"The show must go on, as hard as it may be."
Advertisement
Wynonna Judd "Naomi Judd: A River Of Time Celebration"
Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The country music industry came together to publicly mourn the loss of Naomi Judd at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sunday. Daughters Ashley and Wynonna were amongst those who honored the late legend in the memorial event, Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration, which aired live on CMT.

"This isn't easy. I don't know why we're doing this in public. It sucks," a teary Wynonna told the audience. "But we're doing it, aren't we? We're showing the world what a dysfunctional family does. We show up for each other."

Wynonna, who performed for four decades alongside Naomi as part of the mother-daughter duo The Judds, took to the stage for a solo rendition of "Love Can Build a Bridge" accompanied by the choir from her church. The 1990 single was co-written by her mother.

Wynonna also spoke about the odd experience of mourning her mother in the public eye.

"I've lived my life publicly since I was 17. So, it feels natural to be with my family of choice. And tonight is a celebration," she said. "And at the same time, I can't put into words how devastated I am."

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.

"She obviously was suffering," Ashley told ABC News' Diane Sawyer last week. "And, as such, her days up until that moment—were hurtful to her."

On Sunday, Wynonna told the crowd that would continue with the 10 concerts 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?"

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).