Naomi Judd shot herself dead in upstairs room of her beloved 1,000-acre Nashville farmhouse
Grammy-winning singer Naomi Judd shot herself dead in an upstairs home of her Tennessee farmhouse that she seemingly loved.
Naomi showed off the 1,000-acre farm during an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now? in 2016.
The Country Music Hall of Famer owned the Nashville-area property for nearly three decades. Her daughters, actress Ashley Judd and singer Wynonna Judd, also had houses on the property.
‘Ashley lives right up over that hill, right up the road,’ Naomi said in the interview, pointing toward her daughter’s house. She shared that it took her exactly one minute to get from her house to Ashley’s front door, adding: ‘I timed it the other day.’
‘And Miss Wynonna lives right over that hill,’ she said, noting it took about six minutes to get to her elder daughter’s house.
Naomi referred to the property as her ‘haven’ and ‘sanctuary,’ noting that she ‘called it Peaceful Valley the moment I laid eyes on it.’
The 76-year-old singer shot herself at her Tennessee farm on April 30 – a day before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame – after battling her mental health, Ashley told Good Morning America on Thursday.
Ashley, 54, and her sister Wynonna, 57 – who performed with Naomi for years in The Judds – first open up about her death at the Country Music Hall of Fame ceremony on May 1.
Meanwhile Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland, 76, has remained tight-lipped, releasing a short statement saying he was going through a ‘heartbreaking time’.
Naomi Judd showed off her 1,000-acre family farm in a 2016 episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now?
Naomi owned the home for nearly three decades before she fatally shot herself in an upstairs room of the home on April 30
Her daughters, actress Ashley Judd and singer Wynonna Judd, also had houses on the property. Naomi is pictured hugging Wynonna outside of her daughter’s home during in 2016
During the 2016 home tour, Naomi highlighted some of her favorite rooms in the house.
‘This is where it all happens,’ she said of the great room. The singer compared the room to a ‘movie theater’ and even pulled out a bowl of snacks she referred to as ‘concessions.’
Naomi also showed off her kitchen and dining area, parts of the home that were seemingly quite important to her.
‘I do all my own cooking,’ the country music superstar said, before sharing some of her celebrity daughters’ favorite meals. ‘Ashley wants the beef stroganoff [when she comes over and] Wynonna wants chicken continental.’
Additionally, Naomi shared that a round dining table was a must-have because she wanted to create an environment for conversation and stimulating discussion.
‘The kitchen table, you’ll notice that it’s round because I’m very democratic,’ she shared. ‘We want to be able to to face each other.’
Naomi loved her kitchen (pictured), noting that she cooked all her own meals. She even revealed what some of her daughters’ favorite meals were
‘The kitchen table (pictured), you’ll notice that it’s round because I’m very democratic,’ she shared. ‘We want to be able to to face each other’
Naomi referred to the property as her ‘haven’ and ‘sanctuary,’ noting that she ‘called it Peaceful Valley the moment I laid eyes on it’
‘This is where it all happens,’ she said of the great room (pictured). The singer compared the room to a ‘movie theater’ and even pulled out a bowl of snacks she referred to as ‘concessions’
Naomi, who had been battling with her mental health for many years, shot herself in an upstairs room of the home. The upper level, with the exception of her deck, did not air in the Oprah segment.
Her heartbroken daughter Ashley, in her first televised interview since Naomi’s passing, shared details of her death on Thursday morning.
‘She used a weapon…a firearm,’ she revealed. ‘So, that’s the piece of information we’re very uncomfortable sharing.’
Ashley, who was visiting her mother’s home on the family property the day she died, also detailed her last moments with Naomi.
‘It was a mixed day,’ Ashley said. ‘I was at the house visiting, as I am every day, and mom said to me ‘will you stay with me?’ and I said: ‘Of course I will.’
The actress stepped outside to greet a family friend. When she went to notify her mother that their guest had arrived, she found her dead.
‘I went upstairs to let her know that the friend was there and I discovered her,’ Ashley shared. ‘I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.’
The actress, sharing the details of her mother’s death before the release of her autopsy report, reiterated that Naomi was ‘entitled to her dignity and her privacy’ and they will not be disclosing anything else.
Ashley discovered Naomi shortly after she killed herself. The singer died at her home in Franklin, Tennessee (pictured) on April 30
‘I went upstairs to let her know that the friend was there and I discovered her,’ Ashley shared. ‘I have both grief and trauma from discovering her’
Naomi Judd (left) and Wynonna Judd (right), of The Judds, perform at the Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country in Las Vegas in April 2011
Naomi took her own life the day before she and Wynonna were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
‘Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers,’ Ashley shared in the GMA interview, which aired Thursday.
‘That is the level of catastrophe of what was going on inside of her, because the barrier between the regard in which they held her couldn’t penetrate into her heart and the lie the disease told her was so convincing.’
Despite the family’s immense grief, Wynonna attended the induction ceremony on May 1.
‘I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew Mom would probably talk the most,’ Wynonna told the audience attending the Nashville ceremony.
‘I’m gonna make this fast, because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed. It’s a very strange dynamic, to be this broken and this blessed…. Though my heart’s broken, I will continue to sing, because that’s what we do.’
