Naomi Judd, Country Music Star And Mom To Wynonna And Ashley Judd, Has Died At 76
"We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," Wynonna and Ashley Judd said in a statement.
Naomi Judd, the Grammy-winning country music star of the Judds duo and the mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died at the age of 76.
In a statement Saturday, her daughters wrote, "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 cause of death was unclear.
Her death was announced a day before the Judds — the mother-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna — were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Earlier this month, the Judds had announced their first tour in more than a decade, the Associated Press reported.
The Judds, whose hits include "Love Can Build a Bridge," "Why Not Me," and "Girls Night Out," stopped performing in 1991 when Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis.
She had also been vocal about having depression and how she dealt with it, chronicling her struggle with mental illness in her 2016 memoir, River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope.
In a letter published by People magazine in 2018, Naomi Judd addressed people who had anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, writing, "No amount of fame or fortune can protect people from the despair [that] can lead some of us to take our own lives."
She called for more research and funds into the study of suicide, saying, "It’s about time we do better."
The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The Trevor Project, which provides help and suicide-prevention resources for LGBTQ youth, is 1-866-488-7386. Find other international suicide helplines at Befrienders Worldwide (befrienders.org).