Dolly Parton was “so shocked” to hear her close friend and country music peer Naomi Judd had passed away.
The ‘Jolene’ hitmaker has paid a touching tribute to the late singer, who was the same age as Dolly, 76, when she passed away following a battle with her mental health last week.
Dolly says she and Naomi were “very similar” and loved the same things, while the late star and her daughters, Ashley and Wynonna, have been like sisters to her.
In a statement on her Instagram page, the music legend began: “I am so shocked to hear about Naomi’s passing. 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.”
The ‘9 to 5’ hitmaker went on to send her “congratulations” to Wynonna and her parent after The Judds – the Grammy-winning mother-daughter duo they formed in the 80s – were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday (01.05.22), just one day after Naomi’s death.
Dolly added: “Congratulations Wynonna for you and your mom being inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday.
“I am so sorry I couldn’t be there but I can hear Naomi saying “Oh well, a day late and a Dolly short.”
Congratulations and condolences are both in order.”
She concluded: “Just know that I will always love you.”
Struggling to hold back the tears while accepting the honour on behalf of their mom in Nashville, Tennessee, Ashley said: “I’m sorry that she couldn’t hang on until today.”
Wynonna vowed: “Though my heart is broken I will continue to sing.”
The ‘Have Mercy’ singer’s passing was confirmed by the siblings in a statement, which read: “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered.”
The sisters did not elaborate on the exact cause of their mother’s death but said they are “navigating profound grief”.
They continued: “We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”