The Country Music Hall of Fame was scheduled to induct The Judds on Sunday night, despite the death of Naomi Judd on Saturday.
The salon said it would go ahead with the ceremony at the request of Judd’s family, but would do so with “heavy hearts and concerned minds,” according to its CEO, Kyle Young.
Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna Judd were among the most popular country music duos of the 1980s, scoring 14 No. 1 hits during their nearly three-decade career.
Members are typically honored with speeches, performances, and the unveiling of a plaque in the Hall of Fame rotunda. A planned public red carpet ahead of Sunday’s ceremony has been cancelled.
Ray Charles was also to be included, in a showcase of his genre-defying country releases. The Georgia-born singer and pianist grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and in 1962 he released Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which became one of the best-selling country releases of its day.
Charles’ version of I Can’t Stop Loving You spent five weeks atop the Billboard 100 and remains one of his most popular songs. He died in 2004.
Naomi Judd died unexpectedly on Saturday near Nashville.
“We lost our beautiful mother to mental illness,” said her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley. “We are devastated. We are navigating deep pain and we know that just as we loved her, she was loved by her public.”
In a March interview, Wynonna Judd said, “Music is the bridge between me and mom, and it brings us together. Even in difficult times.”
By choosing to go ahead with the ceremony, the Nation’s Hall of Fame highlighted the extraordinary life of Naomi Judd.
“Naomi overcame incredible odds on her way to a significant place in music history. Her triumphant life story overshadows today’s tragic news,” Young said.
The Hall of Fame was also supposed to honor Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake.
Bayers, a drummer in Nashville for decades who worked on 300 platinum records, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry band. He regularly played on records for The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney. He is the first drummer to join the institution.
Drake, who died in 1988, was a pedal steel guitarist and member of Nashville’s A-team of skilled session musicians, playing on such hits as Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man and George Jones’s He Stopped Loving Her Today. He is the first pedal steel guitarist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.