Members of the country community flocked to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Sunday (May 15) evening to pay their respect to the Judd Family and to honor the beautiful life of Naomi Judd. CMT will be re-airing the moving memorial service titled, “NAOMI JUDD: A RIVER OF TIME CELEBRATION” tonight, May 19 at 9p/8c and Saturday, May 21 at 12p/11c.
The commercial-free special presented by CMT and Sandbox Live, highlights the extraordinary life and legacy of country music icon Naomi Judd. The country phenomenon unexpectedly lost her battle to mental illness in late April.
“While we all continue to deeply mourn the loss of such a legendary artist, we are honored to commemorate her legacy alongside the country community, her friends, family and legions of fans across the world at the perfect venue: The Mother Church of Country Music. This special will celebrate her timeless voice, unforgettable spirit and the immense impact she left on our genre through the best form of healing we have – music,” shared a CMT producer.
The celebration of life is hosted by daughters Wynonna, Ashley Judd, and "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts. The unforgettable special is jammed-packed with emotional performances and heartfelt messages from Ashley McBryde, Bette Midler, Bono, Brad Paisley, Brandi Carlile, Carly Pearce, Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, Gaither Vocal Band, Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, Reba McEntire, Reese Witherspoon, Salma Hayek, and more.
To emphasize Naomi Judd’s significant mark as a female trailblazer in the genre, long-time friends pulled from her remarkable repertoire of music with daughter and partner Wynonna. Musicians such as the Gaither Vocal Band performed “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be,’ a sentimental track requested by Naomi. Meanwhile, fellow Kentucky native Carly Pearce shared a flawless rendition of “Why Not Me,” Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell delivered a chilling cover of “The Sweetest Gift” – the first song the mother-daughter duo has ever learned together.
The resilient singer Wynonna teamed up with Carlile for a touching duet of “The Rose” and a solo performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge” with the Christ Church choir. The powerful 60-minute special exemplifies the endless love and support the genre and fans have for The Judds.
“NAOMI JUDD: A RIVER OF TIME CELEBRATION” is a co-production from CMT and Sandbox Live; Margaret Comeaux (CMT), Leslie Fram (CMT), Jason Owen (Sandbox) and Patrizia DiMaria (Ladypants Productions) are Executive Producers.
If you’re struggling and need to talk to somebody, you’re not alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a free, confidential conversation 24/7. For more ways to take care of your mental health and support others, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness at NAMI.org.