Naomi Judd, Country Legend, Dead at 76

Naomi was one-half of the GRAMMY-winning duo, The Judds, and mother to actress Ashley Judd.

Naomi Judd, one-half of the GRAMMY-winning country duo The Judds and mother to Wynonna and actress Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76.

In a statement to ET, a rep said Naomi died Saturday outside of Nashville. The family at this time requests "privacy during this heartbreaking time." Furthermore, Naomi's husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, will also not make any further statements.

Ashley took to Instagram to confirm the news with a statement. "Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," the statement read. "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 devastating news comes just weeks after The Judds made their triumphant TV return earlier this month at the CMT Music Awards. Naomi and Wynonna performed together for their first televised number in over 20 years.

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The performance also came just weeks before The Judds are scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. The Hall of Fame paid tribute to Naomi with a post on Instagram. The caption read, in part, "The duo helped take country back to its roots in the 1980s with lean, tuneful songs influenced by traditional folk music, acoustic blues, and family harmony acts."

What's more, The Judds had also recently just announced a tour set to kick off this fall. It would have been the duo's first tour together in over a decade.

The Judds rose to fame with classics like "Love Can Build a Bridge," "Why Not Me," "Mama He's Crazy," Girls Night Out" and many more. In a storied music career that spanned nearly three decades, The Judds racked up a whopping 14 No. 1 songs. The Judds, which sold more than 20 million albums, ended their reign over country music in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis.

Naomi, born in Kentucky, traded in her scrubs (she was a nurse) for a mic after discovering her and Wynonna's voices blended beautifully. They'd eventually go on to dominate the country scene, earning five GRAMMYs, nine CMA Awards and seven Academy of Country Music awards. The Judds released six studio albums, including more than 20 hit singles.

Her talents were also visible on the big and small screen. Naomi appeared in Frasier, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Newlyweds, An Evergreen Christmas and The Family Tree.

Naomi's survived by her daughters and husband. 



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