Country Music Hall of Famer Naomi Judd dies aged 76

FRANKLIN, Tenn (April 30, 2022) – The country music community was rocked today with the tragic news of the sudden passing of country music giant Naomi Judd.

Chronicle: Country Music Hall of Famer Naomi Judd (born Diana Ellen Judd; January 11, 1946 – April 30, 2022) has passed at the age of 76. American singer and actress Naomi and her daughter Wynonna formed the country music duo The Judds in 1983.

She was to be inducted (Sunday May 1st) Medallion Ceremony in Nashville for her work in The Judds alongside daughter Wynonna. A statement from her daughters Wynonna tweeted: and Ashley reads, "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."

The Judds signed to Curb and RCA in 1983, scoring their first No. 1 in 1984 with "Mama He's Crazy," kicking off an almost unbroken string of hits into the early '90s including "Love Is Alive," "Have Mercy," "Turn It Loose," "Let Me Tell You About Love" and "Love Can Build A Bridge."

 Naomi Judd | Photo credit Derrek Kupish (dkupish productions5)

They were the Academy of Country Music's Top Vocal Duo from 1984 to 1990, received the CMA's Horizon Award in 1984 and won that organization's Vocal Group or Duo honor from 1985 through 1991. They also received five Grammys (Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal 1985: "Mama He's Crazy", 1986 "Why Not Me", 1987 "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)", 1989 "Give A Little Love" & 1992 "Love Can Build A Bridge”).

Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., mother and daughter duo, The Judds, were first discovered by RCA label head Joe Galante in 1983 after landing a spot on WSM-TV’s 'The Ralph Emery Show.'

They made their chart debut by the end of the year with “Had A Dream (For The Heart),” and the two were on their way to becoming one of the best-selling duos of all time.

For the rest of the 1980s, each single from The Judds released by RCA went to the Billboard​ ​Top 10, with 14 hits going all the way to number one. The Judds swept the CMA’s Vocal Group/Duo category from 1985 to 1991 and garnered six GRAMMY® Awards.


WHY NOT ME (released: Oct 15, 1984 | Curb/RCA); #1 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: 2× Platinum (2 Million units/sales)

ROCKIN' WITH THE RHYTHM (released: Oct 30, 1985 | Curb/RCA); #1 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Platinum (1 Million units/sales)

HEARTLAND (released: Feb 2, 1987 | Curb/RCA); #1 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Platinum

CHRISTMAS TIME WITH THE JUDDS (released: Nov 1987 | Curb/RCA); #49 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Platinum

RIVER OF TIME (released: April 9, 1989 | Curb/RCA); #2 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Gold (0.5 Million units/sales)

LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE (released: Sept 11, 1990 | Curb/RCA); #5 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Platinum

GREATEST HITS (released: Aug 2, 1988 | Curb/RCA); #1 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: 2× Platinum (2 Million units/sales)

NUMBER ONE HITS (released: Oct 25, 1994); #39 Billboard Top Country Albums; RIAA: Gold (0.5 million units/sales)

* River of Time was their highest charting album on the Billboard 200 (all genres) at No.51.      

The Judds embarked on their 'Farewell Tour' in 1991 (after selling more than 20 million albums and videos in 7 years) after Naomi’s diagnosis of Hepatitis C forced her to retire from the road. Naomi focused on her health, beating the disease, and wrote several New York Times best-selling books. The duo reunited briefly in the 2000s and again to honour Kenny Rogers in the fall of 2017. 

Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum debuted an exhibition, The Judds: Dream Chasers on August 8, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The mother-daughter duo, reunited to perform their 1990 hit song “Love Can Build a Bridge” at the 2022 CMT Awards on Monday night (April 11, 2022). The performance marked the first time the country stars sang together on television in more than 20 years. The Judds were introduced by Kacey Musgraves, before they kicked off their pre-recorded performance from Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.…Read more Called “The Final Tour,” the duo were due to play a number of concerts in North America, kicking off the 10-stop tour (special guest Martina McBride) in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sept. 30, 2022 and wrapping up in Nashville on Oct. 28, 2022 (See Instagram Graphic).

On April 8, 2022 Curb released LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE: BEST OF THE JUDDS.

It has currently peaked at No.22 on US Country iTunes Chart.

 Additionally, Number One Hits (#4), All-Time Greatest Hits (#5) and Greatest Hits (#9) were charting in the Top 10 on US Country iTunes Chart (dated May 1, 2022).  

Recently, Judd was promoting her new memoir 'River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope.' The Judds were also scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

CMHoF Will Honor Judds: Following the passing of The JuddsNaomi Judd, the Country Music Hall of Fame will press on with Sunday's (May 1st) Medallion Ceremony.

