Carly Pearce honored The Judds with an emotional tribute performance during the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Medallion Ceremony on Sunday (May 1) evening.
The ceremony, which took place at CMA Theater inside Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, celebrated the famed institution’s newest inductees, including The Judds, the late Ray Charles, Eddie Bayer and Pete Drake.
During The Judds’ induction, Carly Pearce had the honor of being one of the musical guests who performed during the ceremony.
As Wynonna and Ashley Judd watched from the audience, Pearce took to the stage at CMA Theater to perform a stunning cover of The Judds’ “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days),” a track from the award-winning duo’s second studio album, Rockin’ with the Rhythm.
“Did lovers really fall in love to stay / And stand beside each other, come what may? / Was a promise really something people kept / Not just something they would say / Did families really bow their heads to pray? / Did daddies really never go away? / Oh, grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days,” Pearce sang on the track’s chorus.
Watch Pearce’s emotional performance of The Judds’ tune below.
@Carly Pearce paid tribute to #TheJudds with a performance of “Grandpa” at the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony. 🎥 CMHOF
On Saturday, April 30, just one day prior to the coveted Medallion Ceremony, where the “Love Can Build A Bridge” singers would be a part of the newest class of inductees, tragedy struck the country music community when Naomi Judd, one half of the legendary country duo The Judds, died unexpectedly.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, shared in a statement at the time. “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.”
Following the shocking death of Naomi, it was unclear if the Medallion Ceremony would proceed. However, at the request of Naomi’s family, the Country Music Hall of Fame induction went on as planned, with Naomi’s daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd, in attendance.
“[Naomi’s] family has asked that we continue with The Judds’ official Hall of Fame induction on Sunday,” a statement from Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said. “We will do so, with heavy hearts and weighted minds. Naomi and daughter Wynonna’s music will endure.”
Upon hearing the news of Naomi’s passing, Pearce took to social media to share a heartfelt message, remembering the late country music icon.
“Naomi Judd, like ‘Grandpa,’ told me about, the good old days in country music and living… She was a beacon of glamour, fun and keeping it real,” Pearce wrote. “And now… She’s in heaven AND the Country Music Hall of Fame! Thanks for showing a Kentucky girl how to make dreams come true. 🕊♥️”
Following Pearce’s performance at the Medallion Ceremony, the “What He Didn’t Do” singer recalled the moment she was asked to honor The Judds during their induction.
“I was called a few months ago by the Hall of Fame and was asked to be one of the surprise musical guests honoring The Judds at their induction into the Hall of Fame, so, I was already freaking out,” Pearce said. “I love the Judds. ‘Why Not Me’ was one of my absolute favorite songs of all times.”
She then added that after hearing of Naomi’s passing, she was unsure if the event would proceed.
“In light of what happened I certainly didn’t think that the ceremony would go on, but I think that’s such a testament to the strength of the Judds daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, just that they wanted to keep it going,” Pearce continued. “I got a call that Wynonna had a special request for someone to sing ‘Grandpa.’ She didn’t know that I was gonna be there and I had to change my song at the last second, and it truly was, I think, the most nervous I’ve ever been in my career.”
Pearce later shared that the moment was very important to her as Wynonna Judd is a fellow Kentucky native and was the first concert she ever got to attend.
“Wynonna was my first concert. And when I won Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA‘s, I got a random phone number that I answered, and she said, ‘Carly, it’s Wynonna.’” Pearce explained. “And we’ve become friends since then, and she’s been such a pillar of wisdom for me in this business, which has blown my mind even that I get to say that. The Judds are from Kentucky too, and I’ve idolized them since I was a little girl and, especially Wynnona. And just to actually look in her eyes and see the pain as I’m singing this song that was one of the greatest country songs of all time with her sweet mom, I really don’t have words for it.”