Happy Birthday Naomi Judd!

Happy Birthday to Naomi Judd!

Most people know that it was chronic hepatitis that forced an abrupt end to Naomi Judd’s stellar musical career. But do you know how it started?

It all started as an un-planned, un-wed pregnancy at the age of 17. Course then she was known as Diana Ellen Judd in her hometown of Ashland, Kentucky. She got married to Michael Ciminella, the father of her child, in January of 1964. And little Christina Ciminella was born in May that same year. Just a few years later she had her second child, Ashley.

But the marriage dissolved in 1972, leaving Diana (Naomi) to raise 2 girls on her own. She worked as a secretary, waitress and as hospital nurse to pay the bills. She even had a stint as a weather girl on a TV Station owned by Lyndon B Johnson…

It wasn’t until 1983 that Diana and her daughter Christina decided to start a country band, although Ashley wanted to go into acting instead (which worked out for her too). The duet wanted to change their names to reflect this new start. Diana became Naomi from the book of Ruth in the Bible. Christina supposedly earned her name from Asleep at the Wheel singer, Ray Benson, and the city of Winona, Arizona.

So Naomi and Wynonna Judd were (re)born… followed by a series of Grammy Award Winning songs…

Love Can Build A Bridge cover, Courtesy naomijudd.com

If you’ve ever wanted an INCREDIBLY open look at Naomi Judd’s life, she released a very open memoir called

Love Can Build A Bridge.