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Country music stars Naomi and Wynonna Judd, known as The Judds, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Sunday night, just one day after Naomi Judd died unexpectedly.
The induction ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, was filled with tears, music and laughter as country music’s biggest stars mourned the loss of Naomi Judd while also honoring the four inductees. Ray Charles, Eddie Bayes and Pete Drake joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in addition to The Judds. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill and many more performed their hit songs.
NAOMI JUDD DEAD AT 76: MUSIC WORLD SAYS GOODBYE TO LEGENDARY SINGER
Naomi’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd accepted their late mother’s induction amid tears, holding on to each other and reciting a Bible verse.
“I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley Judd said of her mother to the crowd while crying. The sisters then recited Psalm 23.
“Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing,” Wynonna Judd said.
Fans also gathered outside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to honor the music icon. A small framed photo of Naomi Judd was placed on the ground, alongside a single rose.
NAOMI JUDD, GONE AT 76, WROTE ABOUT HER MENTAL ILLNESS IN RECENT BOOK
Wynonna and Ashley Judd announced their mother’s death at the age of 76 on Saturday with a statement posted to social media. It read: “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. 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.”
NAOMI JUDD ‘SHONE A LIGHT IN DARK CORNERS’ ABOUT DEPRESSION
Naomi and Wynonna Judd were among the most popular duos of the 1980s, scoring 14 No. 1 hits during their nearly three-decade career. The Judds’ hits included “Love Can Build a Bridge” in 1990, “Mama He’s Crazy” in 1984, “Why Not Me” in 1984, “Turn It Loose” in 1988, “Girls Night Out” in 1985, “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” in 1986 and “Grandpa” in 1986.
Before her death, the Grammy Award-winning artist released a memoir that detailed her battle with mental illness. “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope” came out in 2016 from Hachette/Center Street.
In the book, Naomi Judd described experiencing the “boulder-like weight of my severe treatment-resistant depression and terrifying panic attacks.” She described how a hepatitis C diagnosis in 1990 changed her life. She said doctors only gave her three years to live after she contracted the virus during her work as a nurse, “before the Judds took off.” She was declared free of the illness in 1995.
Even after her recovery, Judd continued to struggle with mental illness, writing: “Had plenty of reasons to jump out of bed every morning. Never did I expect that only months after the Encore tour [in 2010] ended, I would feel I had every reason to jump off a bridge to end my tortured existence.” She also wrote that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from “traumatic events” in her life.
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Naomi and Wynonna Judd had just announced an arena tour to begin in the fall, their first tour together in over a decade. They also made a return to awards shows when they performed at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Maureen Mackey contributed to this report.