Embed from Getty Images

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Naomi Judd, who enters the Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow as a member of mother-daughter duo The Judds," says CMHoF&M CEO Kyle Young. "Naomi overcame incredible adversity on her way to a significant place in music history. Her triumphant life story overshadows today's tragic news. Her family has asked that we continue with The Judds' official Hall of Fame induction on Sunday. We will do so, with heavy hearts and weighted minds. Naomi and daughter Wynonna's music will endure." Inductees announced last year in addition to The Judds are the late Ray CharlesEddie Bayers and the late Pete Drake. Wynonna is expected to attend the ceremony.

* UPDATE * The late Naomi Judd's daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, attended The Judds' induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (01.05.22), one day after she passed away at the age of 76. Struggling to hold back the tears while accepting the honour on behalf of their mom, Ashley said: “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today."

Facebook Video above, The Judds indiction feature starts at 3 mins 20.

Read a full recap of the Medallion Ceremony on the Museum’s website HERE

Daily Mail (May 3)  Singer Naomi Judd 'killed herself' a day before being inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame aged 76 after years long mental health battle - as husband Larry Strickland breaks his silence


From 2004 – 2022 The Judds received over 60 spins on the Marie Crichton Country Show.

The Judds "Mr Pain" one of my fav songs of all time - Marie Crichton Country Show BBC Radio Shropshire (Playlist week of Jan 7, 2019)

The Judds "Guardian Angels" one of best songs ever written (Don Schlitz), they are just amazing, so unique, there has never been anything quite like them since - Marie Crichton Country Show BBC Radio Shropshire (Playlist week of Aug 26, 2019)

"One of my favourites, one of the reasons I discovered country music...The Judds and I've never heard harmony like it. I just think their voices are just so beautiful" - Marie Crichton Country Show CMR Nashville (Playlist week of April 24, 2022)

Playlist: The Judds - All-Time Greatest Hits 

Naomi Judd's Friends and Peers Reflect on Her Passing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 30, 2022) Artists and industry friends reflect on her passing sharing fond memories of the country music stalwart with words of condolence, love and shared memories. 

Absolute Radio Country: We're heartbroken to hear of the passing of Country Music icon and half of the The Judds. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. 💜

ACM Awards

CMT: We're heartbroken to learn about the passing of the legendary Naomi Judd & honored to have shared many unforgettable moments & performances together. Our hearts go out to her husband Larry, daughters Wynonna & Ashley, & legions of fans around the world during this difficult time.

 #CMTAwards #CMT The Judds Perform "Love Can Build A Bridge" | 2022 CMT Music Awards 1,100,177 views (published April 12, 2022)

Billy Ray Cyrus: So sad at the loss of my friend and music legend Naomi Judd. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. As a fellow Kentuckian, my hats off in honor of the legacy of music she shared with the world and the doors she opened for so many others like me.

Bill Anderson: I am shocked and saddened along with the rest of our country music community over the passing of Naomi Judd. I'll never forget meeting her for the first time when she was a contestant on a TV game show I was hosting. I asked her to identify herself for the audience and she said, "My name is Naomi Judd and I am a nurse from Franklin, Tennessee. My daughter and I sing together, and someday we hope to make it in country music." I was looking so forward to recalling that moment with her on Sunday when she and Wynonna were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She was one of a kind and will certainly be missed. 

Bobby Bones: RIP Naomi Judd. My mom taught me seemingly every one of your songs. She’d sing them often and loud. You left Country Music better than you found it. 

CMT Hot 20 Countdown: We are heartbroken to hear the news of Naomi Judd’s death. Our condolences go out to her family, friends and team at this time.

Candy O’ Terry co-host of Country Music Success Stories: “Having the chance to interview Naomi Judd at her home for our very first episode of Country Music Success Stories was one of the absolute highlights of my career. She was welcoming, she was kind, and she was wide open about a life that took her from a "stinkin' mountaintop in Kentucky" to superstardom worldwide. Through it all, she remained so grateful for the chance to sing, write and connect with an audience that adored her. No one can replace Miss Naomi“. 

Carrie Underwood: 'Sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We're all sending up prayers for the Judd family today.' 

Charlie Daniels: Mom and I are saddened to hear about the tragic passing of Naomi Judd. Prayers to Wynonna, Ashley and the rest of the Judd family. The Daniels family crossed paths with the Judd family many times over the years. Here's a photo from The Judds at dad's Volunteer Jam XII. - CD, Jr. 

Cody Alan: My heart is sinking over the loss today of Naomi Judd at 76. She was a talented lady, and one of a kind, making The Judds iconic in every sense of the word. This pic was taken just a few weeks ago😢 

Cole Swindell: Naomi Judd 😔 so sad to hear this news. Thinking of all of her family & friends. Tough day for country music. 

