Naomi Judd’s death just a day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame clouded Sunday’s ceremony – but the show will go on.
The Country Music Hall of Fame was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Judd, CEO Kyle Young said in a statement on Twitter. However, Judd’s family have requested that the induction of mother-daughter duo The Judds continue as planned, he said.
“We will with heavy hearts,” Young wrote.
Judd has died at the age of 76, his daughters announced on Saturday, hours before the country music legend – one half of the Judds, along with his daughter Wynonna – was celebrated at the medal ceremony of the Nashville Museum.
It’s unclear how the ceremony might be changed or adjusted in the wake of Judd’s passing. A separate tweet on the Hall of Fame page announced the “Red Carpet Experience” pre-ceremony, scheduled for Sunday afternoon, had been canceled in light of Judd’s death.
In their announcements shared on Twitter, Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley, an actress, wrote that they “lost our beautiful mother to mental illness”.
“We are navigating deep grief and know that, as we loved her, she was loved by her audience,” added the statement from her daughters. “We are in uncharted territory.”
Naomi Judd shared during a 2016 appearance on “Good Morning America” that she had been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. That same year, she wrote a book called “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope” explaining her struggles.
In its 2021 members-elect announcement, the Hall of Fame credited Naomi and Wynonna Judd with helping “bring the country back to its roots in the 1980s with lean, melodic songs influenced by traditional folk music, the acoustic blues and family harmony acts. ”
The mother-daughter duo began performing together as professional actors in the early 1980s, quickly producing a string of major hits like “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and selling more than 20 million records. Between 1984 and 1991, The Judds won five Grammys and had 14 No. 1 singles, according to the Hall of Fame.
As Wynonna sang the lead, “Naomi provided harmony, wit and a sassy stage presence that engaged the audience,” the Hall of Fame said.
The announcement was updated following news of Judd’s passing, noting, “The Judds’ museum, family and fans, and the entertainment industry are mourning his sudden passing.”