NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The Judds, a mother-daughter duet who won some of country music's top awards during eight years together, made an emotional final performance Wednesday night.

Naomi Judd, 45, announced a year ago she would retire from concert work because of hepatitis - a liver disease that can be fatal. Daughter Wynonna, 27, the lead singer in the duet, will begin a solo career in early 1992.

The concert at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro was available to 17 million cable TV households on a pay-per-view basis. It was their final appearance in a 118-city, yearlong farewell tour.

''This is a party ... a blowout bash,'' Naomi Judd said shortly after the concert began.

Naomi Judd turned serious 20 minutes into the concert, saying:

''I think Wynonna and I love country music more right this minute than the day we discovered it because you have allowed us for the last eight years to heal our relationship and become best friends and you quite possibly may have saved my life.''

''So this is a thank you and appreciation party for your love and support,'' she said.

Country music stars in the audience included Reba McEntire, Kathy Mattea, Larry Gatlin, Emmylou Harris and Brenda Lee.

It will not be a full retirement for Naomi Judd. She will sing at least one song on her daughter's first solo album next year. She also plans to write her autobiography, which she hopes will be turned into a TV miniseries.

Naomi Judd, a former nurse, has said her illness is in remission.

The Judds, natives of Ashland, Ky., have been voted duo or vocal group of the year for the past seven years by the Country Music Association. They also won four Grammy awards and sold 10 million records.