Famous Country Singer Naomi Judd: Devastating News
Naomi Judd was a very famous country singer/songwriter and actress. She and her daughter Wynonna were known as the Grammy-winning duo, The Judds. Just recently, on April 30th, Judd took her own life after living 76 years. She had been battling the disease of mental illness for many years.
The death was announced through an Instagram post made by Naomi’s daughters, Ashley and Wynonna. In the post, they wrote, "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, "We are in unknown territory." This is a devastating and heartbreaking time for the entire family. Judd’s husband also posted a statement saying, “Naomi Judd's family requests privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time."
Naomi took her life just one day before the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. She and her daughter, Wynonna, were supposed to get inducted together. Her two daughters spoke and wept while speaking just 24 hours after the death. Wynonna did not prepare anything for the induction, she had figured her mom would speak for most of it. She said while speaking, “It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed." To be receiving such an honorable award without her mother was heartbreaking but an enormous achievement they made together over the years. “My mama loved you so much and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” her daughter, Ashley, sobbed to the crowd at the ceremony.
Ashley Judd posted on her Instagram pictures from the induction ceremony, an old picture with her mom, and a video of Naomi’s father singing. She wrote in the caption, “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.”
For years, Judd has struggled with mental illness. She always advocated mental illness, including writing a letter back in 2018 during mental health awareness month. She was always very open about her mental health. She had a published book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, this book was written in 2016. "Nobody can understand it unless you've been there," Naomi told PEOPLE about mental illness at the time.
On May 12th, “Good Morning America” aired an interview with Ashley Judd. She spoke up about her mother’s death. GMA (Good Morning America) said, “The actress told ABC News that it was important for her family to talk about what happened before things ‘become public without our control.” During the interview on GMA, Ashley begins talking about mental illness and says, “It’s very real and it lies, it's savaged. And you know, our mother couldn't hang on until she was inducted into the hall of fame by her peers. I mean that is the level of catastrophe going on inside of her..” The interview was very real and heartbreaking.
Ashley was at her mother’s house the day she took her life. “Mom said to me ‘Will you stay with me?’ I said, ‘Of course I will”. She then went downstairs to let in a friend, when she went back upstairs to let her mom know her friend had arrived, she discovered her. Due to the family not wanting gossip and rumors spread, Ashley did decide to share that her mother used a firearm to end her life.
Naomi and her daughter Wynonna were an incredible duo. They stopped performing back in 1991 due to Naomi having Hepatitis C. However, just weeks before Naomi’s death, she and her daughter, Wynonna, had a reuniting performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge '' at the 2022 CMT music awards. This was their first time performing together in 20 years, and their final show together. During their almost three-decade career together, they had received 14 number one hits. They also won many awards, including nine CMA Awards, seven Academy Of Country Music Awards, and five GRAMMY Awards for hits such as “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.” After so many years of performing together, the duo was finally blessed with being honored into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Even though Naomi wasn’t able to receive this honor in person with Wynonna, it still is an amazing achievement.
Naomi Judd’s death was completely devastating, she was an incredible person and achieved so much in life. She will be remembered forever.