Country artists react to Naomi Judd’s death

As news of the death of Naomi Judd, of Grammy Award-winning duo The Judds, broke over the weekend, the music industry was in shock and mourned the loss of their friend and compatriot country star.

Naomi’s death was announced by her two daughters Ashley and Wynonna on Saturday April 30.

In a joint statement, the sisters said, “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our mother-in-law to mental illness. We are broken. We navigate deep mourning and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in uncharted territory.

The statement posted on Ashley’s Instagram did not further elaborate on the cause of death.

Both sisters celebrated their mother’s legacy during induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame a day after her death.

“I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably do the most talking,” Wynonna told the Nashville crowd upon acceptance. “I’m going to do this fast, because my heart is broken and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be so broken and so blessed.

Before her death, Naomi and Wynonna racked up a career that spanned three decades and landed 14 No. 1 records. The duo embarked on a farewell tour in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C .

The country music community came out in droves, expressing sympathy for the sudden loss and celebrating the legacy of the country music giant.

Billy Ray Cyrus
So sad about the loss of my friend and music legend Naomi Judd. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. As a fellow Kentucky, I take my hat off to honor the musical legacy she shared with the world and the doors she opened for so many others like me.=
Bill Anderson
I am shocked and saddened along with the rest of our country music community by the passing of Naomi Judd. I will never forget meeting her for the first time when she was on a game show that I was hosting. I asked her to identify herself for the audience and she said, “My name is Naomi Judd and I’m a nurse from Franklin, Tennessee. My daughter and I sing together, and one day we hope to be successful in country music. I was so looking forward to remembering that moment with her on Sunday when she and Wynonna were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She was one of a kind and will certainly be missed.
David and Howard Bellamy
Our prayers go out to Naomi’s husband, daughters, family, friends and fans. We, like all who knew her, are devastated by the news of her passing. We will always cherish the memories of touring with The Judds and visiting with Naomi behind the scenes at so many events over the years. May you rest in peace, Naomi.
Gene Watson
I remember how nice and kind Naomi was when we worked together. She was a good person with a generous spirit to everyone she met. I keep his family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Meghan Linsey
I really don’t have the words right now. Naomi meant so much to me. She took me under her wing and taught me a lot. She will forever remain my fairy godmother of the countryside. I am so grateful for his friendship.
gayle crystal
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and fellow Kentucky, Naomi Judd. Naomi has always been so special to her. She has accomplished so much and we will miss her and love her forever. My prayers go out to Naomi and her family.
The Oak Ridge Boys
We just heard the devastating news that Naomi Judd has returned home. The Judds will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow. It’s so sad. We’ve been friends for decades and worked hundreds of shows together. Our prayers for WY and Ashley and all who loved her…including the four of us!
Johnny Lee
“Such a sad day in country music with the loss of Naomi Judd. Her family is in my prayers.
Tanya Tucker
Say it’s not. I can’t believe my girlfriend and long time friend Naomi is gone. We have known each other for years and she has always treated me with class, grace and pure kindness. I will miss her so much.
Lee Greenwood
I have so many memories with Naomi Judd – from our early years on stage across the country, from award shows to recent neighbor get-togethers at church or in our town of Franklin. I am speechless and so sad! My prayers go out to Wynonna, Ashley and the rest of her family. May God bless and comfort you all.
Kelly Lang
I first met Naomi when I was 14 and we were performing on the Ralph Emery Show. Ralph affectionately called them the “Soap Sisters” since Naomi made her own laundry soap. She was so sweet and kind and remained so every time I was with her over the years. She recently wrote me the most valuable note about my publicity and how much she loved my music. I will cherish it forever. I am so deeply saddened by this loss. We looked forward to the Judds’ induction into the CMA Hall of Fame. The music business will never be the same again. Please join us in prayer for the comfort of his family during this time.
Janie Fricke
It’s a sad day to hear of Naomi Judd, her creative and clever creation of The Judds’ image had a huge impact on country music. She will be greatly missed.
Heath Wright / Ricochet
I am sorry to learn of the loss of a great lady of country music. Naomi was not only an incredible singer/songwriter, but also an author, actress and philanthropist. She will be greatly missed. Country music is better off because it was part of it… Godspeed Naomi!
T.G. Sheppard
Another great musical voice – Naomi Judd – fell silent and went home. I’ll never forget featuring her and Wynonna in their very first appearance on a network television show. I knew after introducing them that they were destined for greatness. My prayers are with his family, friends and fans at this very sad time. –TG Sheppard
T. Graham Brown
Naomi Judd was a dear friend and an incredible talent. She has always been so sweet and kind to me. I knew her well and did dozens of shows with The Judds. They have touched millions with their music. Sheila and my hearts are broken. Please pray for the Judd family, fans and friends. Rest in peace, sweet sister. I love you!” – T. Graham Brown
Lacy J. Dalton
Naomi was a lovely person and this is a tragic loss. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Wynona and Ashley.
JD Shelburne
I am saddened to learn of the passing of fellow Kentucky and legend Naomi Judd. Their music goes back to my childhood when mom used to sing their songs to us. Their sound was iconic and I remember so many of their hits. Naomi will forever be remembered. Prayers to Wy and Ashley + family.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT