so heartbroken but at the same time so blessed. And added that despite her grief, she promises to continue singing because that’s what they do.
At the end of their speech, the sisters held each other’s hands while they read Psalm 23. Wynonna also shared more details on her mother’s death, the Tennessean reported. She said that the country singer died at 2:20 pm CT and that she kissed her mother on the forehead and walked away after the family recited the same Psalm together over Naomi’s body.
Performers also paid tribute to The Judds through their songs, including Carly Pearce, who sang the duo’s 1985 hit song “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” and the American duo Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who covered another The Judds hit titled “Young Love (Strong Love).” Tommy Simms sang “Love Can Build a Bridge” in place of Brandi Carlile, who wasn’t able to attend due to COVID.
You can check the highlights of the event below. The teary induction for The Judds starts at 3:20.