Earlier this month, the Judds reunited to give their first awards show performance in two decades, singing the timeless ballad “Love Can Build a Bridge” at the 2022 CMT Music Awards. Tragically, the performance ended. also proved to be their last after the shocking news on Saturday of the death of Naomi Judd at 76.
For their rendition of the 1990 Top 5 hit, Naomi and her daughter Wynonna sang face-to-face on an outdoor stage in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville – the very institution that was to induct them as members this Sunday. (The Hall Medal Ceremony is currently scheduled to go ahead as scheduled.)
“Love Can Build a Bridge,” from the duo’s 1990 album of the same name, is synonymous with the Judds. Co-written by Naomi with Paul Overstreet and John Barlow Jarvis, it’s a token of intent: to reconcile and then love and support someone no matter what. Onstage at the CMT Awards (taped ahead of the April 11 broadcast), Wynonna sang the verses and Naomi offered sweet harmonies in the chorus, which was rocketed skyward by a choir in white robes. It was majestic, dramatic and moving – a fitting “welcome” from one of country music’s most successful duos, known for a string of hits like “Mama He’s Crazy”, “Girls’ Night Out”, “Rockin’ ‘ with the Rhythm”. Rain” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)”.
The day after their CMT Awards reunion, the Judds announced a new arena tour which was to be their official farewell. “The Final Tour,” as it was announced, was scheduled to kick off September 30 and run through October, with a final show in Nashville.