Naomi Judd Of Country Duo The Judds Dead At 76

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Naomi Judd Of Country Duo The Judds Dead At 76

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Naomi Judd, member of Grammy-winning duo the Judds and mother to Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76. The sisters confirmed their mother’s death in a statement to the Associated Press. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “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.”

Born in 1946 in Kentucky, Naomi, who became pregnant with Wynonna at just 17, formed country music duo the Judds with with her eldest daughter in the late ’70s when they moved to Nashville. Signing to RCA/Curb, the Judds’ first release was an EP called Wynonna & Naomi featuring the single “Had A Dream (For The Heart),” which their first entry on the Hot Country Songs Chart, where it peaked at No. 17. Follow-up single “Mama He’s Crazy” became the first of eight consecutive No. 1 singles on the country music charts and earned the Judds a Grammy for Best Country Music Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1985.

The Judds won four more Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Grammys over the course of their career for “Why Not Me” in 1986, “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” in 1987, “Give A Little Love” in 1989, and “Love Can Build A Bridge” in 1992. They also released six studio albums — 1984’s Why Not Me, 1985’s Rockin’ with the Rhythm, 1987’s Heartland, 1987’s Christmastime With The Judds, 1989’s River Of Time, and 1990’s Love Can Build A Bridge — and 18 compilation albums.

In the early ’90s, the Judds stopped performing when Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and Wynonna embarked on a solo career. They reunited a handful of times, memorably performing at Kenny Rogers’ final show in Nashville in 2017. They also sang “Love Can Build A Bridge” at the 2022 CMT Music Awards. In 2021, the Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Judds announced their final tour: an arena tour kicking off in September consisting of 10 shows.

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