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Ashley Judd shared details about her mother Naomi Judd's cause of death during a Thursday (May 12) interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. The actor and sister of Wynonna Judd revealed that Naomi, singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, died by suicide.
Ashley Judd said that the family wanted to reveal the information themselves before it was made publicly available.
"Because we don't want it to be part of the gossip economy I will share with you that she used a weapon; my mother used a firearm," Ashley Judd told GMA. "So that's the piece of information we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we're in a position that if we don't say it, someone else is going to."
During the emotional interview, Ashley discussed her mother's mental health.
"Our mother couldn't hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers," Ashley Judd said. "That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn't penetrate into her heart, and the lie that the disease told her was so convincing."
The singer was 76 at the time of her death. According to the Associated Press, her daughters announced the death on Saturday through a statement.
"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness," the statement read. "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." The statement did not reveal a cause of death.
The Judds were set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday and had just announced an arena tour beginning this fall. This was scheduled to be the first tour back in over a decade. The mother-daughter performers scored a total of 14 No. 1 songs throughout their three-decade career. They decided to call it quits in 1991 after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis.
Some of The Judds' hits include "Love Can Build a Bridge," Mama He's Crazy," "Why Not Me," "Turn It Loose," "Girls Night Out," "Rockin' With the Rhythm of the Rain," and "Grandpa." The duo was known for their standout genres, with elements of acoustics, blues, and bluegrass.
In total, they released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991, winning a total of 9 Country Music Association Awards and 7 Academy of Country Music Awards. Together they won a total of 5 Grammy Awards for hits "Mama He's Crazy," "Why Not Me," "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)," "Give A Little Love" and "Love Can Build a Bridge."
Naomi Judd is survived by her daughters and her husband, Larry Strickland.
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