The Judds Inducted Into Country Music Hall of Fame With Loving Tributes for Naomi Judd by Daughters Wynnona & Ashley, Ricky Skaggs, Carly Pearce & More

by Jim Casey

One day after her death, Naomi Judd was honored by a host of stars during The Judds’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1. Ricky Skaggs, Carly Pearce, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Tommy Sims paid special tribute to The Judds during the Hall of Fame medallion ceremony. In addition, both of Naomi’s daughters, actress Ashley and, of course, her duo partner, Wynonna, addressed the audience with heartfelt words of love and remembrance.

Medallion Ceremony at a Glance

  • Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles, Pete Drake and The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1
  • Ricky Skaggs was personally selected by The Judds to present their medallion
  • Carly Pearce, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and Tommy Sims performed in honor of The Judds
  • Additional performers included Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, and more

Naomi’s family requested that the induction ceremony continue as planned, shortly after announcing her passing on April 30. Of course, during an incredible stretch from 1984 to 1991, Kentucky natives The Judds (mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna) scored a remarkable 20 Top 10 hits, including 14 No. 1 singles. They also won five Grammys, nine CMA awards and seven ACM awards.

“Her family has asked that we continue with The Judds’ official Hall of Fame induction on Sunday,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame. “We will do so, with heavy hearts and weighted minds. Naomi and daughter Wynonna’s music will endure.”

Honoring The Judds

Kentucky native Carly Pearce began The Judds’ tribute by performing “Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Ole Days),” a No. 1 single for the duo in 1986.

Afterwards, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings treated attendees to a stunning rendition of “Young Love,” which The Judds topped the chart with in 1989. Finally, Tommy Sims capped the tribute by singing “Love Can Build a Bridge,” a Top 5 hit for The Judds in 1990.

Medallion Presentation

Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs, a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in 2018, was personally selected by The Judds to present their medallion, as CMHOF CEO Kyle Young unveiled their plaque.

“We’re not gonna be sad today . . . I’m just thankful for The Judds, I’m thankful for the music,” said Ricky Skaggs, in part. “It will outlive you. God bless your Mama. Not only are we feeling in mourning of your Mama’s passing, but all of country music and all the people around the world that love your music and love The Judds are here praying for you guys and just saying keep going, keep going, don’t turn back, your greatest days are ahead. They’re not behind you. This is a new chapter. This is a new chapter for your life. And I believe God’s given you an ink pen of his love to write your future, both of you girls [Ashley and Wynonna], to write your future . . . I just feel so happy in my heart to be the one who gets to say that the Country Music Hall of Fame now inducts The Judds into the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

Ashley & Wynonna Judd Share Heartfelt Words

Both of Naomi’s daughters, actress Ashley and, of course, her duo partner, Wynonna, addressed the audience.

“My Mama loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her,” said Ashley, in part. “And I’m sorry she couldn’t hang on until today. Your esteem for her, and your regard for her, really penetrated her heart. And it was your affection for her that did keep her going in these last years.”

“I’m gonna 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,” said Wynonna, in part. “Though my heart is broken, I’m going to continue to sing because that’s what we do.”

Wynonna ended her speech by revealing that in Naomi’s final moments, her family gathered around her and recited Psalm 23: “The Lord Is My Shepherd.”