Some of country music’s biggest stars came out for a memorial service in honor of an icon Sunday night.
The event that aired on CMT, called “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” saw Brad Paisley, Emmylou Harris, Little Big Town and other acts take the stage in tribute the late performer — and it saw Judd’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, share their love and pay respect their mother’s legacy.
During the ceremony in celebration of the singer-songwriter who died two weeks ago, Ashley Judd held back tears as she told the crowd gathered at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, “Tonight (we’re) remembering an icon and a legend who left country music better than she found it.”
The comment brought cheers from the audience.
“She was every woman, perhaps this is why everyone felt as though they knew her,” she continued.
Wynonna Judd, who shared the stage with her mother as one half of the successful duo The Judds, fittingly let music do the talking, following her sister’s words with a performance of The Judds 1989 track “River of Time.”
Other artist’s then performed their own takes on a long list of Judds’ hits.
As the at the emotional memorial came to a close, Wynonna revealed that she’ll carry the songs forward on the 11-date Judds tour she and her mother announced back in April.
“I’m going to have to honor her and do this tour,” she said. “The show must go on as hard as it may be.”
Ree Hines is a freelance writer and editor who covers pop culture, lifestyle stories and trending news. She’s also a soul-music loving, coffee-obsessed member of both Team Cat and Team Dog. Ree lives in Tampa, Florida, and is a regular contributor to TODAY.com.