Naomi Judd (born Diana Ellen Judd; January 11, 1946 – April 30, 2022) was a singer and actor from the United States. In 1983, Mary and her daughter Wynonna founded the highly popular country singing duo The Judds, which won five Grammy Honors and nine Country Music Association awards.
After Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis in 1991, The Judds ceased touring; while Wynonna continued to perform as a solo artist, she occasionally reconnected with her mother for tours as The Judds. Throughout her life, Naomi experienced mental health challenges. She shot herself on April 30, 2022, the day before she and Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Early years of Naomi Judd
Pauline Ruth “Polly” (née Oliver) and Charles Glen Judd gave birth to Judd on January 11, 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. Her father owned a convenience store. Her brother Brian died of leukaemia at the age of 17 in 1965; Naomi Judd gave birth to her first child, Christina Claire Ciminella (later Wynonna Judd), when she was 18 years old.
Her first daughter was given the surname Ciminella in honour of Michael Ciminella, the man she hurriedly married after being abandoned by Wynonna’s biological father, Charles Jordan.
After the birth of her daughter Ashley in 1968, who later became a film and stage actress, and the dissolution of her marriage to Ciminella, Judd raised both of her daughters as a single parent, initially attending nursing school at California’s College of Marin while living in Lagunitas, California, and later beginning a successful singing career with daughter Wynonna.
When she reverted to her maiden name after her divorce, she also took the opportunity to change her name, Diana, which she felt did not reflect “her own spiritual, rural Kentucky conception of her true heritage.” Instead, she chose to pay homage to the biblical figure Naomi, whose story of moving to a new land and eventually being left without a husband while raising two daughters resonated with her.
Career of Naomi Judd
After relocating to Tennessee in the late 1970s, Judd began playing music with Wynonna. A 1983 appearance on “The Ralph Emery Show” led to the signing of the duo by Joe Galante, the head of RCA. In 1983, the Judds released the Gold EP “Wynonna & Naomi,” and the tune “Mama He’s Crazy” earned them their first Grammy.
Their debut album, “Why Not Me,” was certified two times platinum and topped the “Billboard” Top Country Albums chart. The singles “Girls’ Night Out” and “Love Is Alive” were both #1 hits, while the album’s title tune earned the duo their second #1 hit and second Grammy.
Clan Judd “”Rockin’ with the Rhythm” reached number one on the Top Country Albums list, went platinum, and featured the number one hits “Have Mercy,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days),” and “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain.”
The singles “I Know Where I’m Going,” “Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues,” and “Turn It Loose” all reached number one, and their third album, “Heartland,” went platinum and topped the Top Country Albums chart in 1987.
The platinum-certified 1987 album “Christmas Time with The Judds” was the duo’s first album not to hit #1 on the Top Country Albums chart; it peaked at #49. The Judds followed their holiday album with “River of Time” in 1989, which went gold and peaked at number two on the Top Country Albums chart.
This album produced two further number-one hits, “Young Love (Strong Love)” and “Let Me Tell You About Love” Though “Let Me Tell You About Love” was The Judds’ final No. 1 single, three songs from their final studio album, 1990’s “Love Can Build a Bridge,” reached the top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart, with “Born to Be Blue,” “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and “One Hundred and Two” reaching #5, #6, and #7, respectively.
Naomi’s diagnosis of Hepatitis C in 1991 put an end to The Judds, although they concluded their career with over 20 million albums sold and a spectacular farewell tour. The duo reunited in 1999 for a New Year’s Eve concert in Phoenix and again in 2000 for the “Power to Change” tour. Naomi served as a judge on “Star Search” from 2003 to 2004, and she began hosting “Naomi’s New Morning” on the Hallmark Channel in 2005.”
In 2008, she served as a judge and mentor on the CMT competition series “Can You Duet,” and in 2011, she and Wynonna starred in the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network reality series “The Judds.” The Judds reunited in 2017 to sing “Back to the Well” for Kenny Rogers’ last concert, “All in for the Gambler,” at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
How Much Was Naomi Judd’s Net Worth?
According to filmysiyappa.com Naomi Judd was a singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and author with a $25 million net worth. Naomi was the mother of the country music artist Wynonna Judd and the actress Ashley Judd.
Personal Life of Naomi Judd
On May 30, 1964, Naomi gave birth to Christina Claire Ciminella, later known as Wynonna. Wynonna’s biological father is Charles Jordan, but on January 3, 1964, after Jordan abandoned her, Judd wed Michael Charles Ciminella. Prior to their divorce in 1972, Naomi and Michael had one child together, Ashley, who was born on April 19, 1968.
On May 6, 1989, Judd wed Larry Strickland, a member of the Palmetto State Quartet. Dr. Bruce Bacon, the head of Hematology at the University of St. Louis, “declared [her] cured of the hepatitis C virus” in 1995, according to an essay written by Judd for “Everyday Health” in 2014.
Naomi commented about the disease “Today, I am healthy and thankful that I am no longer infected with the virus, and that I am able to observe others being cured without having to endure the dreadful years I did. My passion is learning and speaking about the benefits of the spirit, mind, and body link in my role as an advocate for hepatitis C research.”
Honours and Nominations for Naomi Judd
The Judds received 10 Grammy nominations between 1985 and 1992, winning Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Mama He’s Crazy” (1985), “Why Not Me” (1986), “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ol’ Days)” (1987), “Give a Little Love” (1989), and “Love Can Build A Bridge” (1992), as well as Best Country Song for “Love Can Build A Bridge” (1992).
In 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990, the Judds received Academy of Country Music Awards for Top Vocal Duo, and in 2013, they were awarded with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. In addition, they won nine Country Music Association Awards, including the Horizon Award in 1984, Single of the Year for “Why Not Me” in 1985, and Vocal Group of the Year in 1986. (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991). The American Academy of Achievement awarded Naomi its Golden Plate Award in 2013.