NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Country music legends and famed duo The Judds received an honor most artists only dream of getting – an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The triumph comes on the heels of tragedy. Naomi Judd tragically died April 30, 2022, the night before the Medallion Ceremony was supposed to take place.
The CMHOF said the Judd family still wanted to proceed with the formal induction. The Judds along with Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles, and Pete Drake became the newest members of the Hall of Fame May 1, 2022.
Fellow Hall of Fame member, Ricky Skaggs said he’s thankful for The Judds and their music, “God bless your mama, Not only are we feeling in mourning your mama’s passing, but all of country music and all of people around the world that love the music and love The Judds are here praying for you guys and saying ‘keep going, keep going. Don’t turn back. Your greatest days are ahead. They’re not behind you. It’s a new chapter. It’s a new chapter for your life.'”
He continued, “I believe God has given you an ink pen to write your future.”
Skaggs presented the Medallion to Naomi’s daughter and duo partner Wynona and younger daughter, Ashley Judd.
Through hugs, tears, and even smiles they accepted the award. “My mama loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her. And I’m sorry she couldn’t hang on until today,” said Ashley Judd to the audience.
She added, “And while this is so much about The Judds as a duo, I wanted to take a moment to recognize my sister. A G.O.A.T. Do you know what that means?” The crowd laughed and clapped. “I don’t think she knows I’m calling her ‘The Greatest of All Time.'”
“I didn’t prepare anything because I knew mom would probably talk the most,” Wynona Judd said as she stepped up to the mic, talking for the first time since her mother passed.
“I feel so blessed, and it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.”
“Though my heart’s broken I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do,” said Wynona. “This is the first time I’ve talked since saying goodbye to her. At 2:20 I kissed her on the forehead, and I walked away, and this is the first place I’ve been.”
Naomi’s daughters continued with a passage from the Bible, Psalm 23.
Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna were nominated in the Modern Era Artist category. CMHOF said between 1984 and 1992 the duo won five Grammys, nine CMA awards, seven ACM awards, 20 Top Ten hits, 14 of which were #1s.
In tribute to the Judds, Carly Pearce performed “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ole Days)’, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings performed, “Young Love,” and Tommy Sims, performed “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
The Judds last performance together was at the CMT Music Awards in April, when they reunited on the stage and announced an arena tour that was going to start in the fall. It would have been their first tour together in more than a decade.