Naomi Judd suicide: Ashley and Wynonna weep at Country Music Awards

A heartbroken Ashley Judd and sister Wynonna accepted an award on their mother’s behalf just one day after she took her own life.

Naomi Judd’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, fought through the tears to honor their mother at Sunday’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction, just a day after the US country singer died.

Multiple outlets have reported the music matriarch’s passing was a suicide. She was 76.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mum would probably talk the most,” Wynonna, 57, who is also a country singer, said. “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 wounded.”

Naomi and Wynonna, who were singing partners, were both inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the event.

On the stage, the sisters also quoted Psalm 23, a common hymn for funeral services.

“My mama loved you so much and I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” actress Ashley, 54, told the crowd gathered to honor her mother and sister.

“Your esteem for her and your regard for her really penetrated her heart, and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in the last years, and please come see Pop,” Ashley said. “Pop” was her stepfather – Naomi’s husband, Larry Strickland.

“While this is so much about the Judds as a duo, I want to take a moment to recognize my sister, a GOAT,” she went on. Wynonna then said: “Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing.”

Throughout the day before the ceremony, fans had gathered outside the museum where a photo of Naomi was surrounded by flowers at the entrance to pay homage to her musical legacy.

Naomi’s death cast a dark shadow over the otherwise celebratory event, where other country stars came out to perform in honor of the other inductees. Alongside the Judds, Ray Charles, Eddie Bayers and Pete Drake were also memorialized at the event.

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill and many more took the stage to perform their iconic songs during the event.

Wynonna and Ashley announced their mother’s death on Saturday, sharing the tragic news across social media that their mother had lost her battle with mental illness. Judd’s death was later reported as a suicide by several outlets.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the two said in a statement. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grievance and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”

The country crooner had been candid in the past about her mental health struggles, and in 2016, appeared on TV show Good Morning America to open up about her battles. She revealed that she had been facing “extreme” and “severe depression” which left her housebound.

The Judds had a series of hit songs throughout 1980s and 1990s, including Grammy-winning hits Why Not Me, Mama He’s Crazy and Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days).

This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission


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