Artists React To Naomi Judd’s Tragic Death: ‘Country Music Will Never Be The Same’

The country music community is mourning the loss of Naomi Judd, who passed away on Saturday, April 30, at the…

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Lauren Jo Black

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April 30, 2022

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The country music community is mourning the loss of Naomi Judd, who passed away on Saturday, April 30, at the age of 76.

As the news of Naomi’s tragic death spread, artists such as Loretta Lynn, Carrie Underwood, Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris, Tenille Arts, Travis Tritt, Cole Swindell, and more took to social media to share their memories and sentiments for the chart-topping country icon.

Photo Courtesy The Judds
Photo Courtesy The Judds

Naomi was best known for her role as one half of the award-winning country duo, The Judds. 

The unfortunate news comes just a week after Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd reunited for a performance of “Love Can Build A Bridge” at the 2022 CMT Music Awards. 

Their performance coincided with the announcement of The Judds’ farewell tour, which was set to kick off on September 30 and hit 10 cities with support from Martina McBride. 

The mother-daughter duo earned 14 No. 1 hits during their career that spanned nearly three decades, including “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Turn It Loose,” “Girls Night Out,” “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” and “Grandpa.”

The Judds; Photo by Brent Harrington/CBS
The Judds; Photo by Brent Harrington/CBS

The Judds toured in the ’80s where they had a catalog of twenty Top 10 hits, 20 million-plus albums sold, a combined 16 Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum albums, and The Judds Greatest Hits.

Since launching their career in 1983, the duo have gone on to release six studio albums and an EP. The superstar pair have also won several awards, including nine CMA Awards, seven Academy Of Country Music Awards and five GRAMMY Awards for hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.”

After rising to fame, the iconic country duo broke up in 1991 after Doctors diagnosed Naomi with hepatitis c.

In addition to her celebrated music career, Naomi was also an actress, having appeared in several TV movies and TV series.

The Judds' Naomi Judd; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT
The Judds’ Naomi Judd; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT

“Country music lost a true legend…sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today…” Underwood wrote.

“Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd,” Morris shared. ”Honored to have witnessed “Love Can Build a Bridge” just a few short weeks ago.”

“This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known,” Tritt also said, remembering the iconic singer. ”I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.”

“There is no way I can get my mind to adjust to this reality. Naomi brought such a breath of fresh air to our industry with her uptown looks and down-home humor,” Jeannie Seely shared. ”Her talent was only equaled by her dedication to following her dream and her unbelievable work ethic. She was respected, admired and will be remembered for those attributes. Even as we prepared a place for her in the Hall of Fame, we know that God has prepared a place for her as well.”

“🙌I’m heartbroken,” Miranda Lambert shared in the comments section of a tribute that Tiffany Gifford posted to Instagram. Gifford is a Nashville-based stylist who worked with Lambert and The Judds.

Other artists shared messages on Twitter and Instagram.

Naomi Judd is survived by daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, as well as her husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland. She also had two grandchildren, Grace Paulina Kelley and Elijah.

Naomi was known to have struggled with mental illness and detailed her battle with depression in her 2016 book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.

The Judds are set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville on Sunday, May 1. Despite the unexpected passing of Naomi, the Medallion ceremony will proceed as planned, according to a statement from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO, Kyle Young.

A representative for the institution told Billboard, Wynonna Judd is expected to attend the ceremony.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.