Naomi Judd honored by daughters Ashley Judd, Winona Judd and others in emotional memorial


I remembered a village legend. Naomi Judd’s life and legacy were marked by an emotional televised memorial organized by her daughters and husband.

Naomi Judd: A Celebration of the River of Time, which was broadcast live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on CMT on Sunday, May 15, with the participation of Judd’s daughters, singer Winonna, 57, and actress Ashley, 54, who organized the event together with their late mother’s husband Larry. Strickland.

“Welcome to the Mother Church of Country Music, this is where Mom wanted her public celebration to take place, and thank you for being in the community and in communication with us. Because we can pretend to care, but we can’t pretend to show up. Thank you for coming to our mom,” Ashley began. “And at this time, when I am so lonely, I say to my creator: I do not know who you are, and yet I know who you are, because you are the one who saved me. And in the dark night of my soul, I say to myself: I do not know who I am, because I am the one you saved.”

The actress continued her mother’s eulogy.

“As a result, tonight we are gathered here to remember the icon and legend who left country music better than she found,” Ashley continued. “Since April 30, we have been remembering our mother’s complex and dynamic life and history. She was every woman. Perhaps that’s why everyone thought they knew her. She was a nurse. She was a single mother who sometimes relied on government assistance, she was traumatized by early childhood abuse, intimate partner violence and rape, and she was fired by her boss when she refused to leave with him for the weekend.”

She concluded by saying, “She was a mom to her grandchildren, Elisha and Grace, as well as to my chosen family, and she was absolutely extraordinary. A five-time Grammy Award winner, a multi-platinum artist, a member of the Hall of Fame, who was praised by millions, and tonight we remember her in a song.”

Subsequently, Winonna sang “River of Time” and announced that she would continue the planned tour.

“I’ve never sung so badly in my life. I’m so tired and heartbroken,” Winona said. “But I am here with you and for you, as you have been for us for 38 years. … I made a decision and thought that I would share it on national television: after much thought, I should honor her memory and go on this tour. I’ll just have to. Because that’s what you would like. And Bono once told me: give them what they want, not what you want.”

Other stars, including Ashley McBride, Brad Paisley, Carly Pierce, Martina McBride, Jamie Johnson and Little Big Town, took to the stage to honor the late star.

On Thursday, May 12, Ashley confirmed that The Judds singer committed suicide last month. She was 67 years old.

“She used a weapon… My mother used a firearm,” the “Double Jeopardy” actress told the “Good Morning America” program. “So, this is a piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but we understand that we are in a position that if we don’t say it, someone else will do it.”

The California native also spoke about her late mother’s struggle with her mental health.

“When we talk about mental illness, it is very important to be clear and distinguish between a loved one and a disease. It’s very real. This is a lie, this is wildness,” the “Where the Heart Is” star continued. “My mother, our mother, couldn’t hold out until her peers inducted her into the country’s Hall of Fame [on May 1]. I mean, that’s the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside her.”

Ashley continued: “The lies that the disease told her were so convincing… [Lies] that you are not enough, lies that you are not loved, that you are unworthy. Her brain was hurting. It’s physically painful.”

During a 2016 interview with Good Morning America, Naomi spoke candidly about her inner struggle. “What I’ve been through is extreme. My final diagnosis is severe depression,” she said. “It’s not treatable because they tried everything in their arsenal on me.”

After her mother’s death, Ashley shared a video on Instagram in which Strickland, whom the actress called “deprived of pop music” in the caption, sings “How Great You Art” in honor of his late wife.