Remember When Naomi Judd Announced Her Retirement?
Naomi Judd stunned the music world when she abruptly announced her retirement in 1990 — but as it turned out, she didn't really go anywhere.
Judd was 44 and on top of the country music world as one-half of the mother-daughter duo the Judds when she dropped the news completely by surprise on Oct. 17, 1990. Judd revealed that she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, forcing her to retire from the Judds and her music career to deal with the potentially fatal side effects of the disease, which affects the liver. She also announced that her daughter, Wynonna, would continue into a solo career without her.
"I have always told Wy and our fans the only thing that could stop me from this career that I so desperately love is my health," Judd said (quote via the Los Angeles Times). "Unfortunately, that has happened."
The Judds were in the midst of their Love Can Build a Bridge Tour at the time of Judd's announcement, and they said what they thought would be their final goodbye to their fans on their Farewell Tour in 1991. But that did not turn out to be the last fans heard from either Naomi Judd or the duo — not by a longshot.
Naomi Judd became a spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation following her retirement, and she founded the Naomi Judd Education and Research Fund, which provided education and support about Hepatitis C. She starred in a TV movie titled A Holiday Romance in 1999, and returned to the stage for a Judds New Year's Eve concert in Phoenix, Ariz, that year.
The Judds reunited for the Power to Change Tour in 2000, and again in 2010 for what they said would be their final tour, the Last Encore Tour. Naomi Judd continued a busy schedule as a speaker, author, reality TV personality and more, and she attributed her revitalized health to a "mind, body and spirit approach" that combined conventional medicine with acupuncture, meditation and other alternative medicine, according to an interview with Lifescript. She later said she'd been in remission since 1999, and used the word "cured" to describe herself.
Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, 2022, at the age of 76.
See the Judds Through the Years