According to reports, Naomi Judd’s daughter Ashley said that her mother planned her funeral right down to who would sing what. On Saturday (5/7), that private service took place at the CMA Theater in Nashville, where just six days before, The Judds had been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Dolly Parton said, welcoming those who came to the invitation-only service, “We are family. And when it’s family, you forgive them for they know not what they do. When it’s family, you accept them because you have no choice but to. When it’s family, they’re a mirror of the worst and best in you. You’re always trying to do your best, and they always put you to the test, and you pray for God to do the rest.”
Both in person or via video, that extended family gathered around Wynonna, sister Ashley Judd and Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland. They consisted of world-renowned scientists, country music royalty, gospel, and rock stars.
In a video, U2 frontman Bono recited a poem that referred to Naomi as a new guardian angel. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead performed “Ripple.”
Wynonna Judd told the small crowd, “I’m just so mad she didn’t hang on so we could dance together one more time.” Wy then added that she planned to fulfill the bookings that she and her mother had planned as their final concert performances together. She offered, “You know me; I will keep singing. It’s going to be lonely, but I will sing.”
Each attendee received a cardboard fan with a picture of Naomi as a child on one side and the lyrics to “Love Can Build a Bridge” on the other. Naomi died of an apparent suicide on April 30, 2022.