New York Daily News: By Joseph Wilkinson – Naomi Judd, five-time Grammy winning member of The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, died Saturday. She was 76.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Wynonna and Ashley said in a statement.
“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 Judd won her Grammys alongside Wynonna as part of the highly successful country music duo The Judds. They were scheduled for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. The honor was announced last year.
The Judds had 14 songs top the U.S. Country charts, from “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Why Not Me” in 1984 through “Young Love” and “Let Me Tell You About Love” in 1989.
Though they stopped performing together on a regular basis in 1991 when Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis C, The Judds have occasionally reunited on tour. They were scheduled to play 10 shows in September and October of this year.
“Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known,” country star Travis Tritt wrote on Twitter. “I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.”
Naomi had spoken and written about her battles with depression, including in her 2016 book “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.”
“They think, because they see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am,” Naomi said while speaking about the book. “But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks and not get outta my pajamas, not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.”
Naomi died near Nashville, her husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, said in a statement. The Country Music Hall of Fame is in Nashville.
Strickland said no further details would be released about her death.
Despite a traumatic childhood and adolescence, Naomi took her family from the small eastern Kentucky city of Ashland to Southern California to the heights of country music stardom and, in Ashley’s case, Hollywood. She’s starred in films such as “Kiss the Girls,” “Double Jeopardy” and “Olympus Has Fallen.”
“I loved Naomi Judd,” Andy Cohen said Saturday. “Among her many talents, she was just so much fun, a great storyteller and a wonderful spirit.”
Top Feature Photo: Naomi Judd performs at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, June 13, 2009 – Josh Anderson/AP