RIP Naomi Judd; Wynonna, Brandi Carlile, Gillian Welch and more pay tribute
Country singer and actress Naomi Judd has passed away at the age of 76. Her daughters Wynonna and Ashley broke the news, writing on 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."
Naomi and Wynonna formed The Judds and signed to RCA Nashville in 1983 and were one of the biggest country acts of the '80s and early-'90s with fourteen singles reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including "Mama He's Crazy," "Why Not Me," "Girl's Night Out," "Love is Alive," "Rockin' with the Rhythm of the Rain," "Change of Heart," and "Young Love (Strong Love)." They also won five Grammy Awards for Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group with Vocal from 1985 through 1992.
The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday night (5/1), a day after news of Naomi's death broke. "I didn't prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most," Wynonna said at the induction, Taste of Country reports. "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."
"Though my heart's broken, I will continue to sing, because that's what we do," Wynonna continued. Watch she and Ashley's speeches below.
The induction also included tributes to Naomi from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (who performed "Young Love (Strong Love)," Carly Pearce (who performed "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)," and Tommy Simms (who performed "Love Can Build a Bridge").
Carrie Underwood also paid tribute to Naomi at this weekend's Stagecoach Festival. Introducing "See You Again," she began, "This next song goes out to everybody who’s ever lost someone that they loved, which is everybody. I feel that’s one of the few human experiences that we all share. But just because the people that we love are not here with us does not mean that they are not here with us, and that does not mean that you will not see them again someday."
Carrie then invited the crowd to light up their phones or lighters. "“Let’s light up this place in memory of all those that we miss," she said. "I know all of country music will be lighting something up for Ms. Naomi Judd."
Brandi Carlile, meanwhile, paid tribute with a video on Instagram of she and her daughter covering "Love Can Build a Bridge." Watch that below.
Rest in peace, Naomi.