CMT Reveals Final Lineup for ‘Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration’: Reba McEntire, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Paisley & More

by Jim Casey

CMT revealed the final lineup of special guests and performers for “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on May 15. Newly announced performers include Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, and Jamey Johnson. Bette Midler, Reba McEntire, and Reese Witherspoon are part of a newly announced group that will share special messages.

Previously announced performers include Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Gaither Vocal Band, and Little Big Town. Bono, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, and Salma Hayek are part of the previously announced lineup of guests who will share special messages.

Ashley Judd, Wynnona Judd, Larry Strickland, and Martina McBride will speak at the ceremony. Robin Roberts will host the celebration at the Ryman, while Carly Pearce and Cody Alan will handle co-hosting duties for CMT.

Remembering Naomi Judd

The gathering will serve as a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of country music icon Naomi Judd. It will premiere live on CMT—commercial-free—on Sunday, May 15, at 5 p.m. CT. CMT will air an encore presentation at 9 p.m. CT. “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” is a co-production from CMT and Sandbox Live.

Naomi, 75, one half of the Hall of Fame duo The Judds, died on April 30. Of course, with their mother-daughter harmonies, not to mention Naomi’s stage presence and Wynonna’s soulful delivery, The Judds proved to be a winning combination from 1983 through 1991.

The Judds scored 20 Top 10 hits, including 14 chart-topping singles. In addition, the duo brought home five Grammy Awards, nine CMA Awards, and seven ACM Awards. Some of their fan-favorite songs include “Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Ole Days),” “Why Not Me,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Love Is Alive” and “Have Mercy,” among others.

When they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1, The Judds became the first all-female duo to join the club. In fact, only one other duo in the CMHOF—songwriting spouses Felice and Boudleaux Bryant—features a female member.

Final Lineup

  • Host: Robin Roberts
  • Performers: Ashley McBryde, Brad Paisley, Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Gairther Vocal Band, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town
  • Speakers: Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd, Larry Strickland, Martina McBride
  • Special Messages: Bette Midler, Bono, Morgan Freeman, Reba McEntire, Reese Witherspoon, Salma Hayek
  • CMT Hosts: Carly Pearce, Cody Alan