Naomi Judd, who with her daughter formed the Judds and produced such country music hits as "Mama He's Crazy" and "Love Can Build a Bridge," died Saturday. She was 76. Her daughters Wynonna, her singing partner, and Ashley, an actress, made the announcement in a statement on Instagram. "Today we sisters experienced a tragedy," they said. "We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," adding they know that "as we loved her, she was loved by her public." The statement did not elaborate on the cause of death, People reports.
Born in Ashland, Kentucky, Judd raised her daughters alone after her divorce. She went to nursing school and planned to become a doctor, per Variety. But "when Wynonna and I started singing together—she so desperately need to have a new direction in life—it quickly became obvious that that was what we were meant to do," she said. The Judds had eight straight No. 1 country singles in the 1980s, 14 over seven years. In their career, they won nine CMA Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and five Grammys. For the first time in years, they performed together publicly this month at the CMT Music Awards. The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, per CNN.
Naomi Judd had said she suffered from severe depression and anxiety that she described as "so deep and so completely debilitating and life-threatening," worsened by childhood sexual abuse. She said she'd go three weeks without leaving the house. Wynonna "bore the brunt of all of the mistakes I made," she said, and the two at times were estranged. "We've been through a lot of therapy together," Naomi Judd said, adding, "I'm always tellin' her, 'If I’d known better, I would have done better.'" (Read more obituary stories.)