Ashley Judd Tells Late Mom Naomi to 'Be Free' as She Thanks Fans for Their Support

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Ashley Judd reflected on her mother, Naomi Judd’s, legacy with a special message. On Monday, the 54-year-old actress shared a carousel of photos and videos on Instagram, documenting her time at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where she honored her mother with sister Wynonna, just a day after Naomi's death. 

“In beloved community with my big sister, gazing at the new bronze plaque inducting @thejuddsofficial @wynonnajudd into the @officialcmhof - listening to #grandpa, my altar to mama, with her silhouette from when she was 11, my bereft Pop @larrystrickland7 singing How Great Thou Art for me on my sleeping Porch (we are singing hymns this evening). Sister, mom, and me on Little Cat Creek in Lawerence County, Ky,” she captioned the first half of the post.  

The emotional message led with a picture of Ashley and Wynonna -- who along with their late mother was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday as The Judds --looking at the plague dedicated to the “Love Can Build a Bridge” singers. The next photo was a shot of Wynonna wrapping Ashley in her arms as they watched a performance during the ceremony. 

In more personal pictures, Ashely shared the altar dedicated to her mother, and videos of Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland, singing a tribute hymn in her honor. There was also a photo of a young Ashley and Wynonna posing with their mom. 

The actress ended her post with a photo of her sister sitting amongst the other honorees and staring at the bronze plaque. Ashley ended her post with gratitude to fans and a message to her mother.  
 
“Your outpouring is reaching me," she wrote. "Thank you for every thought, prayer, message, text, email, post, expression. We each are alone and we are in fellowship, broken and held, protected from nothing and sustained in everything. It’s the beginning of an old story, life and death, loss and life.” 
 
Ashley added, “Be free, my beautiful mother. Be free. #honorthymother #honorthymusic.” 

Naomi Judd died at age 76 on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, just one day before her and Wynonna were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Sunday’s ceremony still went on, and Ashley joined a tearful Wynonna onstage to honor their mother’s legacy

Inductee Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd speak onstage for the class of 2021 medallion ceremony at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on May 01, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

"I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today," Ashley shared through tears. The sisters embraced one another and recited a bible verse, Psalm 23, while memorializing their late mom. 

Wynonna -- who was set to tour with her mother later this year -- told the silent crowd, "Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing." 

Shortly after her mother's death, Ashley took to Instagram to confirm the tragic news.

"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," read the statement. "We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory."

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