Wynonna (left) and Ashley Judd (right) break down during The Judds induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on May 1, 2022
Wynonna (left) and Ashley Judd (right) are pictured at the County Music Hall of Fame. They are looking at the plaque honoring The Judds and their late mother, Naomi
Ricky Skaggs presents Ashley Judd the medallion that would have been given to her mother Naomi Judd during The Judds’ Country Music Hall of Fame induction on May 1
Naomi struggled with her mental health for many years, having previously admitted to undergoing electro-shock therapy and considering suicide in recent years.
‘Mom was a brilliant conversationalist. She was a star, an underrated songwriter, and she was someone who suffered from mental illness, who had trouble getting off the sofa,’ Ashley shared. ‘But her brain hurt. It physically hurt.
‘When you’re talking about mental illness, it’s important to make the distinction between the loved one and the disease,’ she said. ‘My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish and she was walked home.’
‘I really accepted the love my mother was capable of giving me because I knew she was fragile.
‘I savored those moments and every time we hugged and she drank me in, I was very present for those tactile experiences because I knew there would come a time when she would be gone, whether it was sooner or whether it was later, whether it was by the disease or another cause.’
The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. The duo is pictured performing in 1988
Naomi Judd is pictured with her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley in an undated photograph
Larry Strickland, Ashley Judd’s father and Naomi’s husband of 32 years, said: ‘Naomi Judd’s family request privacy during this heartbreaking time’
Naomi had written extensively about her struggles with depression, and even referenced suicide in an open letter published in People magazine in 2018.
‘For everyone mourning the death of someone who committed suicide, an inevitable question arises: Why did this happen? Unfortunately, we don’t have very good answers,’ she wrote.
‘We do know that suicidal behavior accompanies many behavioral brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Suicide is actually one of the leading causes of preventable death among these mental illnesses.’
In her 2018 essay, Naomi Judd advocated for more research into the nature of suicide.
‘To understand this issue better, we have to bring the study of suicide into mainstream neuroscience and treat the condition like every other brain disorder,’ she wrote.
‘People who commit suicide are experiencing problems with mood, impulse control and aggression, all of which involve discrete circuits in the brain that regulate these aspects of human experience, but we still don’t understand how these circuits go haywire in the brains of suicide victims.’
She described what depression feels like to her in an interview with People magazine while promoting her 2016 book.
‘Nobody can understand it unless you’ve been there,’ she said.
‘Think of your very worst day of your whole life – someone passed away, you lost your job, you found out you were being betrayed, that your child had a rare disease – you can take all of those at once and put them together and that’s what depression feels like.
Naomi Judd posts a picture of her book ‘River of Time’ on Instagram with caption: Only by telling our stories will more people understand. Only by telling the truth will we stop the stigma. I’ve told my story. And now you can tell yours. You are not alone. I’m still here
Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, died at age 76
Wynonna Judd, left, and her mother, Naomi Judd, of The Judds, perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta on Jan. 30, 1994
She told the Today Show in 2017 that after The Judds stopped touring, she didn’t get off the couch for two years, falling into ‘extreme’ and ‘severe’ depression.
‘[Fans] see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am,’ she said. ‘But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks, and not get out of my pyjamas, and not practice normal hygiene. It was really bad.
‘When I came off the tour I went into this deep, dark absolutely terrifying hole and I couldn’t get out,’ she added. ‘I spent two years on my couch.’
She said she even scouted out a bridge near her family’s farm to jump from.
‘That’s how bad it can get,’ she said. ‘It’s hard to describe. You go down in this deep, dark hole of depression and you don’t think that there’s another minute.’
She said that one night, her husband and daughter Ashley called 911 and she entered therapy, eventually undergoing ECT (electroshock therapy) to ‘jump start’ the chemicals in her brain.
Dolly Parton and Wynona and Naomi Judd perform ‘Stand By Your Man,’ as part of a five woman group vocal, at the 35th annual Academy of Country Music Awards
Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd are pictured at the 2022 CMT Awards on April 11
The mother-daughter performers scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. After rising to the top of country music, the duo called it quits in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi with hepatitis.
The Judds’ hits included Love Can Build a Bridge in 1990, Mama He’s Crazy in 1984, Why Not Me in 1984, Turn It Loose in 1988, Girls Night Out in 1985, Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain in 1986 and Grandpa in 1986.
The pair last performed together at the CMT Music Awards of April 11, singing Love Can Build a Bridge. They were accompanied by a gospel choir.
The Judds had also recently announced a farewell tour, the first by Naomi and Wynonna in more than a decade.
The short, 10-date tour, which was being produced by Sandbox Live and Live Nation, was to start on September 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and wrap up October 28 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
They first got attention singing on Ralph Emery’s morning show in early 1980, where the host named them the ‘Soap Sisters’ because Naomi said she used to make her own soap.
After the success of ‘Mama He’s Crazy,’ they won the Horizon Award at the 1984 CMA Awards. Naomi started her speech by saying, ‘Slap the dog and spit in the fire!’
Daughter Ashley Judd is an actress known for her roles in such movies as ‘Kiss the Girls,’ ‘Double Jeopardy’ and ‘Heat.’
Larry Strickland, who was a backup singer for Elvis Presley, was married to Naomi Judd for 32 years.