Wynonna Pays Tribute To Her Late Mother With Tearful “River Of Time” Performance

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It was an emotional night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium as Naomi Judd’s family, friends and fans came together to celebrate the life of the late country music legend who died on April 30 at the age of 76.

Naomi Judd: A River Of Time Celebration was televised live and commercial-free on CMT Sunday evening (May 15) and featured appearances and performances from Hollywood actors, country, rock and gospel singers, as well as television personalities. But, perhaps the most touching appearances came from Naomi Judd’s own family, including her husband, Larry Strickland, and daughters Ashley and Wynonna.

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Wynonna, who along with her mother made up the legendary country duo The Judds, opened the event with an tear-jerking performance of “River of Time” in her first performance since her mother’s death. The song was the title track of the duo’s fifth studio album that was released in 1989 and was written by Naomi Judd and John Jarvis. The 57-year-old fought back tears as she made her way to the stage and the music began to play.

Wynonna changed the lyrics as if she were singing to her mother.

“I’m holding back a flood of tears
Just thinking ’bout those happy years
Like all the good times that are no more
My momma is gone, gone, gone forevermore”

Wynonna‘s performance of “River of Time” was followed by other tributes from artists such as Carly Pearce, Brad Paisley, Ashley McBryde and Little Big Town. Wynonna returned to the stage to sing “The Rose” with Brandi Carlisle before closing out the memorial service with one of the Judds’ biggest hits, “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

Hear Wynonna’s beautiful rendition of “River of Time” in the video below.