Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76.
The daughters announced her death on Saturday in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “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.” The statement did not elaborate further.
The country music community, friends and colleagues paid tribute to Judd, remembering the sweet superstar and her musical talent after discovering the shocking news.
Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd. Honored to have witnessed “Love Can Build a Bridge” just a few short weeks ago. 🤍😔
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) April 30, 2022
Country music lost a true legend…sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today…
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) April 30, 2022
I had the honor of meeting Naomi Judd years ago and she was so incredibly kind. Sending love and prayers to Wynonna, Ashley, and the whole Judd family during this time. I never thought she’d go 💔
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) April 30, 2022
I’m very sad to hear that Naomi Judd has passed away. Rest In Peace .Sending love and light to Ashley and Wynonna and all who love her.
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) April 30, 2022
Oh Sweet Jesus… Naomi Judd has gone home … the day before the Judds @countrymusichof induction … This is divesting news… We are saddened beyond words…
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) April 30, 2022
This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family. https://t.co/ONRL9Q29om
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) April 30, 2022
So very sad to hear of #NaomiJudd passing today. I had the great honor of knowing her, and she was no doubt one of the most iconic entertainers ever to make country music. Thinking of my good friend @Wynonna right now, this is a very tough day for her and the family. #TheJudds
— John Rich (@johnrich) April 30, 2022
My heart is sinking over the loss today of Naomi Judd at 76. She was a talented lady, and one of a kind, making The Judds iconic in every sense of the word. This pic was taken just a few weeks ago😢 pic.twitter.com/mRYJHUjTc8
— Cody Alan (@CodyAlan) April 30, 2022
I am absolutely heartsick to hear the news about Naomi Judd. My heart and my prayers go out to Wynonna, Ashley Judd, and all of us friends and fans who loved and respected her so much. She is irreplaceable — a country music legend will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/PUI79HNqJX
— Ty Herndon (@TyHerndoncom) April 30, 2022
We grieve with the family of Naomi Judd on their loss of a remarkable wife, mother and friend. She was kind and encouraging to everyone who crossed her path. She will be missed.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) April 30, 2022
RIP Naomi Judd. My mom taught me seemingly every one of your songs. She’d sing them often and loud. You left Country Music better than you found it.
— Bobby Bones (@mrBobbyBones) April 30, 2022
I’m so sad about Naomi Judd. She was so lovely & warm & fun but the thing I remember best was how proud she was of her daughters, she talked about them the whole time. My heart breaks for her family. https://t.co/asDaIM3u3l
— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) April 30, 2022
I loved Naomi Judd. Among her many talents, she was just so much fun, a great storyteller and a wonderful spirit. https://t.co/1ecFMV7HSY
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) April 30, 2022
The Academy is deeply saddened by the heartbreaking news this afternoon of Naomi Judd's passing. With her daughter Wynonna, the Judds won the ACM Award for Top Vocal Duet 7 consecutive years, as well as the ACM Pioneer Award more recently at the Academy of Country Music Honors. pic.twitter.com/w4J0XYoteC
— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) April 30, 2022
The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday and they had just announced an arena tour to begin in the fall, their first tour together in over a decade.
The mother-daughter performers scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. After rising to the top of country music, they called it quits in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd with hepatitis.
The Judds’ hits included “Love Can Build a Bridge” in 1990, “Mama He’s Crazy” in 1984, “Why Not Me” in 1984, “Turn It Loose” in 1988, “Girls Night Out” in 1985, “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” in 1986 and “Grandpa” in 1986.
Originally from Kentucky, Naomi was working as a nurse when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, together with elements of acoustic music, bluegrass and blues, made them stand out in the genre at the time.
The Judds released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They earned a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.”
The Judds sang about family, the belief in marriage and the virtue of fidelity. Because Naomi was so young looking, the two were mistaken for sisters early in their career.
Daughter Ashley Judd is an actor known for her roles in such movies as “Kiss the Girls” ″Double Jeopardy” and “Heat”.
Naomi Judd is also survived by her husband and fellow singer, Larry Strickland, who was a backup singer for Elvis Presley.