Reba McEntire is saying goodbye to an old friend.
After news of Naomi Judd‘s death was announced on Saturday (Apr. 30), country artists quickly took to social media to express their condolences and their memories of the legendary performer. Among them was McEntire, who shared a photograph of herself and Judd in the early days of their respective careers.
“We’ve been down the long road together. I sure miss my buddy,” McEntire wrote, in a tribute that touched on the fact that life wasn’t always easy for Judd. “Rest in Peace. Finally. Love you Naomi.”
As country stars working in the same genre for decades, McEntire and Judd’s paths crossed several times. After Judd announced her decision to retire from the music industry in 1990 — a decision precipitated by her Hepatitis C diagnosis, though she and Wynonna have reunited for tours and performances many times in the years since — it was McEntire who tributed her legacy on the stage of the American Music Awards in 1992.
Judd, who rose to fame with her daughter Wynonna as the mother-daughter superstar duo The Judds, died at the age of 76. Wynonna announced the news in a statement along with actor Ashley Judd, the other daughter in the family.
Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement reads. “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 did not elaborate as to Judd’s cause of death.
Stars React to Naomi Judd’s Death:
Naomi Judd Dies: Country Stars React
Country stars mourn the loss of Naomi Judd, following her death on April 30 at the age of 76.