Naomi Judd, of the country powerhouse the Judds, has died at the age of 76. In a statement shared with the Associated Press, her daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd confirmed their mother’s death. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the daughters’ statement said. “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.” No further details of her death have been shared.
Alongside her daughter Wynonna, the two formed the country-music duo the Judds in 1983. During their time together, they released six studio albums and won five Grammys and nine CMA awards. By 1990, the duo released their final studio album together, Love Can Build a Bridge, as Naomi announced her retirement after being diagnosed with hepatitis C. However, as Naomi’s health improved, she reunited with her daughter on stage with reunion shows throughout the years. She starred in several TV films such as A Holiday Romance, An Evergreen Christmas, and The Killing Game. Naomi also lent her talent and mentorship to competition series like Star Search and Can You Duet?
The Judds had big plans for 2022. They were scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this weekend and announced a “Final Tour” to begin in September of this year. The Judds performed together for the first time in years earlier this month at the Country Music Awards. A CMT spokesperson released a statement in response to the death of Naomi: “We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of the legendary Naomi Judd and honored to have shared many unforgettable moments and performances together over the years. Our hearts go out to her husband Larry, daughters Wynonna and Ashley, and her legions of fans around the world during this difficult time.”
Variety confirmed that The Judds were still inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday night. “The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum joins family and fans in grieving the sudden loss of Naomi Judd,” the statement from the Hall reads. “Following the wishes of the Judd family, the museum will move forward with the Medallion Ceremony on Sunday, May 1, with Wynonna planning on being in attendance. In addition to The Judds, Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles and Pete Drake will be formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Public red carpet arrivals are cancelled.”
Wynonna and Ashley Judd attended the ceremony, where they remembered their mother. “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley Judd said through tears, according to the Associated Press. The sisters recited Psalm 23. “Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing,” Wynonna Judd said.
This post has been updated throughout.