NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76 years old.
The daughters announced his death Saturday in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
“Today we sisters are experiencing a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to mental illness,” the statement said. “We are devastated. We are sailing in deep pain and we know that as we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in uncharted territory.” The statement did not provide further details.
The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday and had just announced a stadium tour starting in the fall, their first tour together in more than a decade.
The mother-daughter performers scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. After rising to the top of country music, they called it quits in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd with hepatitis.
The Judds’ hits included “Love Can Build a Bridge” in 1990, “Mama He’s Crazy” in 1984, “Why Not Me” in 1984, “Turn It Loose” in 1988, “Girls Night Out” in 1985, “Rockin ‘ With the Rhythm of the Rain” in 1986 and “Grandpa” in 1986.
Originally from Kentucky, Naomi was working as a nurse when she and Wynonna began singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, along with elements of acoustic, bluegrass, and blues music, made them stand out in the genre at the time.
TheJudds released six studio albums and one EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. Together they won a total of five Grammy Awards for hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.”
The Judds sang about family, the belief in marriage, and the virtue of fidelity. Because Naomi looked so young, the two were mistaken for sisters early in her career.
His daughter Ashley Judd is an actress known for her roles in such films as “Kiss the Girls”, ″Double Jeopardy” and “Heat”.
Naomi Judd is also survived by her husband and fellow singer, Larry Strickland, who was a backup singer for Elvis Presley.
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