Naomi Judd, Of Grammy-Winning Country Duo The Judds, Dies At 76

Naomi Judd, Of Grammy-Winning Country Duo The Judds, Dies At 76

The Kentucky-born singer was the mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd.

Iconic country star Naomi Judd died on Saturday. The Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo, The Judds, was 76 years old. Daughters, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd, announced their mother's death in a 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," the statement read, as per PEOPLE. "We are in unknown territory." Naomi's husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, added, "Naomi Judd's family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time."



The country legend had previously spoken up about her mental health in her 2016 book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope. The musician revealed that she suffered from suicidal depression. "Nobody can understand it unless you've been there," the singer told PEOPLE at the time. "Think of your very worst day of your whole life – someone passed away, you lost your job, you found out you were being betrayed, that your child had a rare disease – you can take all of those at once and put them together and that's what depression feels like."



Naomi Judd was born on January 11, 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. She later moved to California when her marriage to Michael Ciminella ended and raised both daughters as a single parent. She was part of the mother-daughter duo The Judds. Naomi and her daughter Wynonna, 57, had 14 No. 1 songs over their decades-long careers. Some of their most popular hits include "Mama He's Crazy," "Why Not Me," "Girls Night Out," "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain," and "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)."



The singing duo stopped performing in 1991 when doctors diagnosed Naomi with hepatitis C. Their farewell concert was incredibly moving with the two singing their 1990 hit "Love Will Build a Bridge" accompanied by a choir of gospel singers. More recently, the two were also set to celebrate a huge milestone in their career: their induction into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. According to ABC News, The Country Music Hall of Fame went ahead with the planned induction ceremony for the duo on Sunday. “Naomi overcame incredible adversity on her way to a significant place in music history. Her triumphant life story overshadows today’s tragic news,” said Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young in a statement. "Her family has asked that we continue with The Judds’ official Hall of Fame induction on Sunday. We will do so, with heavy hearts and weighted minds. Naomi and daughter Wynonna’s music will endure.” "I'll be honest," Wynonna said last August. "I've talked to three people, and immediately the first thing they said was, 'It's about damn time,' and as a daughter, I went, 'Yes, it is.' My mother, to me, is the queen of my parade—and it's time to celebrate her."



 If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

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