What Happened to Naomi Judd? How Wynonna’s Mom Died Just Weeks After Announcing Their Comeback Tour

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Naomi Judd died at the age of 76 on April 30, 2022. Her tragic death came less than three weeks after she and her daughter Wynonna Judd announced a fall 2022 comeback tour for their country music duo, The Judds. So, what happened to the legendary singer?

How Did Naomi Judd Die?

Naomi died by suicide at her home in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Her autopsy confirmed that her cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wynonna and her sister, Ashley Judd, confirmed their mother’s death with a statement. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” they said. “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.”

The Judds singer was set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on May 1, just one day after her death. Wynonna and Ashley attended the ceremony to honor their mom.

“I’m gonna make this fast because my heart’s broken and I feel so blessed,” Wynonna said, through tears. “It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and blessed. Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing because that’s what we do.”

Wynonna also continued with the fall 2022 tour as planned. She had special guests join her on stage each night in place of her mom.

Did Naomi Judd Leave a Suicide Note?

Naomi’s autopsy confirmed that she did leave a suicide note.

A photo of the suicide note was obtained by RadarOnline and released in January 2023. It was written on a yellow sticky note and read, “Do not let Wy come to my funeral. She is mentally ill.” The word “not” was underlined.

Did Wynonna Judd Go to Naomi’s Funeral?

Wynonna did attend her mother’s funeral. There was a private funeral held for family members and loved ones on May 7, 2022, in Tennessee. Ashley revealed that her mother had planned out the entire service before her death.

what happened to naomi judd wynonnas mom died by suicide
what happened to naomi judd wynonnas mom died by suicide

In addition to the private service, there was also a public memorial for Naomi on May 15, 2022. The event took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and was called “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration.” It was broadcast on CMT and featured performances from Wynonna, Brandi Carlile and more.

Did Naomi Judd Have a Will?

Naomi did have a will, in which she appointed Larry Strickland, her husband of 33 years, as executor of her estate. The will was prepared in 2017, and Wynonna and Ashley were not included in the legal document.

Despite reports that the sisters were feuding over their mom’s will, Wynonna insisted there was “no argument” between them. “I have such a great life. Ashley has a great life. Why would we be fighting over the will?” she told People in October 2022.

She also explained that the sisters will “split” their mother’s estate after Larry’s death. “I am the last person in this family – and if Ashley was here, I’d hope she’d agree with me – who knows stuff like this,” Wynonna insisted. “I’m not savvy enough to go, ‘I’m going to contest the will.’ It never occurred to me.”

Was Naomi Judd Sick?

Naomi was not physically ill but she battled with mental illness for years.

The singer’s autopsy revealed that she had prescription drugs in her system. The medicines are used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.

“Our matriarch was dogged by an unfair foe,” Naomi’s family said in a statement. “She was treated for PTSD and bipolar disorder, to which millions of Americans can relate.”

Naomi had been open about her mental health struggles over the years. She admitted that her depression was especially bad after The Judds’ Last Encore tour in 2012. She cited suppressed memories of child molestation as the cause.

Naomi admitted to having suicidal thoughts at this time but said she did not act on them because she didn’t want one of her loved ones to have to find her body.

She was officially diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. “Treatment-resistant because they tried me on every single thing they had in their arsenal,” she explained. “It really felt like, if I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”