The country music community is in mourning following the death of The Judds‘ Naomi Judd on Saturday (April 30). She was 76 years old.
Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, shared the following statement about their mother’s death:
“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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Just one day after Naomi passed away, The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A somber cloud hung over the usually celebratory ceremony, which Wynonna and Ashley attended. Carly Pearce performed an emotional cover of The Judds’ song “Grandpa” during the event.
Other singers honored Naomi with tributes at their homes and shows around the world. Keith Urban performed “Love Can Build a Bridge” at a show in Manchester, Brothers Osborne sang “Why Not Me” during their Stagecoach set, and Brandi Carlile shared a video of her singing “Love Can Build a Bridge” at home with her daughters.
Other artists paid tribute to Naomi by sharing photos and memories of her. Dolly Parton expressed how “shocked” she was by Naomi’s death, since the two of them had been “close.”
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Shania Twain also wrote a moving tribute to Naomi.
Shania shared a video of Naomi’s final performance at the CMT Music Awards just a few weeks before her passing. The Judds sang “Love Can Build a Bridge” in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It was their first televised performance in 20 years.
Unfortunately, Shania knows what it’s like to lose a parent. Her mother and stepfather (who adopted and raised her) were killed in a car accident in 1987. After her parents’ deaths, Shania moved back home to take care of her younger siblings and supported them by performing at a nearby resort.
“My heart is broken for Wynonna, Ashley and the rest of the Judd family,” Shania wrote in her tribute to Naomi. “Losing a parent is the hardest thing to go through. And especially during a moment of such celebration… I can emphathise [sic] with what Wynonna said in her Country Music Hall of Fame speech all too well – ‘It’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.'”
Shania said she was inspired “musically and personally” by Naomi and The Judds:
“Naomi fought to bring herself and her two daughters out of poverty, and to see that same strength in Wynonna and Ashley is a testament to their mother,” she said. “Her life was a triumph. And The Judds impact on country music will live on forever.”
You can read Shania’s full tribute to Naomi below.
Our hearts go out to all of Naomi’s loved ones during this sad time. She will be missed.