Naomi Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley held onto each other during Sunday’s Country Music Hall of Fame ceremony and paid respect to their mother, who died Saturday morning.
While Wynonna was previously confirmed to be in attendance, her sister Ashley was also present, standing beside the former as she received her medallion and the ceremony unveiled The Judds’ plaque. “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley said through tears.
According to the Associated Press, Wynonna told the silent audience that the family gathered to say goodbye to her, and then she and Ashley recited Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd”). “Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing,” Wynonna said.
A white floral bouquet was laid outside the entrance to the HoF museum; below it sat a small framed photo of Naomi Judd. On the ground beneath it, a single rose.
News of Naomi Judd’s death came a day after the organization announced its honoring of the mother-daughter group, who produced more than a dozen chart-topping hits, were undefeated at all major country music award shows for nearly a decade and won five Grammys. Naomi won an additional Grammy for writing the country song of the year with The Judds’ hit “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
On Saturday, the CHMF announced that the ceremony would continue, but without a red carpet.
“The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum joins family and fans in grieving the sudden loss of Naomi Judd,” the organization said in a statement. “Following the wishes of the Judd family, the museum will move forward with the Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, with Wynonna planning on being in attendance.”
The Judds’ best-known songs include “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Turn It Loose,” “Girls Night Out,” “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” and “Grandpa.”
In a statement, Wynonna and Ashley wrote that their mother died of the “disease of mental illness,” though further details on the cause of death have not been released.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement read. “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.”