Entertainment

Ashley Judd pays tearful tribute to late mum Naomi after death aged 76

Ashley broke down in tears as she paid tribute to her late mother and accepted her medallion (Picture: Invision/AP)

Ashley Judd delivered a tearful tribute to her late mother Naomi Judd as the late singer was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Judd died on Saturday at the age of 76 with her daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, stating her cause of death was ‘disease of mental illness’. 

Hours later on Sunday, the sisters bravely took to the stage at the Hall of Fame ceremony where country icon Judd was being inducted. 

Double Jeopardy actress Ashley became emotional during her speech, and told the audience at the CMA Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee: ‘My mama loved you so much. And I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today.’ 

Through tears, she added: ‘Your esteem for her and your regard for her really penetrated her heart and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in the last years and please come see Pop,’ referring to her father and Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland.

‘While this is so much about The Judds as a duo I want to take a moment to recognise my sister, a GOAT [greatest of all time],’ she said turning to sister Wynonna. 

Ashley and Wynonna attended the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Sunday (Picture: Invision/AP)
The Judd sisters were united in their grief (Picture: Invision/AP)
Wynonna vowed to ‘continue to sing’ without her beloved mother (Picture: Invision/AP)

Wynonna, who performed with her late mother as part of musical group The Judds, also spoke to the crowd, saying: ‘Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing.’ 

She then joked: ‘I didn’t prepare much to say, because I assumed mama would be doing all the talking. 

Naomi Judd died on Saturday at the age of 76 from the ‘disease of mental illness’ (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Newspapers don’t get a lot right these days but when they said you were Elvis-like, they got it.’ 

Tributes poured in for Judd across the country music industry and beyond, with Rosanna Arquette, Maren Morris and Travis Tritt among those to pay their respects to the late singer. 

Announcing Judd’s death, her daughters said in a statement: ‘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.’

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