Naomi Judd Tribute to Air Live, Commercial-Free on CMT Sunday

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“Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” a tribute to the life and legacy of the country music icon who died on April 30, is premiering Sunday on CMT, with a list of performers including Brad Paisley, Carly Pearce, Jamey Johnson, and Emmylou Harris & Allison Russell, the network announced on Saturday.

The live event from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium will air commercial-free, with Robin Roberts hosting. Naomi’s daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd and her widower, Larry Strickland, will pay their respects to her, 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 from 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 pm PT, with an encore at 10 pm 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 induction ceremony for The Judds into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley tearfully told the crowd.

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