Judd memorial service to air live today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

CMT to broadcast as commercial-free special

NASHVILLE — The memorial service for Naomi Judd is set to be broadcast live on CMT today.

The cable channel announced that it will air the service as a commercial-free special live from the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, starting at 6 p.m.

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Judd, half of the Grammy-winning group The Judds and a native of Ashland, Kentucky, died April 30 at age 76, one day before the duo was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” is a co-production from CMT and Sandbox Entertainment. Margaret Comeaux (CMT), Leslie Fram (CMT), Jason Owen (Sandbox Entertainment) and Patrizia DiMaria (Ladypants Productions) are executive producers.

“We are sincerely privileged to work alongside Wynonna, Ashley and Larry to present this live celebration of life for their mother and wife Naomi,” CMT producers said in a statement. “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.”

The Judds were set to go on tour later this year. Naomi’s daughter and singing partner, Wynnona Judd, said she plans to perform at those dates. Additionally, she was already booked for two solo shows at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland on June 23-24, which are still on the venue’s calendar.

In the weeks following Naomi’s death, music by The Judds has seen renewed interest. Their 2017 compilation, “All Time Greatest Hits,” originally released five years ago, re-entered the Billboard charts at No. 13.

Naomi’s other daugfhter, actress Ashley Judd appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday, for an interview with Diane Sawyer, where she spoke of her mother’s passing.

She encouraged people to seek help for their mental health and talked about her grieving process.

She said she wanted to address her mother’s struggle with depression. Judd said she was with her mother at her home in Tennessee on the day Naomi died.

She also encouraged anyone who was having thoughts of harming themselves to reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

“When we’re talking about mental illness, it’s very important, and to be clear and to make the distinction between our loved one and the disease,” Judd said in the interview. “It lies. It’s savage. And, you know, my mother, our mother, couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers. I mean, that is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her because the barrier between — the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart. And the lie that the disease told her was so convincing.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this story