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Naomi Judd, a Country Music Legend, Committed Suicide After a Long Battle With Mental Illness!


Naomi Judd, the legendary country singer and half of the mother-daughter duo The Judds, committed herself on Saturday at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with mental illness, according to several sources. A representative for the late singer has yet to comment.

In a heartbreaking statement acquired by PEOPLE on Saturday, Naomi’s daughters, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd revealed their mother’s death.

“We had a tragedy today as sisters. Our lovely mother succumbed to the affliction of mental illness. We’re completely shattered. We’re dealing with a lot of sadness right now, but we know that as much as we loved her, so did the rest of the world “According to the statement, “We’ve entered the uncharted ground.”

Larry Strickland, Naomi’s 32-year-old husband, issued the following statement: “During this difficult time, Naomi Judd’s family has requested privacy. At this time, no other information will be shared.”

Naomi was a longstanding supporter of mental health and penned an open letter for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2018, which she shared with PEOPLE exclusively.

“The inevitable inquiry for anyone grieving the death of someone who committed suicide is, “Why did this happen?” We don’t have very good answers, unfortunately, “At the time, the musician wrote.

“Suicidal behavior is known to be associated with a variety of behavioral brain illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Among these mental diseases, suicide is one of the main causes of preventable mortality.”

“To better understand this issue, we must integrate suicide research into mainstream neuroscience and treat it like any other brain disorder,” the message read.

Naomi Judd, a Country Music Legend, Committed Suicide After a Long Battle With Mental Illness

“People who commit suicide have issues with mood, impulse control, and aggression, all of which are regulated by discrete circuits in the brain, but we still don’t know how these circuits go crazy in the brains of suicide victims.”

In her 2016 book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, the country singer opened up about her mental health, stating she had suffered from suicidal depression.

Naomi told PEOPLE at the time, “Nobody can grasp it unless you’ve been there.” “Think of the worst day of your life — someone died, you lost your job, you discovered you were being betrayed, your child was diagnosed with a rare disease – put all of those things together, and that’s what sadness feels like.”

Naomi and 57-year-old Wynonna have 14 chart-topping singles under their belts as mother-daughter duo The Judds, including “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Turn It Loose,” “Change of Heart,” and “Let Me Tell You About Love.

” They also won five Grammys, nine Country Music Association Awards, and seven ACM Awards.

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Naomi was afflicted with hepatitis C, which she had contracted while working as a nurse, and the duo quit performing in 1991. The duo had recently performed on stage at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month, marking their first broadcast appearance in 20 years.

The two sang out their 1990 song “Love Can Build a Bridge,” accompanied by a gospel choir, and joined together at the conclusion for a heartwarming family moment.

The family act also recently announced The Final Tour, their first tour in almost a decade. The virtually sold-out 10-city arena tour was planned to begin on Sept. 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and conclude on Oct. 28 in Nashville.

On Sunday, the Judds were inducted into Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, and Wynonna was there to accept the accolade and give a sad but composed speech.

“I’m going to make this quick because my heart is shattered — and I feel so blessed,” Wynonna Judd told the 800 people in attendance at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction event in Nashville’s CMA Theater. “It’s an odd dynamic to be this broken and blessed at the same time.”

Kyle Young, the night’s MC and CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, spoke on the performers’ family bond and the much-publicized turmoil in their relationship.

“We’ll never know all of their problems, but we’ll always know all of their music,” he remarked. “Naomi and Wynonna, a mother and daughter brought together and formed together, have had their stories widely recorded. It’s all difficult, yet it all came out looking beautiful and triumphant.”

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