Brandi Carlile and Ashley McBryde are among the artists who will gather to pay tribute to the life and music of Naomi Judd just two weeks after the singer’s death. “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” will air live and commercial-free on CMT from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Sunday, May 15, at 6 p.m. ET.
Hosted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, the program will also feature performances by Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell, Little Big Town, and the gospel vocal group Gaithers. Many of Judd’s friends from entertainment will send messages, including Bono, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfrey, and Salma Hayek.
Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd are also set to make appearances, as will Judd’s husband Larry Strickland, Martina McBride, and others. Carly Pearce and Cody Alan host CMT’s broadcast of the event and provide commentary.
Earlier this week, Naomi Judd’s daughter Ashley revealed her mother’s cause of death to be suicide, a tragic loss that happened on the eve of her and Wynonna’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A tearful Ashley and Wynonna attended the Medallion Ceremony, mourning their mother as they celebrated the influential, successful work of the Judds.
“It’s a strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed…,” Wynonna said. “But though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.”