Naomi Judd’s daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, have paid a heart-wrenching tribute to their late mother at an award ceremony for musical duo The Judds at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday night, May 1.
Taking to the stage, the heartbroken Judd daughters struggled to keep it together as they addressed the audience on behalf of their mother, who passed away just a day before, on Saturday, April 30.
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“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mum would probably talk the most,” singer Wynonna admitted to the audience.
“I’m going to make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed. Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.”
Wynonna’s younger sister, actress Ashley Judd, thanked the audience for their immense love and support for her late mother as she apologised for her most unfortunate absence.
“My mumma loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley said.
“Your esteem for her and you regard for her really penetrated her heart and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in these last years.
Ashley went on to acknowledge her and sister Wynona’s pain upon the death of their mother, confirming she had died as a result of mental illness.
“And while this is so much about The Judds as a duo, I want to recognise my sister,” Ashely said.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.
“We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
According to USA Today, vocalist Ricky Skaggs inducted Wynonna and Naomi into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
A number of celebrity musicians at the ceremony performed tributes to the late icon, including Carly Pearce who performed the Judds 1886 hit song Grandpa (Tell me ‘Bout the Good Old Days’) and American song partners Gillian Welch and David Rawlings who performed a cover of The Judds 1989 No. 1 hit song Young Love (Strong Love).
The Judd sisters confirmed the passing of their mother in a statement posted to social media on April 30.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said.
“We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that, as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
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