Naomi Judd, the mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd and a member of the Grammy-winning duet The Judds, has died. She was 76 years old at the time.
In a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday, her daughters announced her death.
“Today was a tragic day for our sisters. The message said, “We lost our beloved mother to the disease of mental illness.” “We’ve been shattered.” We’re dealing with a lot of loss right now, but we know that as much as we loved her, so did the rest of the world. “We’re in an uncharted area.”
According to a statement released on behalf of her husband and fellow singer Larry Strickland, Naomi Judd died near Nashville, Tennessee. It requested privacy as the family grieves and said no further details regarding her death will be disclosed.
The Judds were scheduled to be honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, and they had recently announced an autumn arena tour, they’re first in nearly a decade. They also performed at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month, which marked their return to award events.
On Saturday, singer Maren Morris wrote on Twitter, “Honored to have witnessed “Love Can Build a Bridge” just a few short weeks ago.”
“This is heartbreaking news!” says the narrator. “Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest individuals I’ve ever met,” musician Travis Tritt said on Twitter, adding that he has worked with Judd on-screen and during performances multiple times.
Over the course of their nearly three-decade career, the mother-daughter duo had 14 No. 1 hits. After reaching the pinnacle of country music, they called it quits in 1991 after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with hepatitis C. Wynonna’s solo career continued.
“Love Can Build a Bridge” was a song for the Judds in 1990, “Mama He’s Crazy” was a blockbuster in 1984, “Why Not Me” was a hit in 1984, “Turn It Loose” was a hit in 1988, “Girls Night Out” was a hit in 1985, “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” was a hit in 1986, and “Grandpa” was a hit in
Naomi, who was born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky, was working as a nurse in Nashville when she met Wynonna. Their distinctive harmonies, along with acoustic, bluegrass, and blues components, helped them stand out in the genre at the time.
Naomi Judd told The Associated Press when they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, “We had a stamp of individuality on what we were attempting to do.”
Between 1984 and 1991, the Judds recorded six studio albums and an EP, winning nine Country Music Association Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. They won five Grammy Awards in total for classics including “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love,” while Naomi won a sixth for penning “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
The Judds, along with Travis Tritt, Clint Black, and Tanya Tucker, played at the 1994 Super Bowl halftime show.
The Judds sang on the importance of family, marriage, and fidelity. Early in their careers, the two were mistaken for sisters due to Naomi’s youthful appearance. She was also renowned for favoring showy stage dresses with rhinestones and sparkles over casual boots and cowboy attire.
They rose to prominence after performing on Ralph Emery’s morning show in early 1980, where the host dubbed them the “Soap Sisters” since Naomi claimed to have made her own soap.
They earned the Horizon Award at the 1984 CMA Awards after the popularity of “Mama He’s Crazy.” “Slap the dog and spit in the flames!” Naomi said to begin her speech.
Naomi Judd was candid about her health issues, which included severe sadness and anxiety. She detailed her diagnosis of hepatitis C in her memoir, “River of Time,” which she claims she caught accidentally while working as a nurse. Her doctors assured her she was entirely rid of the illness by 1995, she said.
When she returned home following a 2010 reunion tour, she felt as if she had lost her identity, isolating herself at home and battling terrible panic attacks, according to her memoir. She also admitted to having been traumatized by sexual abuse as a child. She was admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward and completed an outpatient treatment program.
Daughter Ashley Judd is a philanthropist and actor who has appeared in films such as “Kiss the Girls,” “Double Jeopardy,” and “Heat.”
Strickland was married to Naomi Judd for 32 years and was a backup singer for Elvis Presley.