Naomi Judd, Grammy winner and mother of Wynonna and Ashley, dies at 76

The Grammy-winning country musician Naomi Judd died last month after shooting herself, her daughter, the actor Ashley Judd, said on Thursday. 

“I will share with you that she used a weapon,” Judd said of her mother, who died on 30 April following a long battle with depression. “My mother used a firearm.” 

Ashley said she understood the public would know her mother died by her own hand once an autopsy was released, but wanted to be in control of the news. 

“We’re very uncomfortable sharing but understand that we are in the position [where] if we don’t say it, someone else is going to,” Ashley said.

Ashley’s sister Wynonna, also a renowned singer who formed the Judds with her mother, did not appear on ABC because she was not ready to talk about her mother’s death.

It was one day before Naomi and Wynonna were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“I have both grief and trauma from discovering her,” Ashley told her interviewer, Diane Sawyer.

She added that her mother had both resources and support in her battle with depression.

“My mother knew that she was seen and she was heard in her anguish,” she said.

Despite this, Ashley said, her mother became unable to cope.

Naomi wrote a book called River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope. 

“I spent two years on my couch,” she said.

Born Diana Ellen Judd in Ashland, Kentucky, Naomi was a nurse when she and Wynonna started singing together, blending unique harmonies with acoustic music, bluegrass and blues.

Besides her daughters, Naomi’s survivors include her husband Larry Strickland, who was a backing singer for Elvis Presley.