‘American Idol’: Luke Bryan Pays Tribute to Naomi Judd as Top Seven Contestants Are Revealed

by Leanne Stahulak

During last night’s episode of “American Idol,” judge Luke Bryan took a moment to pay tribute to the late Naomi Judd, who passed away on Saturday.

Naomi Judd was a country icon and part of the mother-daughter duo The Judds. She and Wynonna created incredible music together throughout the 1980s and 90s. Unfortunately, Wynonna and her sister Ashley announced that Naomi died on Saturday at 76 years old. She succumbed to mental illness just one day before The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The country music world was stunned by the sudden passing of Naomi Judd, including singer Luke Bryan. So, during the live show on “American Idol” on Sunday, he took a moment to honor the country legend. Bryan specifically waited until HunterGirl, a 23-year-old country singer from Tennessee, performed to offer his condolences.

“While I have the microphone, I want to send out prayers to the Judd family,” Bryan said, per The Daily Mail. “Because country music lost. Because you [HunterGirl] are out here and you’re going to carry the torch of country music.”

Luke Bryan added, “The country music family lost Naomi Judd yesterday and I think it was just my heart. And I know everybody’s heart goes out to the Judd family.”

Before the live show aired, Bryan took the time also mourn the country star on his personal Twitter account.

“My family’s prayers go out to the Judd family. What a tremendous loss in the country music community. The Judds music has inspired so many of my dreams and truly spoke to me my whole life. You will be missed, Naomi,” Bryan wrote.

After Naomi Judd Tribute, Luke Bryan Voted to Keep This ‘American Idol’ Contestant

After his emotional tribute to Naomi Judd, “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan had to make a difficult choice in last night’s episode.

The Top 10 contestants performed hit Disney songs from various movies on Sunday, May 1. By the end of the night, six hopefuls were automatically sent to the Top 7 thanks to America’s vote. But the remaining four had to rely on Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie to save one of them.

Noah Thompson, Fritz Hager, Leah Marlene, Jay Copeland, HunterGirl, and Nicolina earned a spot in tomorrow’s episode. But that put Lady K, Christian Guardino, Mike Parker, and Emyrson Flora on the chopping block.

The choice wasn’t easy for the judges, since all the contestants performed spectacularly last night. But they finally decided on Christian Guardino, who nailed a beautiful rendition of “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.”

“American Idol” fans and the judges were devastated to see the other three go. Especially Lady K, who was saved during last week’s Judges’ Song Contest. But we’re getting closer and closer to seeing who will walk away a winner.