BREAKING: The Judds’ Naomi Judd Dead At 76

Naomi Judd, one half of the GRAMMY award-winning duo The Judds, has died. She was 76 years old. According to…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 30, 2022

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

Naomi Judd, one half of the GRAMMY award-winning duo The Judds, has died. She was 76 years old.

According to The Associated Press, the daughters revealed the unfortunate news on Saturday afternoon (April 30), just one day before The Judds were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame on Sunday, May 1.

“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.”

According to a press release, Naomi died outside of Nashville. No additional details have been revealed.

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

The Judds; Photo via YouTube, CMT
The Judds; Photo via YouTube, CMT

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 has 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 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.

The Judds; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
The Judds; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

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. 

She 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 were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville on Sunday, May 1. However, with the passing of Naomi, it’s unclear if the Medallion ceremony will go on as planned.

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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.