Naomi Judd, matriarch of Grammy-winning The Judds, dies at age 76, says daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer from the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76.

The daughters announced her death Saturday in a statement to the Associated Press.

“Today, we sisters have experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease mental illness,” the statement said. “We are crushed. We navigate in deep grief and know that when we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in unknown territory.” The opinion did not elaborate further.

The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, and they had just announced an arena tour set to begin this fall, their first tour together in over a decade. They also returned to awards ceremonies when they performed at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month.

“Honored to have witnessed ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ a few weeks ago, singer Maren Morris wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

February 17, 2021: Ashley Judd describes how she ‘almost lost’ her leg in Congo

“This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I have ever known,” singer Travis Tritt wrote on Twitter, noting that he had worked with Judd several times on screen and during appearances.

The mother-daughter artists scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. After reaching the top of country music, they stopped 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 was working as a nurse in Nashville when she and Wynonna began singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, along with elements of acoustic music, bluegrass and blues, made them stand out in the genre at the time.

“We had such a stamp of originality on what we were trying to do,” Naomi Judd told the AP after it was announced they would join the Country Music Hall of Fame.

TheJudds released six studio albums and one EP between 1984 and 1991, winning nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They won a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love”.

The Jews sang about family, the belief in marriage, and the virtue of fidelity. Because Naomi looked so young, the two were mistaken for sisters early in their careers.

They first got attention by singing on Ralph Emery’s morning show in the early 1980s, where the host called them “Soap Sisters” because Naomi said she used to make her own soap.

Following the success of “Mama He’s Crazy,” they won the Horizon Award at the 1984 CMA Awards. Naomi began her speech by saying “Let go of the dog and spit in the fire!”

Daughter Ashley Judd is an actress known for her roles in movies like “Kiss the Girls,” “Double Jeopardy” and “Heat.”

Naomi Judd is also survived by her husband and singing colleague, Larry Strickland, who was the backup singer for Elvis Presley.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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