Naomi Judd, the Grammy-winning singer, one half of the mother-daughter duo The Judds, took her last breath on the 30th of April. She was 76 years old. The entire world was shocked when her daughters Wynonna and Ashley announced her death on social media.
“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.”
What’s more shocking is her cause of death. A few days ago, her cause of death was revealed to the world. Reportedly, the singer committed suicide.
Here’s everything to know about Judd’s cause of death.
Naomi Judd Committed Suicide
The Williamson County medical examiner in Tennessee found out Judd’s manner of death. According to them, the singer had anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. She had also left a note with suicidal connotations near the scene.
Naomi was discovered badly wounded by her daughter/actor, Ashely. A note with suicidal connotations and a gun were present near her. Soon after this discovery, emergency responders were called to her home and brought her to a hospital. But unfortunately, by that time, Naomi was already dead.
She Was on Medication for Depression
After the singer’s death, toxicology tests were conducted on the blood drawn from her body. It revealed the traces of prescription medications used to treat bipolar disorder, major depression, and PTSD. A 13-page detailed document was released by the officials concerning her death and its cause, after which the Judd family released a statement stating she had been trying to manage diagnoses of bipolar disorder and PTSD.
“We have always shared openly both the joys of being family as well as its sorrows too. One part of our story is that our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe.”
The purpose of the report was to classify Judd’s manner of death as suicide. The document listed her cause of death as a gunshot wound near her right temple.
However, Judd’s family is not happy with how all the details of her death are released on social media. Recently, they have filed a lawsuit in Nashville court seeking to block the public release of any video or audio interviews of grieving relatives that authorities conducted immediately after the singer’s death. The family argues that it would cause them ‘significant trauma and irreparable harm’.
What Was Naomi Doing at the Time of her Death?
At the time of her death, the singer was preparing to set on a nationwide arena tour with her other daughter, Wynonna. Naomi and Wynonna were set to perform on stage. She died a day before the duo was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Her survivors include her two daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, and husband, Larry Strickland.
Naomi Judd Had Humble Beginnings
The singer was born on the 11th of January, 1946, as Diana Ellen Judd and had a very humble beginning. She had a younger brother, Glenn, who sadly died at 17 from leukemia.
Naomi was only 18 when she gave birth to her first daughter, Christina Ciminella or Wynonna Judd. Four years later, she gave birth to her second one. Ashley. The single mother raised both her daughters while attending nursing school at California’s College of Marin.
Her Musical Career Made Naomi Extremely Popular
Naomi and her daughters moved to Tennessee to find a new life. She and Wynonna found a passion for music and started performing together. Their talent was soon recognized by Nashville Record producer, Brent Maher, and within some time, they released their first album through RCA Records in 1983. I was called Wynonna and Naomi.
The duo rose to superstardom as the legendary country music duo, The Judds. Their career reached from strength to strength and gained over twenty top-10 hits, over 10 number one songs, and eight successful studio albums.
The Separation of the Judds
All went well with the band until 1991 when it had to disband because Naomi was diagnosed with life-threatening Hepatitis C. But the women ensured not to leave their fans abruptly as they decided to go out on a very successful Farewell Tour that happened in late 1991.
It was the same year when Naomi created the Naomi Judd Education and Research Fund to raise awareness of Hepatitis C. She also became an ongoing spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation.
Naomi Embraced Acting and Writing
It was heartbreaking for the singer to step away from her calling of music. After discontinuing the band, Wynonna ended up with a successful solo career. Naomi, too, didn’t prefer to sit back. She tried her hand at acting. Throughout the 1990s, she starred in many TV movies, including Rio Diablo, The Client, and A Holiday Romance.
She added another feather to her cap by trying her hands at writing. She was a critically-acclaimed author who released nine books throughout her lifetime. Her books ranged from children’s books like Gertie the Goldfish to cookbooks, such as Naomi’s Home Companion. The singer/actor/philanthropist also released memoirs on living the best life and mental health. Her most recent memoir is titled River of Time, where she shared some words about her battle with mental health.
When the Judds Reunited
After breaking up, the band reunited again in 1999 for a New Year’s Eve concert. They also performed at the Super Bowl XXVIII for the halftime show and toured throughout the 2000s, surprising their fans. Ten years later, they again toured 18 cities. The band named this tour ‘The Last Encore’.
Naomi’s Personal Life
The singer got married to Larry Strickland, on the 6th of May, 1989. The wedding ceremony happened at Nashville’s Christ Church, and both her daughters were her bridesmaid. It was Naomi’s second wedding which continued for over three decades. Unfortunately, she passed away a few days before her 33rd wedding anniversary.
When Naomi Judd Opened About Depression
The singer had been vocal about her personal life, including her struggles with depression. Over the years, she opened up about the depression she struggled with. She described her mental illness as life-threatening and noted that fans never suspected this side of her life because they see her in rhinestones and flitter in her hair.
She also highlighted how she would come home, not leave the house for three weeks and not get out of her pajamas.
Some More Facts about Naomi Judd and her Family
- Naomi launched her own skincare line after retiring from the band. She named it Esteem Skin Care.
- Her husband, Larry Strickland, sang with Elvis Presley.
- Although Naomi would forever be associated with The Judds, she represented a true renaissance woman. She explored wide-ranging passions throughout her life and tasted success in many endeavors.