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Naomi Judd

Although she would modestly insist otherwise, there has never been anything simple or commonplace about Naomi Judd – not her vision, her life, her faith, nor the music that she and her daughter, Wynonna, created as The Judds.

She dreamed bigger, worked harder, took greater risks, and triumphed more resoundingly than most people ever will.

From the beginning of The Judds' meteoric rise, Naomi's "china doll" looks and magnetic personality paralleled the duo's music for the public's attention and appreciation. As their songs became #1 hits, their RCA albums went platinum, and their concerts became sellouts. Their popularity kept them undefeated for eight consecutive years at all three major country award shows.

They received six Grammy's, and a vast array of other awards and honors. Bringing values and insistence on integrity to every aspect of her public and personal life, Naomi helped The Judds set new standards of excellence and ushered in the resurgence of country music's popularity.

America fell in love with the self-proclaimed country girl from Ashland, Kentucky. From small town humble beginnings, this daughter of a gas station owner father and riverboat cook mother became a hope seller to the duo's legions of fans. The music industry labeled her the "Cinderella" of country music because of her real life rags-to-riches story.

During the Judd's eight-year reign as superstars, Naomi became infinitely more to the public than a singer, songwriter, and engaging performer. She came to represent "everywoman." Having been an RN, a secretary, waitress and clerk, the divorced, working mother stood for the modern American family, with all its defects and glories.

People with faith believe that when one door closes, God opens another. Diagnosed in 1990 with a potentially life-threatening liver disease, Naomi faced the tragedy with characteristic strength and unwavering optimism. Declaring "the Lord as her doctor and the fans as her medicine," she embarked on the triumphant 1991 Farewell Tour across the United States to personally thank the fans who had befriended her. Music critic Gerry Wood called Naomi "the most fan-oriented superstar in country music history."

The Judd's Farewell Tour was the industry's top grossing tour in 1991, and their Farewell Concert on December 4 was the most successful musical event in cable's pay-per-view history. During this final performance, Naomi reminded an emotional Wynonna that the "deepest source of your identity is God," and admonished her beloved partner to "continue to go toward the Light."

Wynonna has subsequently launched an astonishingly successful solo career, making country music history when she became the first female whose studio album sold triple platinum. Today, Wynonna is called "The Voice of Her Generation" and recently released her fourth solo-album "The Other Side." Naomi, a Grammy award-winning songwriter, penned Wynonna's #1 hit "My Strongest Weakness" and occasionally lends her distinctive harmony to special projects. She has made only one singing appearance since the Judds' Farewell Concert to perform before a billion people worldwide at the 1994 Super Bowl Half-time Show.

Younger daughter Ashley has become an award-winning actress in feature films such as "Ruby in Paradise," "Heat," "A Time To Kill" and the 1997 thriller "Kiss the Girls." They live on adjoining farms outside of Nashville.

Naomi's autobiography "Love Can Build a Bridge" stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for several months and was the basis for the critically acclaimed NBC mini-series for which she served as coexecutive producer.

Naomi recently hosted her own prime-time specials on The Family Channel. Each of the two one hourlong programs entitled Very Personal With Naomi Judd featured three of television's hottest stars. With her first, Naomi turned the tables on three of America's favorite talk show hosts – Jay Leno, Larry King and Rosie O'Donnell - and with her second special, she visited with superstars Tim Allen, Fran Drescher and Jane Seymour.

"I am intrigued by the human condition and real people, Naomi admits. That's what fascinates me. That's what really makes me jump out of bed every day and go ‘Yeah! Who am I going to meet today? And what am I going to find out?'"

Many of Naomi's discoveries and life lessons can be found in her latest literary endeavor "Naomi's Home Companion: A Treasury of Favorite Recipes, Food For Thought, and Kitchen Wit and Wisdom" (GT Publishing, October 1997). It's a collection of Naomi's reflections on human behavior – her recipes for living – as well as favorite recipes from her own kitchen, representing the long Judd family tradition of cooking.

Naomi serves up dishes she learned from her riverboat cook mother, the quick-to-put-together meals she prepared as a single, working mom and the dinners the family now shares with friends around the kitchen table at her farm, Peaceful Valley. The colorful book has never before seen photos and is peppered with anecdotes from her travels and incredible adventures.

A woman of simple, practical wisdom, the philosophical Naomi reveals why "my solution to America's problems is the kitchen table."

That she passed life's worst tests in such an elegant, yet down-to-earth way has made Naomi one of the entertainment world's most admired women and has endeared her to fans as the star next door. She is a highly sought-after inspirational and motivational speaker, who translates faith and values, medical knowledge, humor, common sense and belief in the mind-body-spirit connection into a powerful and unforgettable message.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Naomi Judd Facts

Birth NameDiana Ellen Judd
OccupationMusician, Actress
BirthdayJanuary 11, 1946 (77)
BirthplaceAshland, Kentucky, USA
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is Naomi Judd compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.