Judds joins the Country Music Hall Of Fame amidst music and tears after the death of Naomi Judd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Ray Charles and The Judds joined the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in a ceremony filled with tears, music and laughter, simply one day after Naomi Judd’s unexpected death.

The loss of Naomi Judd altered the normally celebratory ceremony, but the music moved on, as singers and musicians of the genre mourned the country legend while also celebrating the four nominees: The Judds, Ray Charles, Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake. . Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gil and many others performed their hit songs.

Naomi and Wynonna Judd were among the most popular duets of the 1980s, scoring 14 No. 1 hit during their nearly 30-year career. On the eve of her hiring, the family said in a statement to the Associated Press that Naomi Judd died at the age of 76 from “mental illness disease.”

Daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd accepted the introduction through tears, clinging to each other and reciting a verse from the Bible together.

“I’m sorry she couldn’t hold out until today,” Ashley Judd told the crowd as she cried. Wynonna Judd talked about the family reunion as they greeted her and she and Ashley Judd recited Psalm 23.

“Even if my heart is broken, I will continue to sing,” said Wynonna Judd.

Fans gathered outside the museum, attracted by a bouquet of white flowers outside the entrance and a small framed photo of Naomi Judd below. Only one rose was placed on the ground.

Charles’s induction showed his national releases that define the genre, which demonstrated the commercial appeal of country music. The Georgia-born singer and pianist grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and in 1962 released “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,” which became one of the best-selling country records of his era.

Blinded and orphaned at a young age, Charles is best known for R&B, gospel and soul, but his decision to record country music changed the way the world thought about the genre, broadening audiences in the age of civil rights.

Charles’s version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 chart and remains one of his most popular songs. He died in 2004.

Brooks sang “Seven Spanish Angels”, one of Charles’ hits with Willie Nelson, while Bettye LaVette performed “I Can’t Stop Loving You”.

Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap said he met Charles when he was a young singer and that others tried to imitate him, but none were up to par.

“There was one of him and only one,” said Milsap. “He sang country music the way it should be sung.”

Charles is only the third black artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Opry pioneer DeFord Bailey and Charley Pride.

“Mr. Charles has always lived up to what he loved,” said Valerie Ervin, president of the Ray Charles Foundation. “And country music was what he really, really loved.”

The Hall of Fame he also introduced two recording musicians who have been instrumental in so many country songs and singers: Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake.

Bayers, a drummer in Nashville for decades who worked on 300 platinum records, is a member of the band Grand Ole Opry. He has regularly played on records for The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney. He is the first drummer to join the institute.

Drake, who died in 1988, was a pedal guitarist and a member of the Nashville A-team of skilled session musicians, played on hits such as Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. George Jones. He is the first pedal steel guitarist to join the Hall of Fame.

Drake is known for creating the talk box, a technology that allowed him to vocalize through his pedal steel guitar. It was later popularly adopted by artists such as Peter Frampton and many others.

His wife, Rose, said that musicians like her husband deserved a place in the history of music.

“The musicians of the 60s, 70s. and the 1980s created Nashville as a city of music and we can’t let it fade away, ”said Rose Drake.