The Judds inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame one day after Naomi Judd's death
Just one day after the tragic passing of Naomi Judd, the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted The Judds — the mother-daughter country duo who rose to popularity in the 1980s — in a bittersweet celebration that included performances, joy, and tears.
The previously scheduled Sunday event went on with the permission of the singer's family. Her daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd, were on hand to celebrate the honor, with both expressing their grief over passing at the age of 76.
"I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today," Ashley Judd shared through tears while the sisters accepted the induction, according to the Associated Press.
"Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing," Wynonna added.
The emotional night saw performances from country singers Carly Pearce, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings in which they covered The Judds hits "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)" and "Young Love (Strong Love)," respectively. Brandi Carlile shared a rendition of "Love Can Build a Bridge" from her home due to testing positive for COVID-19.
"Having a bittersweet Sunday afternoon at home with my daughters today and praying for Wynonna and Ashley," Carlile wrote in an Instagram post. "We know they woke up to a world without their mom today. We want them to know that they're so loved and that they've given a language to not just mothers and daughters everywhere but that every family can learn something about love from the Judds."
The late Ray Charles, the late pedal steel player Pete Drake and drummer Eddie Bayers were the three other inductees celebrated throughout the night.
The red carpet portion of the event was canceled following the news of Judd's death. But Country Music Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young confirmed the ceremony would proceed as planned at the request of the Judd family. "We will do so, with heavy hearts," Young said, adding that the organization was "shocked and saddened" by Judd's death.
While the official cause of death has not been announced, Ashley and Wynonna revealed she was grappling with "the disease of mental illness."
"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy," they said in a statement on Saturday. "We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory."