Country singer Naomi Judd passed away on April 30, 2022, after taking her own life. She was 76.
Naomi had previously spoken publicly about her mental health, saying in 2016 that she had been dealing with depression and anxiety after she and daughter Wynonna stopped touring as The Judds in 2011. “[Fans] see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am," she said. “But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks, and not get out of my pajamas, and not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.”
Her children Wynonna and actress Ashley Judd confirmed the news in a statement shared on the same day: “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. We are in unknown territory."
As one-half of the country duo The Judds, Naomi (and Wynonna) had a list of hit singles throughout the ‘80s and ’90s, including “Why Not Me,” “Mama He's Crazy,” and "Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).” Naomi and Wynonna learned to play music together while struggling to make ends meet after Naomi and her husband divorced in 1972. The pair were named top vocal duo by the Academy of Country Music from 1984 to 1990.
The Judds also won five Grammy Awards for best country performance by a duo or group from 1985 to 1992. Naomi won a Grammy for country song of the year for “Love Can Build a Bridge." The popular country performers reunited in 2000 for The Last Encore Tour.
Naomi passed just before she and Wynonna were set to celebrate the induction of The Judds into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Wynonna attended the ceremony to accept the honor, saying, "I'm going to make this fast because my heart's broken - and I feel so blessed. I mean, it's a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed."
New York Post, People
Age: Dec. at 76 (1946-2022)
Birthplace: Ashland, Kentucky, USA