The Judds Inducted Into The Country Music Hall Of Fame Following Naomi Judd’s Death

3 May 2022 | 1:22 pm | Staff Writer

The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1

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Mother-daughter duo, The Judds were officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1, one day after the death of matriarch, Naomi Judd

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement to Billboard: "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."

"Naomi overcame incredible adversity on her way to a significant place in music history. Her triumphant life story overshadows today's tragic news," he added. "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."

Her daughters, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd, accepted the honour amid tears, holding onto each other and reciting a Bible verse together. 

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“I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley said.

Naomi’s death was first announced in an emotional statement posted to social media:

“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.”

According to People magazine, Naomi, aged 76, took her own life after years of struggling with mental illness, as confirmed by multiple sources. Her management, representatives and family members have yet to comment or confirm the specifics of her death.

Naomi was a long-time advocate for mental wellness, and she wrote an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2018, shared exclusively with People.

"For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen? Unfortunately, we don't have very good answers," wrote the musician at the time. "We do know that suicidal behaviour accompanies many behavioural brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses."

The Judds had recently announced a farewell tour, the first by Naomi and Wynonna in more than a decade. "What I’m looking forward to most is celebrating Judd music with the fans,” said Wynonna in a statement when the tour was announced. “Mom and I have had quite the journey over the last 38 years, and the fans have been with us through it all. This tour is a celebration for them.” Three of the arena shows had sold out, according to the Judds’ social media.

Recently, Wynonna and Naomi reunited at the 2022 CMT Music Awards on April 11, the same day the duo announced the reunion/goodbye tour. They performed Love Can Build a Bridge, which was their first nationally televised award show performance in more than 20 years.

Following her death, artists took to social media to offer their condolences.

Kelsea Ballerini took to social media to share a beautiful rendition of Love Can Build a Bridge. “Big loss for country music,” she wrote in her caption. “thinking of the Judd family and honouring Naomi by listening to and continuing to be influenced by the monumental music she made.”

Maren Morris twitted, “Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd. Honoured to have witnessed Love Can Build a Bridge just a few short weeks ago.” While Carrie Underwood shared, “Country music lost a true legend… sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today.” Mickey Guyton echoed Underwood's sentiment, tweeting, "Rest in power Naomi Judd." 

Travis Tritt added, “This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. I had the honour of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.” Cole Swindell wrote, “Naomi Judd, so sad to hear this news. Thinking of all of her family & friends. Tough day for country music...”

“So very sad to hear of #NaomiJudd passing today,” Big and Rich’s John Rich wrote via Twitter. “I had the great honour 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.”

Luke Bryan also paid tribute to the late country music star on American Idol

'While I have the microphone, I want to send out prayers to the Judd family, because country music lost, because you are out here and you're going to carry the torch of country music,' Luke said to country music singer HunterGirl, after she performed on Sunday’s episode. 

R.I.P. Naomi Judd (January 11, 1946 – April 30, 2022)