‘She was one of a kind:’ Friends, fans share tributes, memories of Naomi Judd

The country music industry is still reeling from the death of Naomi Judd.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:23 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The country music industry is still reeling from the death of Naomi Judd. The Kentucky native died Saturday from what her daughters Wynonna and Ashley said was “the disease of mental illness.”

There have been so many tributes from fans, and others in the industry, as there are many raw emotions still from those who knew her and admired her.

In their final performance together, Naomi and Wynonna sang their hit song about the power of love.

“I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and blessed,” Wynonna said.


Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, and husband Larry, are undoubtedly shattered by her sudden loss. But fans, and other artists are grieving along with them.

“My momma loved you so much. And she appreciated your love for her,” Ashley said.

Fellow Kentuckians and country music stars have shared their memories with Naomi.

Close friend Billy Ray Cyrus, who like Judd, is from the Ashland area, shared a picture, saying “my hats off in honor of the legacy of music she shared with the world, and the doors she opened for so many like me.”

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Close friend Ricky Skaggs, from neighboring Lawrence County, said, “I’ve known them all for so long. It’s heartbreaking.”

“I love you and I’m proud of you. Mom is proud of you and she always was,” Ashley said.

In Naomi’s hometown of Ashland, there have been tributes across town. The Paramount Arts Center, a place the Judds have performed many times, put her name in lights one last time.

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Flowers were left on Judd Stage at the city’s entertainment plaza.

During Sunday’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction, Wynonna shared the somber moment the family said their goodbyes.

“We all gathered around her, and we said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters,” Wynonna said.

Longtime friends of the Judds talked about her fond memories.

“She definitely always let that shine through. She wasn’t ashamed of her Appalachian heritage,” friend Sue Dowdy said.

“We’re going to miss her, man. She was one of a kind. Very drive. She made the Judds happen,” T. Graham Brown said.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.

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