“This special will celebrate her timeless voice, her unforgettable spirit and the immense impact she left on our genre through the best form of healing we have – music.”
Country legend Naomi Judd will be honored and celebrated at a televised public memorial service.
On Wednesday, the network announced that it had teamed up with Naomi’s daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, for a special event, which will air live and commercial-free on Sunday.
The public memorial, titled ‘Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration’, will honor and celebrate the life of the Grammy winner, who died aged 76 last month. The event will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ashley and Wynonna Judd pay tribute to late mom Naomi Judd on first Mother’s Day after her death
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“We are truly privileged to work alongside Wynonna and Ashley to present this live celebration of the life of their mother Naomi,” CMT said in a statement. “As we all continue to mourn deeply 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 around the world in the ideal place: the mother church of country music.
The statement added, “This special will celebrate her timeless voice, her unforgettable spirit and the immense impact she left on our genre through the best form of healing we have – music.”
The network also said more details about the celebration — such as performers — will be announced later this week.
On April 30, Ashley, 54, and Wynonna, 57, shared the heartbreaking announcement that their mother had lost her battle with mental illness.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to mental illness,” they wrote. “We are devastated. We navigate deep grief and know that, as we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in uncharted territory.”
Naomi died just a day before “The Judds”, the mother-daughter country duo of Naomi and Wynonna, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Wynonna, along with Ashley, attended the event and emotionally accepted the award on their mother’s behalf.
Tributes pour in for country legend Naomi Judd
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While speaking to Diane Sawyer on Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” Ashley opened up about the tragic loss of her mother, revealing that Naomi’s cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot.
“Her brain was hurting her, physically and I’m given an extremely difficult task in disclosing how my mother chose not to continue living…because we don’t want it to be part of the gossip economy. “, says Ashley. “I will share with you that she used a weapon. [My] mother used a gun, so this is information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand.”
“Our mom couldn’t hold on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers,” Ashley said. “That’s the catastrophe level of what was going on inside her.”
The actress shared another devastating revelation: she was the one who found her mother’s body.
“It was a mixed day,” Ashley recalled. “I visit my mom and dad every day when I’m home in Tennessee, so I was home visiting like I do every day. Mom was like, ‘Want- will you stay with me?’ and I said, ‘Of course I will.’ …I went upstairs to let her know the friend was there and found her.I have both grief and trauma finding her.
“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” airs Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on CMT.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or has thought about harming or killing yourself, seek help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) offers free, confidential 24/7 support for people in distress.