The country music community is in a deep state of mourning following the death of The Judds‘ Naomi Judd on Saturday (April 30) at the age of 76. Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, shared the sad news in the following statement:
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. 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.”
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Naomi passed away just one day before she and Wynonna were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as The Judds.
Per her family’s wishes, the ceremony continued on Sunday (May 1). Wynonna and Ashley were in attendance, and gave some emotional speeches:
“I didn’t prepare anything tonight cause I knew mom would probably talk the most,” Wynonna said. “I’m gonna make this fast because my heart’s broken. And I feel so blessed. And it’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.”
The day after The Judds’ induction into the Hall of Fame, Ashley shared a new post on social media that started with just one word, “Speechless.”
As the caption continued, Ashley opened up about her mother’s death and The Judds’ induction into the Hall of Fame. She wrote:
“Your outpouring is reaching me. Thank you for every thought, prayer, message, text, email, post, expression. We each are alone and we are in fellowship, broken and held, protected from nothing and sustained in everything. It’s the beginning of an old story, life and death, loss and life. Be free, my beautiful mother. Be free.”
Ashley’s post contained a series of photos from the induction ceremony. She also included some videos of her mother’s widower, Larry Strickland, singing hymns on her sleeping porch. Larry and Naomi would have celebrated their 33rd anniversary this year.
Another photo Ashley placed in the slideshow is an old photo of her, Wynonna, and Naomi. She also included two photos of an altar she made to honor her mother.
You can read Ashley’s full message and see the photos and videos she shared by looking at her post below.
Our hearts go out to Ashley, Wynonna, Larry, and all of Naomi’s loved ones during this sad time. She will be missed.