Naomi Judd, who together with her daughter Wynonna made up the legendary country music duo The Judds, has died at the age of 76.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Wynonna and her sister, the actress Ashley Judd, announced in a statement on Saturday, April 30th. “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.”
Naomi’s death came on the eve of The Judds’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. Earlier this month, the mother and daughter appeared together at the CMT Music Awards to sing “Love Can Build a Bridge,” which marked their first nationally televised award show performance in more than two decades. This fall, they were slated to embark on their first US tour together in a decade.
Initially formed in 1983, The Judds went on to become one of the most successful country music acts in history. They had 14 No. 1 singles to their name, and were the recipient of five Grammy Awards. Some of their best known songs included “Why Not Me,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” and “Mama He’s Crazy.”
The Judds initially disbanded in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. Over the years, they reunited to play the 1994 Super Bowl Halftime Show and the 2008 Stagecoach Music Festival, and in 2010 they embarked on a 30-date US tour.
Prior to their performance at the CMTs earlier this month, The Judds’ most recent live performance came in 2017 at the final Nashville concert by Kenny Rogers.