“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” a tribute to the life and legacy of the country music icon who passed away on April 30, premieres Sunday on CMT, featuring a roster of artists including Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Jamey Johnson, and Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, announced the network on Saturday.
The live event from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium will be broadcast without commercials, with Robin Roberts as host. Naomi’s daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd and her widower, Larry Strickland, will pay her respects, as will singer Martina McBride.
Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Gaither Vocal Band and Little Big Town will also perform and special messages will be shared by Oprah Winfrey, Bette Midler, Reba McEntire, Reese Witherspoon, Morgan Freeman, Salma Hayek and Bono. Carly Pearce and Cody Alan are the CMT hosts.
“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration” is a co-production of CMT and Sandbox Live; Margaret Comeaux (CMT), Leslie Fram (CMT), Jason Owen (Sandbox), and Patrizia DiMaria (Ladypants Productions) are executive producers.
The special will air live at 6 p.m. PT, with an encore at 10 p.m. PT.
Ashley revealed on “Good Morning America” that her mother, who struggled with mental illness and severe depression, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The day after Naomi’s death, on May 1, Ashley and Wynonna attended The Judds’ induction ceremony into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “I’m sorry she couldn’t last today,” Ashley said to the crowd in tears.