The Judds were one of three legendary acts inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (May 1), with a ceremony that’s been in the making since the Hall of Fame announced its 2022 class of inductees last August.
The members of the mother-daughter duo, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, intended to attend the Hall’s Medallion Ceremony, but those plans took a tragic turn when Naomi died at the age of 76 on Saturday (April 30), just one day before the event. Per the Judd family’s wishes, the Country Music Hall of Fame moved forward as planned with the ceremony, and the younger Judd attended with her sister, actor Ashley Judd.
Both sisters gave emotional speeches, with Ashley detailing some of her young memories of growing up in a musical family and describing Wynonna as the “G.O.A.T.”
When it was her turn to talk, Wynonna spoke candidly about her grief and shock. “I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most,” she told the audience. “I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed.”
She went on to express her gratitude to her support system, family and friends, as well as the songwriters in attendance.
“You all know that I’m all about the songs. The music. I could give a rip, really, about the rest, because it all comes and goes,” Wynonna continued. Though she had said she felt underprepared to speak, there was one point about which she was very confident: “Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do,” she said.
The Judd sisters concluded their time onstage with a Bible verse.
In addition to remarks from Wynonna and Ashley, the Judds’ induction was marked by tribute performances from some of their fellow artists. Tommy Simms performed “Love Can Build a Bridge,” Gillian Welch and David Rawlings performed “Young Love (Strong Love)” and Carly Pearce performed “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).”
The 2022 Country Music Hall of Fame incoming class also includes Ray Charles and recording musicians Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake. Garth Brooks and the War and Treaty were two more performers celebrating the incoming Hall of Famers with tribute performances.
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