Singer Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s Disease and can no longer sing. In an interview with magazine AARP, which will be published next month, Ronstadt confirms the diagnosis and admits that no one can sing with the disease.
The 67 year old star was diagnosed eight months ago and was shocked although she had started displaying symptoms eight years ago. Ronstadt had originally blamed her symptoms on the fact that she had contracted a tick disease. Ronstadt thought that her trembling hands were due to a previous shoulder operation. But it was not until Ronstadt could no longer sing that she decided to seek out a neurologist. She knew that her lack of a singing voice was due to a lack of a muscle control, but she admits that her diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease came out of the blue.
Linda Ronstadt has been hailed as the first female rock and roll superstar and the most successful female rock and roll star of the 1970s. Linda Ronstadt was the first female singer to sell out large arenas and stadium shows. The Chicago Sun Times called her the “Dean of the 1970s school of female rock singers” and Time magazine described her as “a rarity … to (have survived) … in the shark-infested deeps of rock.”
Ronstadt is known for the 1970s hits, “You’re no good” and “When Will I Be Loved,” and “Blue Bayou.” Linda Ronstadt is also known for singing the theme song, “Somewhere Out There,” with James Ingram, for the movie, An American Tail. In the 90s, Ronstadt had two hit duets with Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers, “I Don’t Know Much” and “All My Life.”
Linda Ronstadt is also known for her high profile romances with former California governor, Jerry Brown, and Star Wars filmmaker, George Lucas. Ronstadt has never married but adopted a daughter, Mary, in 1990 and a son, Carlos, in 1994.
Ronstadt started singing in public when she was 14 years old. When she was 18 she formed the group, The Stone Poneys, with guitarists, Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards. The band produced one hit, “Different Drum” before Ronstadt went solo in 1969.
In 2006 Ronstadt released her last album, Adieu False Heart, which was nominated for two Grammy awards. In 2011, Ronstadt announced her retirement from music.
Ronstadt will publish a memoir next month, titled Simple Dreams-A Musical Memoir, which was also the name of one of her most successful albums.
Ronstadt has won 11 Grammy Awards during the course of her career and has a vocal range that spans the octaves from contralto to Soprano.
By Karen Walcott