Fellow country musicians are mourning the death of Grammy Award-winning singer Naomi Judd, whose daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd confirmed her death Saturday. She was 76.
Judd was the mother portion of the mother-daughter music duo The Judds, Wynonna being the other half as the two scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades, rising to the top of country music before calling it quits in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered,” Ashley Judd wrote on Twitter. “We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
Many other stars took to Twitter to share their fond memories of Naomi Judd and to mourn the loss of a country music legend, who is being inducted into the Country Hall of Fame on Sunday.
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“Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd. Honored to have witnessed ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ just a few short weeks ago,” country singer Maren Morris wrote on Twitter, referring to the performance The Judds gave during the CMT Awards on April 11.
“Country music lost a true legend … sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today,” Carrie Underwood wrote.
“So sad at the loss of my friend,” Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted, sharing a photo of himself, Judd and Randy Travis. “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.”
“Cannot believe my girlfriend and longtime buddy Naomi is gone,” Tanya Tucker wrote in a statement shared with USA TODAY. “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.” Later, Tucker tweeted that Judd’s death was “the biggest hurdle” her daughters would ever have. “It brings tears to my heart. Rest easy angel!”
Loretta Lynn remembered her “fellow Kentucky girl” as “an amazing singer. There are no words.”
“Country music will never be the same,” Trisha Yearwood tweeted. “Love one another.”
Added LeAnn Rimes: “Truly a heartbreaking day.”
Travis Tritt wrote: “Naomi Judd was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. I had the honor of working with her in movies and numerous musical events. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to her family.”
The Academy of Country Music recognized Naomi Judd in a tweet Saturday writing, “The Academy is deeply saddened by the heartbreaking news this afternoon of Naomi Judd’s passing.”
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Hoda Kotb remembered times Naomi Judd joined her on the “Today” show: “So saddened by this news. (Kathie Lee Gifford) and i treasured the moments we shared with her on our show. One of a kind.”
“Naomi Judd so sad to hear this news. Thinking of all of her family & friends. Tough day for country music,” country singer Cole Swindell wrote.
“I loved Naomi Judd. Among her many talents, she was just so much fun, a great storyteller and a wonderful spirit,” Andy Cohen wrote.
Contributing: The Associated Press