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Naomi Judd celebrated at ‘River of Time’ memorial service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Naomi Judd was celebrated with words and soaring music at a public memorial service Sunday that ended with her daughter Wynonna announcing that a tour scheduled for later this year would continue.

“Tonight is a party, and at the same time, I can’t say how devastated I am,” Wynonna Judd said. “I miss her so much.

“After careful consideration, I’m going to have to honor him and do this tour. I’m just going to have to do it,” she said to applause and cheers at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. “Tonight, as we close , the show must go on, as hard as it gets. And we’ll show up together and you carry me.”

Judd died on April 30 at age 76, a day before she and her daughter Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The ceremony continued, but until Sunday it was unclear whether Wynonna Judd would go ahead with plans for The Judds tour which was due to start in September.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, the family said they lost her to “mental illness”.

Her daughter Ashley said on “Good Morning America” ​​last week that her mother took her own life.

Brad Paisley and Emmylou Harris were among the performers who took the stage to honor Naomi Judd at ‘The River of Time’ memorial service, which aired live on CMT.

Wynonna Judd returned to the stage later to performs “La Rose” with Brandi Carlile. Wynonna Judd interrupted her performance at one point so she could better redo a section of the song, her voice rising to the cheers of the crowd.

The ceremony began with Judd’s daughter, Ashley, delivering a eulogy that traced her mother’s life from humble beginnings in Kentucky to the heights of stardom.

“We are here tonight remembering an icon and a legend who left country music better than it found it,” Ashley Judd said in tears.

“She was every woman. Maybe that’s why everyone felt like they knew her,” the actor said. “She was a nurse. She was a single mother who sometimes relied on public assistance. She was traumatized by childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape, and she was fired by a boss when she refused to go away with him for a weekend.

“Tonight we remember her in song,” the actor said, introducing his sister Wynonna who sang “River of Time.”

The lyrics – “I hold back a flood of tears, just thinking of those happy years, like all the good times that are no more,” filled the Ryman auditorium, which Judd’s two daughters noted as “the mother church” of country music. ”

Carly Pearce performed The Judds’ “Why Not Me”, noting “I’m a Kentucky girl myself”, and saying she had an image in her mind that “Naomi is flipping her skirt in heaven tonight”.


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