CMT Reveals Guests & Performers for ‘Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration’: Oprah Winfrey, Bono, Morgan Freeman, Martina McBride & More

by Jim Casey

CMT revealed the performers, special guests, host, and more for “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on May 15. Performances, special appearances, and heartfelt messages will be shared by The Judd family, Ashley McBryde, Bono, Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek, and more.

The gathering is 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, 75, one half of the Hall of Fame duo The Judds, died on April 30.

‘Celebration’ at a Glance

  • Date: Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on May 15, 5 p.m. CT
  • Host: Robin Roberts
  • Performers: Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, and more
  • Special Messages: Bono, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek, and more
  • Special Appearances: Wynonna Judd, Ashley Judd, Martin McBride, and more

Naomi Judd: A River of Time

Hosted by co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America and close family friend, Robin Roberts, the public celebration will feature never-before-seen performances and collaborations.

Performers include Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Little Big Town and The Gaithers.

Bono, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, and Salma Hayek will share special messages. Wynonna and Ashley Judd, Martina McBride and others will all make special appearances.

In addition, Carly Pearce and Cody Alan will together serve as hosts for CMT, providing commentary throughout the night. Of course, Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland will be in attendance in loving memory of his wife. A limited number of tickets are available to the general public.

“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” is a co-production from CMT and Sandbox Live.

The Judds

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. 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.