Naomi Judd, Matriarch Of The Judds, Has Died At 76

Naomi Judd/Instagram

The country music community is mourning the heartbreaking death of Naomi Judd, one half of the mother-daughter duo The Judds.

Naomi’s daughters, actress Ashley Judd and singing partner Wynonna, shared the news of their mother’s death in a joint statement to the Associated Press on Saturday (April 30). Ashley also shared the statement to her social media.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement read. “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 and Wynonna were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (May 1), and they had recently announced a month-long, 10-city farewell tour that was scheduled to take place this fall.

Naomi was born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky. She was a single working mom in Nashville when she and Wynonna began singing together, earning them a record deal in 1983. They skyrocketed to country music fame with 14 No. 1 songs such as “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” and “Grandpa.”


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The duo disbanded when Naomi was forced into retirement in 1991 after being diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

“We had a such a stamp of originality on what we were trying to do,” Naomi Judd said upon learning The Judds were going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Between 1983 and 1991 the duo won 9 Country Music Association Awards and 7 Academy of Country Music Awards. Together they earned 5 Grammy Awards.