US country music star Naomi Judd dies at 76

Family members announce death of the Grammy-winning singer

Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of Grammy-winning duo The Judds, has died, her family announced. AP
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US country music star Naomi Judd, half of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, has died aged 76, her family announced on Saturday, the day before the group were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy," actress Ashley Judd and singer Wynonna Judd, the other half of The Judds, said in a joint statement posted on their Instagram accounts.

"We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness."

"We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by the public."

The sisters did not give more details on the cause of their mother's death.

Naomi and Wynonna formed their duo in the late 1970s, although their big break didn't come until 1983.

Over the course of their joint career, they had 14 No 1 hits and won many music awards, including five Grammys.

On Friday, the Country Music Hall of Fame had announced on its Instagram account that The Judds would join its ranks on May 1 for helping to "take country back to its roots in the 1980s with lean, tuneful songs influenced by traditional folk music, acoustic blues, and family harmony acts."

Some of the pair's most popular songs include Love Can Build A Bridge, Mama He's Crazy and Girls' Night Out.

The Judds officially disbanded in 1991, when Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, although the two had reunited several times for special tours and performances.

Naomi and Wynonna had been set to reunite in the autumn for their first tour in more than a decade.

Updated: May 01, 2022, 4:50 AM