“We lost one of our absolute pillars in country music earlier this year.”
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Wynonna Judd Joins Carly Pearce for Surprise Tribute to Mom Naomi at CMA Fest
Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Wynonna Judd continues to make good on her promise to "continue the spectacle" in honor of her late mother Naomi.

The singer surprised audiences by joining Carly Pearce for a duet of The Judds' 1984 hit "Why Not Me" at the CMA Fest in Nashville on Friday.

Before inviting Wynonna onstage, Pearce spoke about how the mother-daughter country duo inspired her own career.

"CMA Fest, we lost one of our absolute pillars in country music earlier this year: Miss Naomi Judd," she said. "As a girl growing up in Kentucky, I idolized the Judds and wanted to be like them. My first concert was to see Wynonna. And I've always loved all of the music that the Judds made and feel like it is such a representation of the best of country music."

Naomi died at the age of 76 on Saturday, April 30, 2022, after a years-long battle with severe depression and anxiety. The Judds were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the following day.

During a public memorial for the country legend in May, Wynonna announced she would continue with the tour that she and Naomi had planned for later this year, in honor of her mother.

"The show must go on, as hard as it may be," she said. "It's so devastatingly beautiful what happened here tonight, so we will continue this spectacle. That's what she would want, right?"