Carlile and Judd captivated the crowd at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with warm, reverberating vocal harmonies and emotive delivery. During one of her verses, Judd struggled to fight back her tears as she sang, and she turned to the band to ask them to play that part over again.
“It’s not as good as YouTube,” she explained, before launching into a more full-throated delivery of the same verse again, the crowd cheering her on as she sang. Before Carlile re-joined the verse with her backing harmonies, the two singers shared a smile on the stage.
It was a particularly emotional moment during a very emotional ceremony: The Judds’ family members, fans and fellow artists gathered at the Ryman to pay their respects to Naomi Judd, who died on April 30. The public memorial, which aired live on CMT, included tributes from both of Naomi’s daughters: Wynonna and actor Ashley Judd. The late legend’s widower, Larry Strickland, was also in the audience.
Just one day after Naomi’s death, the Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1. Carlile was originally among the acts scheduled to give a tribute performance to the duo during their induction; she was unable to play that show due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Like Carlile, the rest of the performers who took the Ryman stage on Sunday evening had a special connection with the Judds. Other performers paying tribute to Naomi included Ashley McBryde, Little Big Town, Allison Russell and Emmylou Harris.
Naomi Judd Dies: Country Stars React
Country stars mourn the loss of Naomi Judd, following her death on April 30 at the age of 76.