COWGIRL Magazine: We are so sorry to hear of the passing of country music legend Naomi Judd. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones at this time 

Clint Black: Terribly saddened to hear of Naomi’s passing. We will be sending up prayers for the strength and peace of mind her family will need to endure this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Naomi. 

Dallas Remington: "It is a terrible day when one of your heroes passes away. I'm so heartbroken to hear about the passing of Naomi Judd. Being from Kentucky, The Judds were a staple in our house. One of the first songs I learned to play and sing when I first started in music was  “Mama He's Crazy”.  She and Wynonna were major inspirations in my music and life. She will be dearly missed." 

Darin and Brooke Aldridge: “Growing up and having a very close mother/daughter relationship with my own Mom and sharing a love for music with her, we always felt a deep connection to The Judds and their catalog of music. Every song so relatable and heartfelt. Their harmonies were spot-on, and were a big reason I found it easier to learn harmony parts when I started to sing. Darin and I are so saddened to learn of the passing of Naomi Judd today. We are grateful that we watched her final performance on the CMT Awards just a few weeks ago. Thank you, Naomi, for leaving a mark on the music world and in our hearts. We send many thoughts and prayers to Wynonna, Ashley and their entire family. 

David Ball: "I love the Judds. We got to play some shows with them and as expected, they were so great. Our thoughts go out to the Judd family."

David and Howard Bellamy: Our prayers go out to Naomi’s husband, daughters, family, friends, and fans. We, like everyone who knew her, are devastated by the news of her passing. We will always hold near and dear the memories of touring with The Judds and visiting with Naomi backstage at so many events through the years. May you Rest In Peace, Naomi.  

Devon O'Day, host of Main Street Today and family friend: "My heart goes out to Wynonna and Ashley on the passing of their mother, Naomi. In a world where someone might seem to have it all, mental illness can be a thief that steals joy from every moment. I pray that they can find peace moving forward knowing that their love did indeed build a bridge, maybe not fully realized on this side of heaven, but truly on the other side as Naomi has found her way home."

Donovan Chapman:Naomi Judd has always been and will be one of the greatest icons of Country Music. Her humble style with overtones of faith has inspired me as I grew up and traveled the world. I am sad to hear of her passing and will never forget her as a wonderful human being.” 

Emily Miller: "The Judds music was a huge inspiration to me growing up. With family from Eastern Kentucky, I always felt connected to them. Naomi was everyone's mom. She was unapologetically herself and I will keep that in my soul forever as I navigate my journey in country music." 

Gary Levox (Rascal Flatts): Such sad news. My family sends our condolences and prayers to the entire Judd family. 

Gene Watson: I remember how kind and nice Naomi was when we worked together. She was a good person with a generous spirit toward everyone she met. I’m keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. 

Heidi Newfield: "We are all shocked and basically trying to process this tragic news! Naomi was iconic. She had a charismatic presence and a fire inside as intense as her trademark redhead and stunning features. I had the pleasure of working with The Judds several times throughout their different runs as a dynamic duo. Her subtle, but oh so noticeable low harmonies were unlike any other.Their music will ALWAYS be classic. My heart goes out to my friend Wy, Ashley and the whole family in this terribly sad time!" 

Hunter Kelly (Host of PROUD Radio on applemusic, Country Host/Curator of From Nashville):

JP Pennington, Exile: "I'm saddened and shocked to hear of Naomi's passing. Another old friend lost." “We played together on a lot of shows as they blasted into superstardom. Like everyone else in our industry, we were taken with Naomi’s beauty and grace. We are shocked by her passing and missing her now. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.” 

Jacy Dawn Valeras co-host of Country Music Success Stories: “I am heartbroken today over the passing of Naomi Judd. She was my greatest influence in country music and she was my friend. Her kindness, generosity and encouragement meant more to me than she could have ever known and all the ways she influenced me and millions of others around the world will never be forgotten. I truly loved her”. 

Jeannie Seely: “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. 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”. 

Jeannie Seely & Naomi Judd | Photo Credit Derrek Kupish productions

Joe and Martina:  “The Judds are one of our first memories of music and the reason we sing country music today. They taught us what harmonies were supposed to be, both bold and beautiful.We are devastated by the news and are sending all our love and prayers to the family as well as all the fellow Judds fans out there.” 

John Berry: “Such a warm and talented lady. Prayers for Wynonna, Ashley and her husband Larry, as well as all of their family, friends and fans as they grieve this tremendous loss. 

