Who are Naomi Judd's children? Wynonna and Ashley say 'we are shattered'

While Wynonna formed one half of 'The Judd', Ashley starred in the 1995 drama motion picture 'Heat'


                            Who are Naomi Judd's children? Wynonna and Ashley say 'we are shattered'
Naomi with daughter Wynonna (L), and Ashley (R) (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame, Museum and ashley_judd/Instagram)

Grammy-winning country vocalist Naomi Judd, who founded the dynamic pair 'The Judd' along with her daughter Wynonna, died aged 76 on Saturday, April 30. The Judds had a number of successful singles in the 1980s and 1990s. They produced the compilation album of 12 songs back in 1994, including Grammy-winning hits 'Why Not Me', 'Mama He's Crazy', and 'Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)'. The singer died just one day before The Judds were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Over three decades, the pair achieved 14 No 1 hits. They split as a performing act in 1991 after Naomi was diagnosed with hepatitis. The Judds had as many as 20 top 10 hits between 1984 and 1991 and tallied five Grammys, nine CMA Awards, and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. They were named the top vocal duo by the Academy of Country Music seven years in a row.

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Born Diana Ellen Judd on January 11, 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky, the late singer went on to marry Michael Ciminella, despite being pregnant with another man's child. She subsequently had to miss her high school graduation to give birth to her child, Christina (Wynonna), in 1964. She later gave birth to Ashley after moving to Los Angeles with her husband in 1972. She and Ciminella soon divorced. She worked secretarially, waitressing and modeling jobs, and moved back to Kentucky.

Naomi eventually went on to form The Judds when her daughter Wynonna was 19. She soon met producer Brent Maher, and the duo was signed to RCA Records. Their single 'Mama, He’s Crazy' made it to the top of Billboard's country charts a year later.

Who are Naomi Judd's children?

Naomi Judd was the mother of two daughters -- Ashley Judd, 54, and Wynonna Judd, 57. Both the sisters tweeted about their mother following her death. "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," both of them individually wrote on Twitter.



 



 

Wynonna and Naomi garnered various hits together as The Judds. Wynonna went solo after disbanding in 1991 due to Naomi's health concerns. Her popular songs include 'She Is His Only Need', 'I Saw The Light', 'No One Else On Earth', and 'To Be Loved By You'. Wynonna had said during an interview with The Tennessean in 2019, "She was 36 and I was 18. To go from the outhouse to the White House, to know that we went from welfare to millionaire, and we’re the American dream. People are going to see this and see themselves in us. It’s important to remember we are a mother and daughter who came out of nothing and made it … and if we can do it, you can, too.”

Wynonna met Arch Kelley III in 1993 and married on January 21, 1996, when she was four months pregnant with their second child. Their son Elijah Judd was born on December 23, 1994, before they were married. Wynonna's second husband was her former bodyguard D R Roach. The pair married on November 22, 2003, in Tennessee, but in 2007, he was arrested for sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. Five days later, she filed for divorce. She became engaged to her boyfriend, musician Cactus Moser, in 2011 and the two married in June 2012. The same year, Moser was severely injured in a motorcycle crash in South Dakota. As a result, his left leg had to be amputated above the knee.

Wynonna's daughter Grace was sentenced to 8 years in prison for violating her probation period in June 2018.  She pleaded guilty to possession, manufacturing, and distribution of methamphetamines.

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 (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

Ashley, on the other hand, gained popularity during the 1990s after she appeared in a number of films. She starred alongside Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer in the 1995 drama motion picture 'Heat'. She was also seen in 'Kiss the Girls', 'Where the Heart Is', 'Dolphin Tale', and 'A Time to Kill'. Ashley starred with Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Winslet, and Theo James in the 'Divergent' series. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award at the 2012 ceremony for her role on the TV show 'Missing'. She is also a political activist.



 

Ashley attended 13 schools before college, including the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky), Paul G Blazer High School (Ashland, Kentucky), and Franklin High School in Tennessee. She majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater, and women's studies. For a brief period during a school break, she tried modeling. Ashley got engaged to Scottish racing driver Dario Franchitti in December 1999. The pair married in December 2001 and divorced in 2013, and have no children. Ashley is involved in humanitarian work, which focuses on gender equality and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.