“I was so shocked to hear about Naomi’s passing,” Parton wrote in a moving statement. “Naomi and I were close. We were very similar. We were the same age and both Capricorns. We loved big hair, makeup and music. I have always loved Ashley, Wynonna and Naomi. They’ve always been like sisters to me.”
Parton then congratulated Wynonna Judd and her mother’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and apologized for not being able to attend the Sunday ceremony.
“Congratulations Wynonna for you and your mom being inducted into the hall of fame yesterday,” she continued. “I am sorry I couldn’t be there but I can hear Naomi saying now ‘Oh well, a day late and a Dolly short.’ Congratulations and condolences are both in order. Just know that I will always love you.”
Both Wynonna and her sister Ashley announced their mother’s death in a social media statement posted on Saturday, April 30.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” the statement read. “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.”
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The pair were also in attendance at Sunday’s ceremony to accept the induction on their mother’s behalf. Wynonna, who sang with Naomi as part of the mother-daughter musical duo called the Judds, delivered an emotional speech about her musical partner.
“I’m going to make this fast because my heart’s broken, and I feel so blessed,” she said. “It’s a very strange dynamic to be this broken and this blessed.”
In addition to Parton’s tribute, fellow country musicians Carrie Underwood, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Mickey Guyton also paid their respects to Judd.
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