John Rich: So very sad to hear of #NaomiJudd passing today. I had the great honor of knowing her, and she was no doubt one of the most iconic entertainers ever to make country music. Thinking of my good friend Wynonna right now, this is a very tough day for her and the family. #TheJudds 

Kent Blazy: The Judds were a unique and inspirational duo. Naomi's life story reads like a fairytale. Her upbringing and working as a nurse and of her and Wyonna doing the 5:30 am Ralph Emery Show to their rise to superstardom. Naomi was loved by so many and will be missed.” 

Kristin Chenoweth:  I had the honor of meeting Naomi Judd years ago and she was so incredibly kind. Sending love and prayers to Wynonna, Ashley, and the whole Judd family during this time. 'I never thought she'd go,' with a broken heart emoji. 

Leann Rimes: My heart, like so many’s are, is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Naomi Judd. my deepest condolences and love goes out to Wynonna and Ashley Judd truly a heartbreaking day. #RIPNaomiJudd #WynonnaJudd 

Maren Morris: 'Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd. Honored to have witnessed "Love Can Build A Bridge" just a few short weeks ago.' (referring to the musician's triumphant return to the stage at the 2022 CMT Music Awards on April 11th). 

Martina McBride: Prayers and so much love going out to Wynonna and Ashley Judd and all of Naomi’s friends, family and fans. Its hard to find any words at this moment. So, I will just say rest Naomi. You brought us joy. Your legacy and music will live forever.

Meghan Linsey: I really don’t have the words right now. Naomi meant so much to me. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. She will forever be my Country Fairy Godmother. I am so grateful for her friendship.   

Mickey Guyton: Rest in power Naomi Judd 

Recording Academy / GRAMMYs: Today the music community is mourning the loss of 6-time GRAMMY winner and country music legend, Naomi Judd. Her long-lasting impact on the industry won't be forgotten, and her music will be cherished for generations to come.

Rhonda Vincent: So saddened to hear of the passing of country music’s Naomi Judd  She added a prominent voice to The Judds  and left behind a legacy of beautiful music.  My love prayers go out to her family.  Rest in Sweet Peace dear Lady. 

Tanya Tucker: Say it isn’t so. Cannot believe my girlfriend and longtime buddy Naomi is gone. We’ve known each other for years and she always treated me with class, grace and pure kindness. I’m going to miss her so much.

Taylon Hope: “So sorry and heartbroken to hear about the passing of Naomi Judd. She and Wynonna’s music have influenced countless artists including me. When I was little, my Mom and I would pretend that we were The Judds. We even covered “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” at one of my vocal recitals and I still perform that song today. My prayers are with Wynonna, Ashley, Larry, and the entire family and for everyone who was a part of The Judds journey. Their music will always be legendary and those magic family harmonies will continue to live on. God Bless and love.”

Terri Clark: I’m shocked & saddened to hear of the passing of Naomi Judd. She & Wynonna inspired an entire generation to chase their dreams & make them happen. Their music has been & will always be the standard. My prayers go out to the entire family as they navigate through this tragic time

Texas EMS Nurse
: For my healthcare colleagues that may not be aware. Naomi Judd was an ICU nurse before she was a country music powerhouse.

The Oak Ridge Boys: Oh Sweet Jesus... Naomi Judd has gone home ... the day before the Judds Country Music Hall Of Fame  induction ... This is divesting news... We are saddened beyond words...

Tracy Lawrence: My heart is saddened from the loss of Naomi Judd. I had the pleasure of some great conversations with her over the years. She was always very kind and gracious to me. Such an Icon in country music. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. She will truly be missed.

Travis Tritt: This is heart-breaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.

Ty Herndon: I am absolutely heartsick to hear the news about Naomi Judd. My heart and my prayers go out to Wynonna, Ashley Judd, and all of us friends and fans who loved and respected her so much. She is irreplaceable — a country music legend will never be forgotten.

Trisha Yearwood: I am deeply saddened by the loss of Naomi Judd. My heart goes out to her family during this extremely difficult time. Country music will never be the same. Love one another.

Obituary Media Posts

The Associated Press: BREAKING: Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley, has died at 76.

Billboard: Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony to Proceed Following Naomi Judd’s Death

Music Row: BREAKING: The Judds Matriarch, Naomi Judd, Dies At 76

Condolences: Tributes poured in across social media on Saturday via @DailyMailCeleb

ET Canada (2020): Naomi Judd Opens Up About Dark Past, Sexual Abuse: ‘I Wasn’t Sure I Was Going To Make It At All’

Saving Country Music: Naomi Judd Was Open About Mental Illness, Thoughts of Suicide

The Boot: Pictures Through The Years

The Guardian: Naomi Judd, Grammy winner and mother of Wynonna and Ashley, dies at 76

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