Naomi Judd, half of legendary country duo The Judds, has passed away at the age of 76, just one day before she and daughter Wynonna were to be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Wynonna and her sister, actress Ashley Judd, announced in a statement Saturday.
“We are shattered,” the statement goes on. “We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
The statement doesn’t elaborate further about the specific cause of death.
Earlier this month, The Judds performed one of their signature songs that Naomi wrote, “Love Can Build a Bridge,” on the CMT Music Awards. They were also planning to set out on The Final Tour in September, their first in more than a decade.
The Judds charted fourteen number-one hits, including “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days), before Naomi was forced to retire in 1991 after being diagnosed with hepatitis. In all, the Kentucky-born mother/daughter duo took home nine CMA Awards and five Grammys.
Naomi’s survived by her husband, Larry Strickland, who was known for his work with Elvis Presley.
So far, there’s no word how Naomi’s death will impact Sunday’s planned Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
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