NAOMI JUDD PASSES AWAY AT THE AGE OF 76
Photo by Glenda S. Paradee
Entertainment icon Naomi Judd passed away April 30, 2022 outside of Nashville
NAOMI JUDD'S FRIENDS AND PEERS REFLECT ON HER PASSING
So sad at the loss of my friend and music legend Naomi Judd. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. As a fellow Kentuckian, my hats off in honor of the legacy of music she shared with the world and the doors she opened for so many others like me. -Billy Ray Cyrus
Say it isn’t so. Cannot believe my girlfriend and longtime buddy Naomi is gone. We’ve known each other for years and she always treated me with class, grace and pure kindness. I’m going to miss her so much. -Tanya Tucker
I am shocked and saddened along with the rest of our country music community over the passing of Naomi Judd. I'll never forget meeting her for the first time when she was a contestant on a TV game show I was hosting. I asked her to identify herself for the audience and she said, "My name is Naomi Judd and I am a nurse from Franklin, Tennessee. My daughter and I sing together, and someday we hope to make it in country music." I was looking so forward to recalling that moment with her on Sunday when she and Wynonna were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She was one of a kind and will certainly be missed. -Bill Anderson
Our prayers go out to Naomi’s husband, daughters, family, friends, and fans. We, like everyone who knew her, are devastated by the news of her passing. We will always hold near and dear the memories of touring with The Judds and visiting with Naomi backstage at so many events through the years. May you Rest In Peace, Naomi. -David and Howard Bellamy
I remember how kind and nice Naomi was when we worked together. She was a good person with a generous spirit toward everyone she met. I’m keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. -Gene Watson I really don’t have the words right now. Naomi meant so much to me. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. She will forever be my Country Fairy Godmother. I am so grateful for her friendship. -Meghan Linsey
Naomi Judd Was Honored By Her Daughters During Emotional Country Music Hall of Fame Induction
The death of legendary singer Naomi Judd was a loss that all country music fans felt. And just a day after her passing, she and her eldest daughter, Wynonna, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The honor, reserved for a select few artists, was awarded to The Judds, the mother-daughter duo who had an everlasting impact on country music. Wynonna, along with her younger sister, actress Ashley, took to the stage to celebrate their mother's legacy.
Wynonna smiled as she was given her well-deserved medal at the induction ceremony. The singer embraced her sister before Ashley gave a heartfelt speech. The 54-year-old started by saying, "My mama loved you so much and she appreciated your love for her and I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today."
She continued with, "And while this is so much about The Judds as a duo, I wanted to take a moment to recognize my sister, a G.O.A.T." Ashley even jokingly asked Wynonna if she knows what that means and her face was priceless. (Psst, for those who don't know, G.O.A.T. stands for "greatest of all time.") Shortly after Ashley's speech, Wynonna took to the mic and began by joking, "I didn't prepare anything tonight because I knew that Mom would probably talk the most." While fighting back tears, she went on to admit, "I'm going to keep this fast because my heart's broken and I feel so blessed. And, it's a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed." After the ceremony, Naomi's youngest daughter shared this touching tribute with fans on Instagram where she thanks everyone for their support after the unexpected passing of her mother:
In beloved community with my big sister, gazing at the new bronze plaque inducting @thejuddsofficial @wynonnajudd into the @officialcmhof - listening to #grandpa, my altar to mama, with her silhouette from when she was 11, my bereft Pop @larrystrickland7 singing How Great Thou Art for me on my sleeping Porch (we are singing hymns this evening). Sister, mom, and me on Little Cat Creek in Lawerence County, Ky. Your outpouring is reaching me. Thank you for every thought, prayer, message, text, email, post, expression. We each are alone and we are in fellowship, broken and held, protected from nothing and sustained in everything. It’s the beginning of an old story, life and death, loss and life. Be free, my beautiful mother. Be free.
Naomi Judd (born Diana Ellen Judd; January 11, 1946 – April 30, 2022) was an American singer and actress. She and her daughter Wynonna formed the country music duo the Judds in 1983. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the day after her death in 2022.
Judd was born to Pauline Ruth "Polly" (née Oliver) and Charles Glen Judd on January 11, 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. Her father owned a gas station. In 1965, her brother Brian died of leukemia at the age of 17. Naomi Judd's first child, Christina Ciminella (later Wynonna Judd), was born when Judd was 18. After the birth of her daughter Ashley (April 1968), who later became a film and stage actress, and the end of her marriage to Michael Ciminella, Judd brought up both daughters as a single parent, first attending nursing school at California's College of Marin while living in nearby Lagunitas, California, and later beginning a successful singing career with daughter Wynonna.
With her daughter Wynonna Judd, Naomi formed the highly successful singing duo known as the Judds. As country music's most famous mother–daughter team, they scored twenty top ten hits (including fifteen number ones) and went undefeated for eight consecutive years at all three major country music awards shows. They won five Grammy Awards and a vast array of other awards and honors. Naomi won a Country Song of the Year Grammy for writing "Love Can Build a Bridge".
In 1991, The Judds broke up soon after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The band's farewell concert the most successful musical event in cable pay-per-view history. In 1991, Judd created the Naomi Judd Education and Research Fund to raise awareness of hepatitis C, and used the strength of her experiences as spokes-model for the American Liver Foundation. In 1993, she received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. She continued to act, and in 1999 she starred as Lily Waite in the film A Holiday Romance. In 1999, The Judds reunited for a New Year's Eve concert in Phoenix at the America West Arena, with Ashley as the MC. In 2000, the Judds reunited again for their "Power to Change" tour, performing to over 300,000 people on 30 dates. The duo was nominated as the Academy of Country Music's top vocal duo of the year in 2001. From 2003 to 2004, Judd judged on the revamped version of Star Search hosted by Arsenio Hall. In 2005, Judd began Naomi's New Morning, a talk show on Sunday mornings on the Hallmark Channel. The show lasted two seasons. She is also the author of several self-help books, including Naomi's Guide to Aging Gratefully: Facts, Myths, and Good News for Boomers (2007). In 2008, Judd joined a new television reality-competition series Can You Duet, as a judge and mentor. The show aired on CMT. In 2011, Judd starred alongside actress Laura Prepon in the Lifetime television movie The Killing Game. In 2014, she starred as "Honey" in An Evergreen Christmas. In 2017, Judd competed with her husband in the first season of the Fox Broadcasting reality cooking series My Kitchen Rules.
On May 6, 1989, Judd married her second husband, Larry Strickland of the Palmetto State Quartet.
Judd had long suffered from depression. A decade before her death, the depression worsened and was accompanied by anxiety, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts.
On April 30, 2022, she died by suicide near Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 76. Announcing her death, her daughters tweeted, in part: "Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness."
THANKS FOR THE MUSIC Naomi!