Last May 7, country singers, friends, and family gathered in Nashville to celebrate and remember Naomi Judd of the renowned country vocal duo The Judds. Naomi passed away last April 30 after a long struggle and battle with her mental health.
According to Country Insider, the private funeral service was filled with different performances from country to rock to gospel which were all chosen by Naomi Judd herself. Ashley Judd, the late singer’s youngest daughter, shared that her mom had the whole service written down so they didn’t have to go through the guesswork.
Dolly Parton, fellow singer, icon, and Naomi’s friend, was in attendance. In her welcome note, she said a heartwarming and comforting message about family.
“We are family. And when it’s family, you forgive them for they know not what they do. When it’s family, you accept them because you have no choice but to. When it’s family, they’re a mirror of the worst and best in you. You’re always trying to do your best, and they always put you to the test, and you pray for God to do the rest.”
Other artists who attended the service were Ricky Skaggs, who performed “Talk About Suffering,” The Imperials, who sang “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” with Naomi’s husband Larry Strickler, and the Oak Ridge Boys, who covered “Amazing Grace” and “Farther Along.” U2 lead singer Bono also made an appearance with a poem recital via video.
The Isaacs, a bluegrass Southern gospel music group, sang a three-set song – “Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing,” “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,” and “It Is Well With My Soul” – while Dan Scott, Naomi’s pastor at Christ Church Nashville, offered the song “Ain’t No Grave.” The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir performed “Ripple” and was followed by gospel singer Guy Penrod’s “Knowing What I Know About Heaven.”
Vince Gill was also part of the program, singing Naomi’s request, which was Stanley Brothers’ “Drifting Too Far From The Shore.” According to the singer, he was grateful that he didn’t have to sing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” at the service.
Naomi’s younger brother Mark offered his eulogy before Ashley and Wynonna took the stage to honor their mom. In her speech, Wynonna confessed that she was so mad at her mom for not holding on so they could dance one more time together. She also confirmed that she will still be pushing through the announced tour dates later this year. “You know me. I will keep singing. It’s going to be lonely, but I will sing.
The service ended with Brandi Carlile’s performance of The Judds hit song “Love Can Build A Bridge.”