The public memorial service to honor country music legend Naomi Judd will include performances by Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Little Big Town, and The Gaithers, CMT announced Friday morning (May 13). Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, a close family friend, will host “NAOMI JUDD: A RIVER OF TIME CELEBRATION” at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Sunday evening (May 15).
Other special appearances include Martina McBride and Naomi’s daughters, actress Ashley Judd and her duo partner of The Judds, Wynonna Judd, among others. Cody Alan and Carly Pearce are confirmed to host for CMT, providing commentary throughout the evening. Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland, will attend the service.
CMT announced earlier this week that the country music hub would work with Sandbox Entertainment and the Judd family to honor Naomi with the live event in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s set to begin at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT. CMT producers preciously said in a statement:
“We are sincerely privileged to work alongside Wynonna, Ashley and Larry to present this live celebration of life for their mother and wife Naomi. 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.”
Naomi unexpectedly died on April 30, following a long battle with mental illness. She was 76. Ashley appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday morning (May 12), revealing new details about her mother’s death in an emotional interview. Ashley tearfully confirmed that Naomi “used a weapon. Mother used a firearm. So, that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that, you know, if we don’t say it someone else is going to.” Ashley remembered her mother as “an unfailingly kind, sensitive woman,” and reminded viewers that for anyone struggling, there are resources available to help.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide or is in emotional distress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
See CMT’s announcement here: