The Judds’ Country Music Hall of Fame induction will go on as planned despite the sudden death of Naomi Judd.
Just one day prior to the scheduled Medallion ceremony on Sunday (May 1), Naomi Judd passed away at the age of 76 from “the disease of mental illness,” according to a statement shared by Wynonna and her sister Ashley Judd.
Following her unexpected death, The Country Music Hall of Fame shared a statement, revealing that The Judds’ induction will proceed per the family’s request.
“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,” said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Young continued, “Naomi overcame incredible adversity on her way to a significant place in music history. Her triumphant life story overshadows today’s tragic news. 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.”
According to a representative for the Country Music Hall of Fame (per Billboard), Wynonna Judd is expected to attend the ceremony.
On Sunday, May 1, The Judds will be honored as the most successful female duo in country music history.
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 went 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.
Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley Judd, confirmed the news of her death via a statement released on Saturday.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “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.”
Naomi Judd 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.
While the Medallion ceremony will proceed as planned on Sunday (May 1), the public red carpet arrivals have been canceled.
In addition to The Judds, Eddie Bayers, Ray Charles, and Pete Drake are among of the Country Music Hall of Fame 2021 class of inductees.
Bayers and Drake tied and will both be inducted in the “Recording and/or Touring Musician” category, which is awarded every third year in rotation with the “Non-Performer” and “Songwriter” categories. Charles will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category, while The Judds will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category.
“The works of this year’s inductees span crucial timestamps of Country Music history,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “This impressive career landmark is the pinnacle of accomplishment in Country Music and I’m so proud to see Eddie, Ray, Pete, Naomi and Wynonna getting their much-deserved plaques on the wall of the Rotunda. Today’s fans and generations to come will forever be reminded of the distinct impact each made on this genre.”
The Medallion Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 1 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.