Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, 2022, at the age of 76. The country music star’s two daughters, Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd, confirmed the tragic news in a joint statement.
“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 statement read.
Despite the heartbreak and grieving that both Wynonna and Ashley have been going through, the sisters have leaned on one another to get them through this challenging time. Just one day after their mother’s death, for example, Wynonna and Ashley made an appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville for an induction ceremony that honored The Judds, amongst other country music stars.
On May 15, 2022, Wynonna and Ashley both spoke at a celebration of life they held for their mom at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. It was during this event that Wynonna revealed an important decision about her career.
Here’s what you need to know:
Wynonna Has Decided to Continue Touring
Naomi and Wynonna teamed up to become one of the greatest daughter singing duos of all time. Since Naomi’s death, many have wondered if Wynonna would keep performing — and whether she would decide to carry on with her current tour.
She shared her thoughts on the matter during the celebration of life.
“I’ve made a decision, and I thought I’d share it on national television that, after a lot of thought, I’m gonna have to honor her and do this tour,” an emotional Wynonna said, according to People magazine.
‘The show must go on, as hard as it may be, and we will show up together, and you will carry me as you’ve carried me for 38 years … So we will continue this spectacle. That’s what she would want, right?” she added.
Wynonna Has not Done any Interviews About Her Mother’s Death
Just weeks after Naomi died, Ashley sat down with Diane Sawyer for an interview. During their sit-down, Ashley revealed that her mother “used a firearm” to end her life. Ashley was outside her mom’s home at the time, and was the one to discover her mother’s body.
Wynonna was invited do the interview, but ultimately decided not to. Instead, Wynonna wrote a letter that Ashley read aloud.
“I’m thinking a lot about you today. I love you!!!! I’ve been looking at photos of us when we were little. LOL GOOD LORD. You were such a cutie pie. I laugh and I cry and I thank God we have each other. I need to take some time to process. And I need this time to myself. I’m not ready yet to speak publicly about what happened, so I know you understand why I’m not there today. We will do this piece differently. We have each other, and I’m grateful we’re connected as we walk together through this storm. I just can’t believe she’s gone. I’m here. This will take time. I love you dear sister. I’m proud of you. And I’m here, whenever you need me,” the letter read.
Wynonna’s decision to keep performing is one that wasn’t decided easily, given that music was a big part of the bond that she shared with her mom. However, music has been known to help people grieve and can be very healing, according to the University of Utah’s Health department.