Naomi Judd recently passed away, and while many would be gathering to say their last goodbye at her funeral, the singer's granddaughter, Grace, will not be present. Continue reading to find out why.
American Actress, Singer, and Songwriter Naomi Judd was one of the most talented country music icons of her time. With a career in the industry spanning decades, she received several accolades and awards for her impact, including a Grammy Award for the Best Country Song.
Unfortunately, on April 30, 2022, the singer passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, a day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Naomi Judd at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV. | Source: Getty Images
Her daughters, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd took to Twitter to announce the tragic news following her demise. They wrote:
"Today, we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. 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."
A few days after Naomi's death, a report from People revealed that the actress died by suicide aged 76. The legend will not only be missed by her two daughters but also her two grandchildren.
Sadly, one of her grandkids will not attend her funeral. Here are more details about the singer's life and her relationship with her family.
NAOMI JUDD HAD DIFFERENT RELATIONSHIPS WITH HER DAUGHTERS
Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna, perform onstage at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, February 1, 1991 | Source: Getty Images
Naomi achieved much success in her career, but it was not the same for her personal life, especially in motherhood. Although the star tried to be the best mother, the rift she would have with her first daughter, Wynonna, was inevitable.
Naomi was only a teenager when she welcomed Wynonna with her then-boyfriend, Charles Jordan. Unfortunately, Jordan abandoned the actress, forcing her to raise her daughter alone.
Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd at The Venetian Las Vegas on October 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.| Source: Getty Images
In 1968, Naomi married Michael Ciminella, and not long after, she gave birth to Ashley. Four years after her wedding, the singer and her husband parted ways, which meant she had to care for her daughters single-handedly, and it wasn't easy.
After the girls came home from school, Judd would help them with their homework and then embark on doing laundry. She would buy groceries with food stamps, feed her daughters, and then after the girls went to bed, Judd would work as a cocktail waitress until about two in the morning.
Inductee Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd speak onstage for the class of 2021 medallion ceremony at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on May 01, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Although it was tasking, it was nothing compared to the difficulty of concealing the identities of her daughters' fathers. Naomi kept it a secret for years and eventually told Wynonna when she was 30.
Finding out that she and Ashley were from different fathers made Wynonna enraged, eventually causing a rift between the mother and daughter.
Ashley Judd, Naomi Judd and Wynonna Judd during APLA 6th Commitment to Life Concert Benefit at Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images
As years passed, Naomi tried to mend their relationship, and during a 2016 interview, the legend confessed that she would always tell her daughter she would have done better. In her words:
"From the day I knew she existed, it was the two of us against the world. Through the decades, we kind of grew up together, and I'm always telling her, 'If I'd known better, I would've done better.'"
Naomi also made it known that even though she loved Wynonna, there were times they needed "a little break from each other." She further said, "We're still a little estranged from each other. And that happens with mother, daughters."
Naomi Judd, Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd during Youth AIDS Gala with Ashley Judd - Arrivals - September 14, 2005 at Washington, DC in Washington, District of Columbia | Source: Getty Images
On the other hand, Naomi's relationship with Wynonna was a far cry from the bond she shared with Ashley. During a chat session, the songwriter spoke about her and her youngest daughter's relationship thus:
"Ashley and I are so stinking much alike. We have the same mannerisms. We both read a whole lot. We both love new places. There's such similarities."
NAOMI WAS A COMPLETELY PRESENT GRANDMA
Wynonna Judd and Naomi Judd of The Judds attend the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images
Before Naomi passed, she cherished her role as a grandmother. The singer was a loving grandma to Wynonna's two kids, Grace and Elijah, who refer to the late singer as "Mawmaw." In a 2008 interview, Naomi admitted that she enjoyed being "completely present" for her grandkids.
One time, she almost missed a flight because Grace and Elijah stopped by to visit her. When Naomi arrived at the airport, the star was asked why she was late, and her reply was:
"Life is more important than show business."
Ashley Judd, Wynonna Judd and Wynonna's Son Elijah Kelley | Source: Getty Images
The Grammy Award winner was never shy about airing her thoughts on being a grandmother. She once noted,
"Being a grandmother is completely different because I trained the girls alone, and now that I have time, I can experience curiosity, playfulness, and all things that were in short supply when I was a mother."
"I do get to experience a second version of childhood as I rediscover things," she added. Asides from sharing the best parts of being a grandparent, Naomi also revealed the terrifying part, which was witnessing the birth of Elijah.
According to the star, Wynonna had difficulty during the birth of her son, but as a registered nurse, Naomi said she was by her daughter's side.
The "Love Can Build a Bridge" star also relayed that she often told her grandkids she "was the first person to see them second only to their mommy."
Then, Naomi would ask Elijah, "Whose boy are you?" and he would reply, "Mawmaw's boy." For the icon, being "Mawmaw" was a reward, which she compared to her Grammy Awards. In her words:
"Being 'Mamaw' is a reward right up there with my seven Grammys and all my other awards and being a New York Times best-selling author and the mother of two good girls."
NAOMI JUDD'S GRANDDAUGHTER WON'T ATTEND HER FUNERAL BECAUSE SHE IS BEHIND BARS
Naomi Judd during "Varney & Co" at Fox News Channel Studios on December 8, 2017 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
Naomi's funeral will take place on May 9, 2022. Sadly, the songwriter's granddaughter, Grace, will not be present, as she is serving her jail term in Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Centre in Nashville, Tennessee.
While the warden grants inmates a leave of absence in extreme cases like the death of a family member, Dorinda Carter, the spokesperson for the State Department of Correction, said they had not received a request for Grace's release.
The singer's granddaughter was first arrested on June 14, 2016, for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of meth. After serving for 30 days, the court eventually placed her on probation in 2017.
In April 2020, she was rearrested after violating the terms of her probation. One year later, Grace was released after she agreed to submit a regular drug test and go through rehab.
Wynonna Judd performs during "A Wynonna & The Big Noise Christmas" at CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on December 14, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Source: Getty Images
However, eight months later, in December, she was arrested again, and her parole was revoked. Wynonna felt nothing but love towards her daughter through all of these times. She declared:
"I will tell you this. My daughter is the strongest Judd woman in our 'herstory.' She's healthier than I was at 23. How she got there - I would not go that way, but I was also sequestered."
"I was on a bus with my mother. Kind of hard to get in trouble. That could have been me if I didn't have music," she added. In December 2022, Grace will be arraigned in court for her next parole hearing, while her final release date will be in April 2024.
"My mama loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her."
HONORING AN ICON
Wynonna Judd speaks onstage for the class of 2021 medallion ceremony at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on May 01, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images
On May 1, 2022, The Judds — the musical duo comprising Naomi and Wynonna— were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Sadly, Naomi was not present, but her daughters were and accepted the honor on her behalf. Wynonna said:
"I didn't prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most"
The Judds — Naomi Judd and her daughter Wynonna at The American Music Awards on January 26, 1987 | Source: Getty Images
"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," she added. While closely holding her sister, who was in tears, Ashley said to the audience:
"My mama loved you so much, and she appreciated your love for her. I'm sorry that she couldn't hang on until today. Your esteem for her and your regard for her really penetrated her heart, and it was your affection for her that did keep her going in these last years."
Indeed, it has been a tough time for the Judd family, and fans, celebrities, and friends continue to send their prayers while everyone tries to recover from the loss of a legend.