The world lost a country music icon over the weekend.
Naomi Judd tragically passed away on Saturday at 76 years old outside of Nashville due to “the disease of mental illness,” just a day before her formal induction into the the Country Music Hall of Fame.
At the request of her family, the Medallion Ceremony went on as planned on Sunday, and her daughters, Wynona and Ashley, were there to accept and speak on her behalf.
Wynonna and Ashley released the following statement regarding her passing on Saturday, understandably remaining vague on the exact cause of death during such a tragic time:
“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.”
— The Judds (@juddsofficial) April 30, 2022
Naomi’s husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, released an additional statement that read:
“Naomi Judd’s family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time.”
According to People magazine, it’s now reported that Naomi died by suicide after years of struggling with mental illness, as confirmed by multiple sources. Her management, representatives and family members have yet to comment or confirm the specifics of her death.
The Judd’s were officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in the wake of this tragedy, where Ashley and Wynonna gave an emotional speech about their late mother and how much they love and will miss her:
Back in 2018, Naomi opened up to People about her personal struggles with mental health, writing an open letter to readers about what she had been through, saying in part:
“For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen?
Unfortunately, we don’t have very good answers. We do know that suicidal behavior accompanies many behavioral brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses.To understand this issue better, we have to bring the study of suicide into mainstream neuroscience and treat the condition like every other brain disorder.
People who commit suicide are experiencing problems with mood, impulse control and aggression, all of which involve discrete circuits in the brain that regulate these aspects of human experience, but we still don’t understand how these circuits go haywire in the brains of suicide victims.”
Just an absolutely heartbreaking situation all the way around. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this extremely difficult time.
“We are shocked and saddened by the death of Naomi Judd, who enters the Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow as a member of the @juddsofficial. Her family has asked that we continue with the Judds’ Hall of Fame induction Sunday. We will do so, with heavy hearts.”
—Kyle Young, CEO pic.twitter.com/4mcLLQrjfX
— Country Music HOF (@countrymusichof) May 1, 2022