Country Music Artists React to the Death of Naomi Judd

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As news of the death of Naomi Judd, of the Grammy Award-winning duo The Judds, broke over the weekend, the music industry was in shock and mourned the loss of their friend and fellow country star.

Naomi’s death was announced by her two daughters Ashley and Wynonna on Saturday (April 30).

In a joint statement, the sisters said, “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 statement posted to Ashley’s Instagram did not elaborate further on the cause of death.

The two sisters celebrated their mother’s legacy at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction a day after her death.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most, Wynonna told the audience in Nashville during the acceptance. “I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed.”

Before her death, Naomi and Wynonna amassed a career that spanned three decades and clinched 14 No.1 records. The duo embarked on a farewell tour in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

The country music community has come out en masse, expressing sympathies at the sudden loss and celebrating the legacy of the country music giant.

Billy Ray Cyrus
So sad at the loss of my friend and music legend Naomi Judd. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. As a fellow Kentuckian, my hats off in honor of the legacy of music she shared with the world and the doors she opened for so many others like me.=

Bill Anderson
I am shocked and saddened along with the rest of our country music community over the passing of Naomi Judd. I’ll never forget meeting her for the first time when she was a contestant on a TV game show I was hosting. I asked her to identify herself for the audience and she said, “My name is Naomi Judd and I am a nurse from Franklin, Tennessee. My daughter and I sing together, and someday we hope to make it in country music.” I was looking so forward to recalling that moment with her on Sunday when she and Wynonna were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She was one of a kind and will certainly be missed.
David and Howard Bellamy
Our prayers go out to Naomi’s husband, daughters, family, friends, and fans. We, like everyone who knew her, are devastated by the news of her passing. We will always hold near and dear the memories of touring with The Judds and visiting with Naomi backstage at so many events through the years. May you Rest In Peace, Naomi. 
Gene Watson
I remember how kind and nice Naomi was when we worked together. She was a good person with a generous spirit toward everyone she met. I’m keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Meghan Linsey
I really don’t have the words right now. Naomi meant so much to me. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. She will forever be my Country Fairy Godmother. I am so grateful for her friendship.  
Crystal Gayle
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and fellow Kentuckian, Naomi Judd. Naomi was always so special to be with. She accomplished so much and she will be missed and loved forever. My prayers go out to Naomi and her family.
The Oak Ridge Boys
We just heard the devastating news that Naomi Judd has gone home. The Judds are being inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow. This is so very sad. We have been friends for decades and have worked hundreds of shows together. Our prayers for WY and Ashley and for all that loved her… which includes the four of us!
Johnny Lee
“Such a sad day in country music with the loss of Naomi Judd. Her family is in my prayers.”
Tanya Tucker
Say it isn’t so. Cannot believe my girlfriend and longtime buddy Naomi is gone. We’ve known each other for years and she always treated me with class, grace and pure kindness. I’m going to miss her so much.
Lee Greenwood
I have so many memories with Naomi Judd – from our early years on stage around the country, awards shows to recent neighborly encounters at church or around our town of Franklin. I am speechless and so sad! My prayers go out to Wynonna, Ashley, and the rest of her family. God bless you and comfort you all.
Kelly Lang
The first time I ever met Naomi, I was 14 years old and we were performing on the Ralph Emery Show. Ralph lovingly called them the “Soap Sisters” since Naomi made her own lye soap. She was so sweet and kind and remained so every time I was ever with her through the years. She wrote me the most precious note recently about my commercial and how much she loved my music. I will cherish it forever. I’m so deeply saddened by this loss. We were so looking forward to The Judds’ induction into the CMA Hall of Fame. The music business will never be the same. Please join us in prayer for her family’s comfort during this time.
Janie Fricke
It’s a sad day to hear about Naomi Judd, her creative and clever creation of The Judds image made a huge impact in country music. She will be missed greatly.
Heath Wright/ Ricochet
So sorry to hear of the loss of a great lady in country music. Naomi was not only an amazing singer/songwriter but an author, actress, and philanthropist. She will be greatly missed. Country music is better off because she was part of it… Godspeed Naomi!
TG Sheppard
Another great musical voice – Naomi Judd – has gone silent and left for home. I will never forget introducing her along with Wynonna on their very first network tv show appearance. I knew after introducing them that they were destined for greatness. My prayers are with her family, friends, and fans at this very sad time.” – TG Sheppard
T. Graham Brown
Naomi Judd was a dear friend and awesome talent. She was always so sweet and kind to me. I knew her well and did dozens of shows with The Judds. They have touched millions with their music. Sheila and my hearts are broken. Please pray for the Judd Family, fans, and friends. Rest in peace, sweet sister. I love you!” – T. Graham Brown
Lacy J. Dalton
Naomi was a lovely person and this is a tragic loss. Our profound sympathy goes to Wynona and Ashley.
JD Shelburne
I am saddened to hear of the loss of fellow Kentuckian and legend Naomi Judd. Their music traces back to my childhood when mom would sing their songs to us. Their sound was iconic and I remember so many of their hits. Naomi will forever be remembered. Prayers to Wy and Ashley + family.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

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