“I was so shocked to hear about Naomi’s passing,” Parton said on Instagram. “Naomi and I were close. We were very similar.”
Parton points out that she and Judd were the same age and were both Capricorns. The women also have similar backgrounds, each being raised in the rural south – Parton in Sevierville, Tennessee, and Judd in Ashland, Kentucky, both the heart of Appalachia.
“We loved big hair, makeup and music,” she continued. “I have always loved Ashley, Wynonna and Naomi. They’ve always been like sisters to me.”
Parton congratulated Wynonna Judd on her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and apologized for not being there.
She said she could hear Naomi saying, “Oh well, a day late and a Dolly short.”
“Congratulations and condolences are both in order,” Parton wrote. “Just know that I will always love you.”
Judd is the mother of her duo partner Wynonna Judd and actress Ashley Judd unexpectedly died on Saturday. Her daughters shared the news of her passing in a statement provided to the press.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “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.”
Naomi Judd’s husband, Larry Strickland, also confirmed the news of her death in a statement.
“Entertainment icon Naomi Judd passed away April 30, 2022, outside of Nashville. Her husband, Larry Strickland, of 32 years, will not be making any further statements. Naomi Judd’s family requests privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time,” the statement read.
The Judds performed their hit “Love Can Build a Bridge” on the CMT Music Awards earlier this month. It was their first performance on an awards show in more than 20 years.
Throughout their storied and sometimes unpredictable career, The Judds celebrated 14 No. 1 songs, and every single of theirs became a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s country charts. Their hit songs include “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ’Bout the Good Ole Days),” and “Have Mercy.”
The duo sold more than 20 million albums and is the first all-female group to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.