Thursday, February 22

Naomi Judd memorialized at Ryman Auditorium

“It’s so weird, yet so natural, to be in front of (the fans), our chosen family for 38 years,” Wynonna Judd said near the end of the 75-minute, CMT-aired memorial event for her mother, Naomi Judd , on Sunday at Ryman Auditorium.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” she said, quoting a gospel hymn,

Then, in a moment that highlighted the maintenance of the Judds’ legacy in the aftermath of her mother’s death, Wynonna said that she would be going on the 11-date national tour that she and her mother had previously announced.

“The show must go on, as hard as it may be,” she said.

After that, amid a Ryman Auditorium stage awash in blue floodlights and filled with 2,500 giant pink roses, Wynonna Judd called upon the spirit of the Pentecostal church – and a Pentecostal choir that filled the spaces between rows of pews in country music’s “Mother Church” – to inspire a solemn, soulful performance of The Judds’ 1990-released hit single “Love Can Build A Bridge.”

Naomi Judd never met a stranger, her husband, Larry Strickland, said while flanked by Ashley and Wynonna Judd, onstage. Their stories of two things, “their passions and their dogs,” inspired her greatly, he continued. As well, her daughter de ella, Ashley, added, in opening remarks, that her mother was an “everywoman, but totally extraordinary” who lived a life that was a “spectacular technicolor dream,” and that she “left country music better than she found it.”

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