Country singer Naomi Judd died on April 30 and her public memorial is Sunday, May 15 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Ahead of that celebration of her life, former “Dancing With the Stars” and “Hollywood Squares” host Tom Bergeron sent a message to Naomi’s daughters, actress Ashley Judd and singer Wynonna Judd, who competed on season 16 of the dancing competition series.
Bergeron Said Naomi Judd Was Full of ‘Sweet Generosity’
Bergeron wrote the message after Ashley’s appearance on “Good Morning America” where she talked about her mom’s death, revealing that the manner of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I’ll always remember your mom,
@AshleyJudd, for her sweet generosity. Between taping ‘Hollywood Squares,’ I told her of a family member who, like her, contracted hep C. She immediately offered to call them and offer support, which she later did,” wrote Bergeron.
During the interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Ashley said that her mother was experiencing a “catastrophe” going on inside her.
“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish … and she was walked home. Our mother couldn’t hang on to be recognized by her peers. That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her. Because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing,” said the actress.
Naomi Judd Was Outspoken About Her Mental Health Struggles
Naomi previously spoke to “Today” about her struggles, telling the morning show in 2017, “I didn’t get off my couch for two years. I was so depressed that I couldn’t move … My husband (Larry Strickland) and my girlfriends and Ashley would come over and I would just go upstairs and lock the door to my bedroom … You become immobilized.”
She added, “We don’t make enough of the good neurochemicals in the brain. It’s a disease. It has nothing to do with our character … I was dangerously depressed.”
She also told “Today” that she had considered suicide.
“That’s how bad it can get,” she said. “It’s hard to describe. You go down in this deep, dark hole of depression and you don’t think that there’s another minute.'”
On Sunday, May 15, CMT is airing Naomi Judd’s public memorial without commercial interruption. The special will include “tributes from Wynonna & Ashley Judd with soon-to-be-announced performances and special appearances from some of the biggest names in entertainment,” according to the CMT press release.
“We are sincerely privileged to work alongside Wynonna, Ashley, and [Naomi’s husband] Larry to present this live celebration of life for their mother and wife Naomi. While we all continue to deeply mourn the loss of such a legendary artist, we are honored to commemorate her legacy alongside the country community, her friends, family and legions of fans across the world at the perfect venue: The Mother Church of Country Music. This special will celebrate her timeless voice, unforgettable spirit and the immense impact she left on our genre through the best form of healing we have – music,” said the CMT producers in a statement.
“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” to “honor the extraordinary life and legacy of country music icon Naomi Judd,” airs Sunday, May 15 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on CMT.