HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicWynonna Judd Promises to ‘Continue to Sing’ After Naomi Judd’s Death in Country Music Hall of Fame Speech

Wynonna Judd Promises to ‘Continue to Sing’ After Naomi Judd’s Death in Country Music Hall of Fame Speech

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)

After the sudden death of her mother Naomi, Wynonna Judd courageously took the stage at her Country Music Hall of Fame ceremony and promised to keep singing in the face of tragedy. Mother-daughter act The Judds earned entry into the coveted Hall of Fame last summer; but mother Naomi passed away on the eve of the ceremony. She was 76.

The shocked Judd family opted to move forward with the event despite the “unknown territory” of dealing with both grief and accomplishment simultaneously. Ultimately, the Country Music Hall of Fame formally inducted The Judds (as well as Ray Charles, Eddie Bayers, and Pete Drake) as planned, though the ceremony hung heavy with emotion.

Both Wynonna and her younger sister, Ashley, gave heartfelt speeches, The Washington Post reports. Ashley described some childhood memories of growing up in a musically-inclined family, and heaped praise upon her HOF sister as being one of the greatest of all time.

“I know that we’re talking a lot about Mom tonight, as we should be,” Ashley Judd said. “The newspapers don’t get much right these days, but when the Los Angeles Times said you [Wynonna] were ‘Elvis-like,’ they got it right. And I love you, and I’m proud of you. And Mom is proud of you, and she always was.”

Naomi Judd’s death hung heavy during the evening, but the event proceeded as planned

When Wynonna took the stage to accept the induction on behalf of The Judds, she spoke of the mix of emotions she felt.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew Mom would probably talk the most,” Wynonna Judd told audience. “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 then thanked the songwriters behind the legendary duo’s hits, from “Young Love (Strong Love)” to “I Know Where I’m Going,” and other. The Judds earned 14 No. 1 singles between 1984 and 1991, winning five Grammy Awards along the way.

“You all know that I’m all about the songs and the music. I could give a rip, really, about the rest because it comes and goes,” Judd said. “Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing because that’s what we do.” As she concluded her speech, Wynonna recited Psalm 23, which famously says the “Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

The Hall of Fame event on Sunday also featured a slew of country stars performing the songs of all of the inductees. For the Judds’ portion of the evening, Carly Pearce sang “Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Old Days),” while Gillian Welch and David Rawlings sang “Young Love (Strong Love).”

Before the event began, fans reportedly gathered around the museum’s entrance, where there was a framed photo of Naomi Judd and a bouquet of flowers.