Her first three singles—”She Is His Only Need”, “I Saw the Light,” and “No One Else on Earth”—all reached number one on the U.S. country singles charts consecutively, as did 1993’s “Only Love” and 1996’s, “To Be Loved by You.” Three of her albums are certified platinum or higher by the RIAA. She released a new single, “Something You Can’t Live Without,” in March 2013. Her most recent recording, Wynonna & The Big Noise, was released on February 12, 2016, via Curb Records.
“And at this time when I am so forlorn, I say to my creator, I do not know who you are, and yet I do know who you are because you are the one who saved me. And in the dark night of the soul, I say to myself, I do not know who I am because I am the one you saved.”
Ashley continued, “Our circumstances do not have the power to name our identity, because as my mother taught me, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And God comes to us disguised as our life.”
Ashley then went on to eulogize her mother, born, Diana Ellen Judd, who went on to “take her identity into her own hands” and changed her name to Naomi Judd. Ashley shared how her mother went from the child who knew everyone’s birthdays to the teen mother who gave birth to her first child in the same hospital where her young mother gave birth to her, to the proud member of the iconic mother-daughter music duo, The Judds — which featured her oldest daughter Wynonna. Naomi’s daughter shared how her mother overcame the childhood trauma of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other life circumstances to become the woman and musician that she was.
“The result is that we are here tonight remembering an icon and legend who left country music better than she found it,” Ashley said. “Since the 30th of April, we have been remembering the complex and dynamic life of our mother and story. She was every woman. Perhaps, this is why everyone thought they knew her. She was a nurse. She was a single mom who sometimes relied on public assistance, she was traumatized by early childhood abuse, intimate partner violence, and rape and she was fired by a boss when she refused to go away with him for a weekend.”
“She was Mamaw to her grandchildren, Elisha and Grace, and to my chosen family and she was totally extraordinary. The five-time GRAMMY Award winner, the multi-platinum artist, the Hall of Famer who was lauded by millions, and tonight we remember her in song.” Kicking off the music-filled evening, was the “G.O.A.T, the Greatest of All Time,” to Ashley, her big sister, Wynonna Judd. The songstress opened the ceremony with a performance of her and her mother’s hit, “River of Time.”