According to reports, singer Naomi Judd died by suicide a day before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at age 76.
Her daughters Wynonna and Ashley said she died from the “disease of mental illness” in a statement confirming her death.
Naomi Judd was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday in an emotional ceremony in which her daughters paid tribute to her career and life.
Naomi Judd battled mental illness before death
Country legend Naomi Judd lost her life to suicide on Saturday following a longtime battle with mental illness, multiple sources told PEOPLE magazine.
Ashely Judd announced her mother’s death on Instagram on behalf of her family. She wrote the following:
“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.”
Larry Strickland, Naomi’s longtime husband of over three decades, released an additional statement, which reads the following:
“Naomi Judd’s family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time.”
Naomi spoke about suicide in an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2018, sharing the following with PEOPLE magazine.
“For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen? Unfortunately, we don’t have very good answers,” she wrote, continuing:
“We do know that suicidal behavior accompanies many behavioral brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses.”
Wynonna and Ashley Judd pay tribute to their mother
The late country star and her daughter Wynonna formed a musical duo, The Judds, in the early 1980s.
They were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the day after her death, prompting an emotional tribute.
Wynonna said she would continue to sing despite the heartbreak of her mother’s death:
“It’s a strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed… But though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.”
She started the speech by admitting she was unprepared, joking that her “Mom would probably talk the most.”
On the other hand, Wynona shared her final moment with her mother, saying: “At 2:20, I kissed her on the forehead and walked away,” Wynonna said.
She added that her family gathered around her late mother and prayed; the sisters recited the rest of Psalm 23 together.