NAOMI Judd died by a self inflicted gunshot wound, her devastated daughter Ashley has confirmed.

The music legend took her own life aged 76 at the end of last month following years of mental health struggles.

Ashley told GMA on Wednesday: "She used a weapon, my mother used a firearm.

"So that’s the piece of information that we are very uncomfortable sharing, but understand that we’re in a position that if we don’t say it someone else is going to."

Ashley also confirmed that she discovered her mom dead, adding: "I went upstairs to let her know that her good friend was there and I discovered her.

"I have both grief and trauma from discovering her.”


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 Judd's daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, had announced their mother's, citing her death as a "disease of mental illness."

"Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered," the sisters wrote on Instagram.

"We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory," they added.

Judd's death came the day before the mother-daughter duo, The Judds, were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony on May 1.

Ashley said on Thursday: "Our mother couldn’t hang on until she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by her peers.

"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."

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Wynonna had told the audience at the Nashville ceremony: “I didn’t prepare anything tonight because I knew mom would probably talk the most.

“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.”

“I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today,” a crying Ashley added.


Judd had detailed her struggle with mental health in a heartbreaking interview before her death.

In a 2016 interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, Judd revealed the “completely debilitating and life-threatening” depression she battled.

Judd also documented her struggles in her book, "River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope."

When asked why she was willing to talk publicly about her battle, Judd said, "because what I've been through is extreme.”

“Because it was so deep and so completely debilitating and life-threatening and because I have processed and worked so hard for these last four years.”

Judd recalls thinking, “If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”


The singer said her struggles stemmed from being molested by a family member as a child.

“I think that's one of the reasons I wanted to write the book … because I never acknowledged all the bad stuff that people did to me," she said.

Judd didn't have immediate family members there to support her, she said, so she had only herself to rely on.

“I had to realize that in a way I had to parent myself,” Judd said.

“We all have this inner child, and I needed, for the first time in my life, to realize that I got a raw deal, OK, now I'm a big girl. Put on your big girl pants and deal with it.

“I started in therapy and I call it radical acceptance,” she said. “Every day I exercised.”


In 2017, Judd said in an interview on TODAY that at one point, "I didn't get off my couch for two years."

"I was so depressed that I couldn't move. My husband and my girlfriends and Ashley would come over and I would just go upstairs and lock the door to my bedroom."

Judd added that she even contemplated suicide.

"That’s how bad it can get,” she added.

“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 at one point, her family called 911 in the middle of the night to get her the help she needed.

Through different treatments and therapies, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), Judd said she was able to stabilize.

"One of the things that happens with depression is throughout my life I've had a lot of tragedies … and you just keep squelching it down, you just keep suppressing it and all of a sudden one day if you don't deal with it, this starts coming out sideways."


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, they called it quits in 1991 after doctors diagnosed Naomi Judd 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.

Originally from Kentucky, Judd was working as a nurse when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally.

Their unique harmonies, together with elements of acoustic music, bluegrass and blues, made them stand out in the genre at the time.

The Judds released six studio albums and an EP between 1984 and 1991 and won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music.

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They earned a total of five Grammy Awards together on hits like Why Not Me and Give A Little Love.

The Judds sang about family, the belief in marriage and the virtue of fidelity.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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