May 1, 2022

Naomi Judd, Mother of Wynonna and Ashley, Dies

 

Naomi Judd, one half of the country music dynamic duo The Judds, has died. She was 76. The cause of death was unclear. Besides her big country hits, the Judds were also known for recording gospel leaning tunes such as "Guardian Angels," "When King Jesus Calls His Children Home," "Love Can Build a Bridge," "I Know Where I'm Going," and many others. 

"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," Wynonna and sister, actress Ashley Judd, announced in a statement Saturday. "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."

Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., mother and daughter duo, The Judds, were first discovered by RCA label head Joe Galante in 1983 after landing a spot on WSM-TV's 'The Ralph Emery Show.'

They made their chart debut by the end of the year with "Had A Dream (For The Heart)," and the two were on their way to becoming one of the best-selling duos of all time.

For the rest of the 1980s, each single from The Judds released by RCA went to the Billboard​ ​Top 10, with 14 hits going all the way to number one. The Judds swept the CMA's Vocal Group/Duo category from 1985 to 1991 and garnered six GRAMMY® Awards.

The Judds embarked on their 'Farewell Tour' in 1991 after Naomi's diagnosis of Hepatitis C forced her to retire from the road. Naomi focused on her health, beating the disease, and wrote several New York Times best-selling books. The duo reunited briefly in the 2000s and again to honor Kenny Rogers in the fall of 2017. They were set to regroup this year for 'The Final Tour' to play a number of concerts in North America.

Recently, Judd was promoting her new memoir River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope. The Judds were also scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday, May 1, 2022.