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Wynonna Judd says concert tour will go on despite mom Naomi's death

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Wynonna Judd says concert tour will go on despite mom Naomi's death
Wynonna Judd (L) and Naomi Judd arrive at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville on April 11. File Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

May 16 (UPI) -- Country music star Wynonna Judd says she will go on with a planned concert tour despite the April 30 suicide of her mother and singing partner, Naomi Judd.

"I've made a decision, and I thought I'd share it on national television that, after a lot of thought, I'm gonna have to honor her and do this tour," Wynonna said Sunday at a Nashville memorial for Naomi that aired on CMT.

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"The show must go on, as hard as it may be, and we will show up together, and you will carry me as you've carried me for 38 years," she added. "So we will continue this spectacle. That's what she would want, right?"

Wynonna also performed the Judds hit, "River of Time," and sang a duet of "The Rose" with Brandi Carlile.

Her sister, Ashley, opened the memorial by saying: "Thank you for being in community and fellowship with us.

"Thank you for showing up for our mom," she added. "We are here tonight remembering an icon and a legend who left country music better than she found it."

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Other performers included Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Emmylou Harris and Allison Russell.

Broadcast journalist Robin Roberts hosted the event and Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Reba McEntire, Salma Hayek, Reese Witherspoon and Morgan Freeman appeared in filmed testimonals.

Naomi's husband, Larry Strickland, remembered her as a kind-hearted woman who "never met a stranger."

"Much to my displeasure, she would start a conversation with anybody who made eye contact with her," he said, joking this often led to lengthy conversations with fans "about their passions and their dog."

Naomi shot herself at the age of 76 after years of battling depression and anxiety. A day after she died, she and Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as previously scheduled.

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