The awful news of the death of Naomi Judd was announced through her two famous daughters in a statement.
“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.”
“Naomi Judd died near Nashville, Tennessee”, said a statement on behalf of her husband and fellow singer, Larry Strickland.
The Judds were to be inducted into the CM (Country Music) Hall of Fame the day after her death and they had just announced an arena tour to begin in the fall, their first tour together in over a decade. They also had just returned to awards shows when they performed at the CMT Music Awards earlier this year.
“This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known,” singer Travis Tritt posted on social media saying that he had worked with Judd several times on screen and during performances.
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. Wynonna continued her solo career.
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.
Born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky, Naomi worked as a nurse in Nashville, when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, together with acoustic music, bluegrass, and blues, made them stand out in the genre at the time.