It was supposed to be a day of celebration for some of the best in country music.
And no doubt it was still a celebration, but this year’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony was also a somber one, coming just one day after the tragic news of inductee Naomi Judd‘s death.
The Judds were finally given their rightful place in the Hall of Fame on Sunday, as Naomi Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley paid tearful tribute to their late mother.
But Ashley made sure that Wynonna got her recognition for being inducted into the Hall of Fame too.
“If you can imagine what it’s like to grow up with this voice around the house…and I just got to bask in this voice that was around the house. And I’ve always been so proud of the music and so proud of you – but perhaps never so much as when you walked out on stage with Steven Tyler, or with U2.
So I know that we’re talking a lot about mom tonight, as we should be. Our beautiful mother. But I want you to know that you’re also being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight. And newspapers don’t get much right these days but when the Los Angeles Times said you were Elvis-like, they got it right.
And I love you and I’m proud of you. And mom is proud of you, and she always was.”
Wynonna then stepped up for her acceptance speech – and to honor her mother:
“Though my heart’s broken I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.
This is the first time I’ve talked since saying goodbye to her. At 2:20 I kissed her on the forehead and I walked away, and this is the first place I’ve been.”
Wynonna then recited the 23rd Psalm, which she told the audience was the last thing she did with her family and her mother before she passed, adding her own emphasis as she and her sister recited the final line together:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, that I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Yesterday, it was reportedly confirmed by People that Naomi Judd took her own life this weekend after years of struggling with mental health issues.
But the family requested that the Hall of Fame induction ceremony move forward as planned, to honor the life of their legendary mother.
Since her death, tributes have been pouring in for Naomi Judd, including from country music legends like Dolly Parton who released a statement today both congratulating The Judds on their Hall of Fame induction and expressing her condolences on their loss.
And in Naomi’s hometown of Ashland, Kentucky, the Paramount Arts Center paid tribute to their “Country Queen” with a simple message on their marquee:
The Paramount Arts Center in Ashland honoring Naomi Judd.
— Chad Hedrick (@ChadHedrickWKYT) May 1, 2022
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