Music

Naomi Judd Estate to Launch Virtual Exhibit Celebrating the Late Singer’s Artistry

The Naomi Judd estate is offering fans a deeper look at the late singer-songwriter’s life and career through a virtual exhibit that will launch on May 1 to mark the second anniversary of The Judds‘ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Judd died in April 2022 at age 76.

The multi-faceted exhibit, launched by the Naomi Judd estate in collaboration with Definitive Authentic and Mercy Community Healthcare, will feature rare and never-before-seen artifacts. The inaugural collection, titled “Artist,” is the first of five archival collections to be rolled out this year, with each focusing on different areas of Judd’s life and work. “Artist” will focus on her work with daughter Wynonna Judd as part of the mother-daughter duo The Judds. In the six years that elapsed between 1984 and 1989, The Judds earned 14 No. 1 Hot Country Songs hits, including “Young Love,” “Why Not Me” and “Turn It Loose.” They also earned five Grammy wins for songs including “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me” and “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

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The exhibit will include behind-the-scenes photos, awards, a personal stage map with handwritten notes, a script from the “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” music video and more. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibit will benefit The Naomi Judd Mental Health Clinic: A Bridge to Hope, a new mental health wing at Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tenn. The facility will feature a larger mental health area, including counseling/psychiatric rooms, a parent-child interactive therapy room, a prayer area, a waiting room and more.

Judd’s husband, Larry Strickland, said in a statement, “It is such a blessing for me to honor my wife’s life by giving the fans a look into the detailed archives that Naomi kept all of these years. I’d often walk through the barn and wonder why she insisted on keeping all of these objects that at the time seemed to be collecting dust; however, I now see that these were more than just things. These were her memories… our memories. These releases are our family’s gift to you, her public, for being there for all of us for the past 40 years. I hope they bring you a sense of Peace & Hope in regards to her memory and the Legacy that is Naomi Judd.”

Kodi Chandler, director of Hill Entertainment Group and archivist for the Naomi Judd estate, said in a statement, “Naomi kept meticulous records of photographs and artifacts. Through these we are able to explore how she viewed herself. It is our honor to help the family curate these collections for release. This first collection, simply titled ‘Artist’ is how she documented her time as she was best known, as one half of The Judds. The subsequent collections introduce and revisit other facets of Naomi that we can’t wait to share with those who meant the most to her, the fans.”

Judd’s legacy as an artist and songwriter, and her success as part of The Judds, was previously feted via the album A Tribute to the Judds, which featured artists including Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson and Ashley McBryde performing Judds classics. The album supported the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Tennessee.

Also forthcoming is the first vinyl release in the United States of The Judds’ final studio album, 1990’s Love Can Build a Bridge, which will also include lyric sheets and never-before-seen photos from Naomi Judd’s personal scrapbooks.

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