Naomi Judd Remembered Eloquently By Peers, Friends, Family

In an emotional celebration of Naomi Judd’s life, Wynonna and Ashley Judd pulled out all the stops and honored the late matriarch with remembrances and performances from some the biggest stars in music and entertainment.

The Judd daughters welcomed country stars and other celebrities to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium – home of the Grand Ole Opry – for “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” a tribute that was broadcast live on CMT.

Performers included Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Little Big Town, Allison Russell and Jamey Johnson, along with Bono reciting a Judds song.

Wynonna looked to heaven frequently as she sang “River of Time” early in the ceremony, then closed it joined by her local Christ Church choir for what was the pair’s final hit, “Love Will Build a Bridge.” She also participated in a recreation of the mother/daughter harmonies by pairing up with Brandi Carlile for a duet of “The Rose,” preceded by a video testimonial by Bette Midler.

“It’s so strange to be here, but natural at the same time,” Wynonna said. “I’ve lived my life in public since I was 17, so it feels natural to be here with my family of choice.”

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts hosted the memorial. Martina McBride read a Maya Angelou passage. The memorial also featured pre-taped testimonials from Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Reba McEntire, Salma Hayek, Reece Witherspoon and Morgan Freeman.

Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson and the pairing of Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell were among the performers.

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