Miranda Lambert, Billy Ray Cyrus and Naomi Judd; Photos Courtesy of Instagram
Miranda Lambert, Billy Ray Cyrus and Naomi Judd; Photos Courtesy of Instagram

Miranda Lambert, Billy Ray Cyrus, & More Remember Naomi Judd: “Country Music Lost A True Legend”

The country music community is mourning the loss of Naomi Judd, who passed away on Saturday, April 30, at the age of 76.

As the news of Naomi’s tragic death spread, artists such as Loretta Lynn, Carrie Underwood, Mickey Guyton, Ricky Skaggs, Maren Morris, Tenille Arts, Carly Pearce, Travis Tritt, Cole Swindell, and more took to social media to share their memories and sentiments for the chart-topping country icon.

Naomi was best known for her role as one half of the award-winning country duo, The Judds.

The unfortunate news comes just a week after Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd reunited for a performance of “Love Can Build A Bridge” at the 2022 CMT Music Awards.

Their performance coincided with the announcement of The Judds’ farewell tour, which was set to kick off on September 30 and hit 10 cities with support from Martina McBride.

The mother-daughter duo earned 14 No. 1 hits during their career that spanned nearly three decades, including “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Turn It Loose,” “Girls Night Out,” “Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” and “Grandpa.”

The Judds toured in the ’80s where they had a catalog of twenty Top 10 hits, 20 million-plus albums sold, a combined 16 Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum albums, and The Judds Greatest Hits.

Since launching their career in 1983, the duo have gone on to release six studio albums and an EP. The superstar pair have also won several awards, including nine CMA Awards, seven Academy Of Country Music Awards and five GRAMMY Awards for hits like “Why Not Me” and “Give A Little Love.”

After rising to fame, the iconic country duo broke up in 1991 after Doctors diagnosed Naomi with hepatitis c.

In addition to her celebrated music career, Naomi was also an actress, having appeared in several TV movies and TV series.
“Country music lost a true legend…sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today…” Underwood wrote.

“Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd,” Morris shared. ”Honored to have witnessed “Love Can Build a Bridge” just a few short weeks ago.”

“This is heartbreaking news! Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known,” Tritt also said, remembering the iconic singer. ”I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.”

“There is no way I can get my mind to adjust to this reality. Naomi brought such a breath of fresh air to our industry with her uptown looks and down-home humor,” Jeannie Seely said. ”Her talent was only equaled by her dedication to following her dream and her unbelievable work ethic. She was respected, admired and will be remembered for those attributes. Even as we prepared a place for her in the Hall of Fame, we know that God has prepared a place for her as well.”

“🙌I’m heartbroken,” Miranda Lambert shared in the comments of a tribute that Tiffany Gifford, a Nashville-based stylist who Lambert and Judd both use, posted. The “If I Was A Cowboy” singer later shared her own post saying, “I’m thankful I got to spend just a little time with you Naomi. True legend. Praying for peace for this family. Rest easy.”

Other artists shared messages on Twitter and Instagram.

She is survived by daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, as well as her husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland. She also had two grandchildren, Grace Paulina Kelley and Elijah.

Naomi was known to have struggled with mental illness and detailed her battle with depression in her 2016 book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.

The Judds are set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville on Sunday, May 1. Despite the unexpected passing of Naomi, the Medallion ceremony will proceed as planned, according to a statement from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO, Kyle Young.

A representative for the institution told Billboard, Wynonna Judd is expected to attend the ceremony.

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