The death of Naomi Judd just one day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame has cast a pall over Sunday’s ceremony – but the show will go on.
The Country Music Hall of Fame was “shocked and saddened” by Judd’s death, CEO Kyle Young said in a statement on Twitter. However, Judd’s family asked that the induction of the mother-daughter duo The Judds continue as planned, he said.
“We will do so, with heavy hearts,” Young wrote.
Judd passed away at the age of 76, her daughters announced Saturday, hours before the country music legend – one half of The Judds, along with her daughter Wynonna – was to be celebrated at the Nashville museum’s Medallion Ceremony.
Wynonna Judd still plans on attending the ceremony, the Hall of Fame said in an email to CNN.
It’s unclear how the ceremony might be changed or adjusted in the wake of Judd’s passing. A separate tweet on the Hall of Fame’s page announced the pre-ceremony “Red Carpet Experience,” scheduled for Sunday afternoon, had been canceled in light of Judd’s death.
In their announcements shared on Twitter, Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley, an actress, wrote that they “lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”
“We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public,” her daughters’ statement added. “We are in unknown territory.”
Naomi Judd shared during a 2016 appearance on “Good Morning America” that she had been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. That same year, she wrote a book titled “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope” explaining her struggles.
In its announcement of the 2021 members-elect, the Hall of Fame credited Naomi and Wynonna Judd with helping “take country back to its roots in the 1980s with lean, tuneful songs influenced by traditional folk music, acoustic blues, and family harmony acts.”
The mother-daughter duo began performing together as a professional act in the early 1980s, soon producing a string of major hits like “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and selling more than 20 million records. Between 1984 and 1991, The Judds won five Grammys and had 14 No. 1 singles, per the Hall of Fame.
While Wynonna sang lead, “Naomi provided harmony, wit, and a sashaying stage presence that engaged audiences,” the Hall of Fame said.
The announcement was updated after the news Judd had died, noting, “The museum, the Judds’ family and fans, and the entertainment industry mourn her sudden passing.”
The Judds performed together publicly for the first time in years at the CMT Music Awards early last month, singing “Love Can Build a Bridge.” Judd’s death also came soon after the announcement of The Judds’ 10-date “Final Tour,” which was scheduled to begin in September.
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