Naomi Judd Dead at 76: Country Stars Pay Tribute
Wynonna Judd gave country music fans the surprise of a lifetime when she took the stage at CMA Fest in Nashville on June 10 to help pay tribute to her mother and The Judds bandmate Naomi Judd, two months after her death.
The 57-year-old appeared on the Nissan Stadium main stage during Carly Pearce‘s live set. Before introducing Wynonna, the “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” singer honored Naomi, calling her “one of our absolute pillars in country music.”
“As a girl growing up in Kentucky, I idolized The Judds and wanted to be like them,” Carly shared with the audience. “My first concert was to see Wynonna. And I’ve always loved all of the music that The Judds made and feel like it is such a representation of the best of country music.”
Wynonna then joined the 32-year-old onstage and sang The Judds’ 1984 hit “Why Not Me.”
Prior to the surprise performance, Carly revealed to The Tennessean that she was to be joined by Wynonna, a milestone moment that was not lost on the rising superstar. She shared with the outlet, “You also want your heroes to kind of nod and pass the baton to you to be the next generation that they feel like country music is safe in your hands.”
On April 30, Wynonna and her sister, Ashley Judd, shared the devastating news that Naomi had passed away at the age of 76, saying in a statement that “we lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
The following day, The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In her heartfelt acceptance speech, Wynonna vowed to continue singing as she mourned her mother.
“I’m going to make this fast because my heart’s broken and I feel so blessed, and it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed,” she said, per The Washington Post. She added, “But though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing.”
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