Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76 years old.
The sisters confirmed their the death of his mother on Twitter.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” they said in a statement posted on the Judds’ official Twitter account. “We have lost our beautiful mother to mental illness. We are broken. We are navigating deep grief and knowing that, as we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in uncharted territory.
The statement did not further elaborate on the cause of death.
The Judds were due to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday and had just announced an arena tour that would begin in the fall, their first tour together in more than a decade.
The mother-daughter performers scored 14 No. 1 songs during a career that spanned nearly three decades. After reaching the peak of country music, they called it quits in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd with hepatitis.
The Judds’ hits include “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’ To the rhythm of the rain” in 1986 and “Grandfather” in 1986.
Originally from Kentucky, Naomi was working as a nurse when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, combined with elements of acoustic, bluegrass and blues music, set them apart in the genre at the time.
The Judds released six studio albums and one EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music. They’ve won a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.”
The Judds sang about family, the belief in marriage, and the virtue of faithfulness. Because Naomi looked so young, the two were mistaken for sisters early in their careers.
His daughter Ashley Judd is an actress known for her roles in films such 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.