Wynonna Judd is gearing up for an emotional journey, as she vowed to continue with The Final Tour she had planned with her mother Naomi Judd before her death. At her mother’s celebration of life at the Ryman Auditorium, Wynonna said the show must go on; she announced on live television that she would continue the tour.
“I will continue to sing,” she said, per CMT. “I made a decision, and I decided to share it on national television. After a lot of thought, I am gonna have to honor her and do this tour because that is what you [the fans] would want.”
She continued, “So tonight, as we close I say, ‘the show must go on.’ As hard as it may be, we will show up together. You will carry me, as you carried me for 38 years once again because I honestly didn’t think I should do it. I didn’t know If I could go on without her… oh God. Life is so strange. It is so devastatingly beautiful what happened here tonight. We will continue this spectacle – that is what she would want, right?”
I feel like that’s exactly what Naomi Judd would want. And who better to announce that than her daughter and partner? Ashley Judd honored her mother with her opening remarks, and Wynonna continued that honor with her performances. Wynonna launched into a rousing rendition of “Love Can Build a Bridge” accompanied by her church choir. She paused in her performance to get the audience up on their feet and singing along with her. It was an incredible performance to end the night with.
Wynonna Judd Announces She’ll Continue With Tour, Plus Other Acts Honor Naomi Judd
Along with Wynonna singing three of her hit songs–“River of Time,” “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and “The Rose” with Brandi Carlile–other acts performed tributes for Naomi Judd with renditions of her songs.
Little Big Town performed “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” while Ashley McBryde nearly broke down in tears during her performance of “Love is Alive.” Carly Pearce sang “Why Not Me,” and Jamey Johnson performed “John Deere Tractor.”
Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell sang together, Gaither Vocal Band performed, and Brad Paisley also had a tribute. Every performance was beautiful and poignant. These are people who valued what Naomi Judd did for country music, and they honored her accordingly. The Judds were loved by so many, and their music helped shape so many performers today. It will definitely be devastating to see Wynonna Judd on stage without her mother, but she’ll be there in spirit through the music.
The Judds changed what it means to be a country duo; so many groups took inspiration from the mother-daughter duo, and Naomi Judd surely left behind a great and undeniable legacy.