'Naomi Judd: A River Of Time Celebration': Wynonna Judd announces she will continue tour as celebs honor singer

·3 min read

Wynonna Judd will honor her mother by doing The Judds: The Last Tour as planned, she announced during "Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration," which aired live on CMT Sunday evening.

"I will continue to sing," Wynonna Judd, who makes up one-half of The Judds, said on stage. "I made a decision, and I decided to share it on national television. After a lot of thought, I am gonna have to honor her and do this tour because that is what you [the audience] would want."

She went on, "So tonight, as we close, I say, 'the show must go on.' As hard as it may be, we will show up together. You will carry me, as you carried me for 38 years, once again, because I honestly didn't think I should do it."

MORE: Ashley Judd speaks about her mother's passing, puts spotlight on mental health

Last week, Naomi Judd's other daughter, actress Ashley Judd, spoke out about her mother's death and told ABC News' Diane Sawyer that she and her sister Wynonna lost their mother "to the disease of mental illness." Naomi Judd died just one day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Ashley Judd kicked off the remembrance for her mother at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, on a stage laden with 2,500 roses, revealing that Naomi Judd herself had chosen the Mother Church of Country Music as the location for the tribute.

"Thank you for being in community and fellowship with us," Ashley Judd said. "Thank you for showing up for our mom. ... We are here tonight remembering an icon and a legend who left country music better than she found it."

Wynonna Judd offered the evening's namesake tune, which was written by her mother, as the first musical performance. Martina McBride read Maya Angelou's "When Great Trees Fall," in a service hosted by ABC's Robin Roberts.

From there, country music's finest offered the greatest hits from the Judds' catalog: Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman traded verses during Little Big Town's take on "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days)," while Ashley McBryde held back tears during "Love Is Alive."

Brad Paisley remembered opening for The Judds at age 13 before he performed "Young Love."

MORE: Country music stars mourn passing of legend Naomi Judd

"I have this mental image that I feel like Naomi's flipping her skirt in Heaven tonight," Carly Pearce said, before launching into "Why Not Me."

U2's Bono quoted "Guardian Angels" in the first of several pre-recorded messages by the likes of Reba McEntire, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Morgan Freeman and Salma Hayek. Bette Midler reminisced about singing "The Rose" with Wynonna Judd, before Brandi Carlile joined her to recreate the duet with Judd.

Wynonna Judd closed the show with a rendition of "Love Can Build a Bridge," which was co-written by her mother. As Naomi Judd's childhood photo was shown on stage, the audience joined in with the singer and finished the song.

"Life is so strange," Wynonna Judd said at the end of the memorial service. "It is so devastatingly beautiful what happened here tonight. We will continue this spectacle -- that is what she would want, right?"

MORE: Ashley Judd shines light on coping with mental health after death of mom Naomi Judd

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

'Naomi Judd: A River Of Time Celebration': Wynonna Judd announces she will continue tour as celebs honor singer originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com