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Judds to continue headlining tour without matriarch, Naomi

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The earthly loss of Naomi Judd just a day prior to her induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame was devastating. Though her music reached millions across continents and of all ages, her legacy will reach an even wider audience.

“We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Ashley, the youngest of the Judd sisters said in a statement following Naomi’s death. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public.”

Ashley revealed that her mother took her own life with a weapon on April 30 this year at age 76. While the family is grieving, they revealed this information to avoid “gossip culture” and further spread awareness about mental health.

Ashley and her big sister, Wynonna, leaned on one another the following day as they watched their mother be immortalized through country music’s highest honor, a bronze statue on the wall of the hall of fame.

“She died just hours before her peers at the Country Music Hall of Fame could demonstrate to there how much they esteem her,” Ashley said in a piece published by USA Today just ahead of Mother’s Day. “She died just days before my sister and I could show her again how much we love and honor her.”

The Judds, composed of mother-daughter duo Naomi and Wynonna, were set to go on tour this year alongside Martina McBride with 10 dates slotted in a 30 day period. Three of the shows were sold out upon announcement. 

The Final Tour has expanded to 11 dates and will still take place, in celebration of the life and legacy of Naomi Judd. The tour will feature Wynonna and special guest Martina McBride and will also feature a slew of iconic guest appearances throughout the tour, including Brandi Carlile, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Ashley McBride, Trisha Yearwood and more. The added date will be the final show of the tour, taking place in the Judd’s homestate. It all ends at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY on Oct. 29. 

The Sunday following her passing, the world tuned in to a celebration of life live from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium showcasing numerous stars who performed in remembrance of the singer and philanthropist. 

“Tonight is a celebration,” Wynonna said at the event. “At the same time I can’t put into words how devastated I am. I miss her so much but I will continue to sing. We’ll continue this spectacle… that’s what she would want right?”

“My mama was a legend. She was an artist and a storyteller, but she had to fight like hell to overcome the hand she was dealt, to earn her place in history. She shouldn’t have had to fist that hard to share her gifts with the world,” ” Ashley shared via USA Today. “I choose to honor my mama for the person she was, a mother and so much more. And I ask you to honor your own mother, if you are lucky enough to have her. Honor her for more than her labor and sacrifice. Honor her for her talents and dreams. Honor her by demanding a world where motherhood, everywhere, is safe, healthy – and chosen.”

Naomi Judd was born Jan. 11, 1946 and left behind her suffering April 30, 2022. Those in crisis can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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