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 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.
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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 Grammys 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 Judds' eight-year reign as superstars, Naomi became infinitely more to the public than a singer, songwriter, and engaging performer. She came to represent every woman. 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 Judds' 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 finished her sixth solo-album "New Day Dawning." 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.
A new journey for the Judds began as Naomi and Wynonna reunited for a once-in-a-lifetime reunion concert at the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999. Clearly, it was a "New Day Dawning" as the memorable evening kicked off a phenomenal reunion tour for Wynonna and Naomi. Mercury Records will release a commemorative two disc recording from the evening on May 9, 2000!
The Judds recently wrapped their amazing "Power to Change Tour" with dates from Denver to Lexington in the spring of 2000! They performed to over 200,000 people in some twenty dates and set the music world on fire once again! Their first recording in over a decade, "Stuck in Love" is currently racing up the charts and is destined to be another chart topper for The Judds. "Changing for the Better" has never sounded more real...The Judds continue their unprecedented successes in ways unimaginable!
Younger daughter Ashley has become an award-winning actress in feature films such as "Ruby in Paradise," "Heat," "A Time To Kill," "Simon Birch", the recent $100+ million blockbuster of 1999 "Double Jeopardy" and the 1997 thriller "Kiss the Girls." Ashley can currently be seen in "Where The Heart Is" with Natalie Portman, Stockard Channing, Sally Field and Joan Cusack. 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 co-executive producer.
Many of Naomi's discoveries and life lessons can be found in her book, 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.
Besides The Judds tour, several amazing events have recently happened for Naomi. Naomi and Wynonna are spokespersons for Big Kmart and have starred in a series of commercials in the last six months for the retail chain. In conjunction with Ladies Home Journal and Kmart, Naomi and Wynonna were also instrumental in establishing "The Power to Change Awards" which will soon acknowledge one lucky woman's triumph over struggle from entries submitted from across the country. She is also starring in the critically acclaimed major motion picture, "Family Tree" with Robert Forster and Cliff Robertson.
She also published her second children's book entitled, Guardian Angels in 2000. Look for it in stores today. It follows closely on the heels of her 1999 bestselling children's story, "Love Can Build a Bridge." The book which shares the same name as the Grammy-award winning song by the Judds is beautifully illustrated by Suzanne Duranceau and includes a cassette tape of "Love Can Build a Bridge" as performed by the Judds. Additionally, another recent milestone in the very versatile career of Naomi included a live radio show broadcast every Sunday evening. Hosted by Naomi, the program entitled "Heart to Heart" was broadcast LIVE across the country.
A woman of simple, practical wisdom, the philosophical Naomi reveals why "my solution to America's problems is the kitchen table." Because she has passed life's worst tests in such an elegant, yet down- to-earth way, Naomi has become 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.
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