Country music legend Dolly Parton spoke out about the death of another icon, Naomi Judd, in a heartbreaking statement Monday. Judd died on Saturday at age 76, just hours before she and her daughter Wynnona Judd were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Parton, 76, missed the Hall of Fame ceremony but congratulated Wynonna on joining the esteemed club alongside her mother.
“I was so shocked to hear about Naomi’s passing. Naomi and I were close,” Parton wrote. “We were very similar. We were the same age and both Capricorns. We loved big hair, makeup, and music. I have always loved Ashley, Wynonna, and Noami. They’ve always been like sisters to me.”
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) May 2, 2022
Parton congratulated Wynonna, 57, on joining the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Sunday. “I am sorry I couldn’t be there, but I can hear Naomi saying now, ‘Oh well, a day late and a Dolly short,'” Parton wrote. “Congratulations and condolences are both in order. Just know that I will always love you.”
On Saturday, Wynonna and her half-sister, actress Ashley, 54, announced their mother’s death. “Today, we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” their 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 Country Music Hall of Fame followed the Judd family’s wishes and continued with Sunday’s induction ceremony. Wynonna and Ashley attended, with both taking the stage to speak. “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” Ashley said through tears. Wynonna spoke about saying goodbye to her mother before she and Ashley recited Psalm 23. “Though my heart is broken, I will continue to sing,” Wynonna, who had plans to tour again with her mother after their induction, said.
CMT plans to air CMT Remembers: Naomi Judd, a half-hour special about the Judds’ career, at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday. The special will include performances from the Judds and Judd’s final CMT interview, recorded at the 2022 CMT Music Awards last month. The Judds’ final CMT Music Awards performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge” will be included.
The Judds were one of the most successful duos in country music history. Some of their biggest hits include “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Girls’ Night Out,” “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain,” “Turn it Loose,” “Ket Me Tell You About Love,” and “Love Can Build a Bridge.” After the duo split for the first time in 1991, Wynonna began a successful solo career. They reunited many times over the years and planned to head out on tour again in September 2022 for the final time.