Ronstadts Documentary The Sound Of My Voice Addresses The Impact That Parkinsons Had On Her Career
While The Sound of My Voice places its focus on celebrating Ronstadt’s 50 years of influence in the music industry and the events of her life that helped her rise to fame, it also reflects on her Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the early retirement it forced her to take.
According to NPR, Ronstadt sings briefly in the documentary with her nephew, but refuses to call the limited ability she still has “singing.”
Deadline reported last month that, on New Year’s Day, CNN will host the documentary’s television debut.
Michael J Fox Credits His Wife Tracy Pollan For Helping Him Through His Diagnosis And Beyond
When diagnosed with a chronic disease as Michael J. Fox was, it’s only natural to ask, “Why?” Perhaps there’s a comfort in understanding the cause and effect in this situation. Maybe just being able to connect the dots creates some control. However, the “why” is often the most difficult if not impossible factor to determine.
Despite all of the research into Parkinson’s, the exact cause of it remains unknown, according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Several components are connected to the disease, but like random jigsaw puzzle pieces, it is still not clear how these elements come together to cause Parkinson’s. What we do know is that early-onset Parkinson’s usually has a genetic factor . In fact, research is finding connections between certain genes and the likelihood of developing this form of Parkinson’s disease. Yet, it is possible to have these genes and never develop the disease at any point in your life.
Despite all of the unknowns, Fox has maintained an optimistic outlook in part because of the support of his wife Tracy Pollan. “We didn’t know what to expect,” Fox tells NBC’s Today. “One of the things I’ll always love Tracy for is that at that moment, she didn’t blink.” And according to a teary-eyed Fox, through all the ups and downs that followed, she still hasn’t blinked.
Dr Noel Has Never Conducted A Medical Examination Of The Patient He Purports To Diagnose
Ronstadt Knows There Is ‘nothing’ She Can Do About Her Disease But Remains Positive
Still, the septuagenarian soldiers on. Shortly after the MusiCares gala, she ventured with Browne to Mexico as part of a cultural arts program that teaches music and dance to children. In September 2019, she returned to the spotlight for the release of the documentary she signed up for years ago, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, gamely discussing the loss of her physical acumen and unforgettable singing voice.
“It’s like not having a leg or an arm, but there’s nothing I can do about it,”she told People, adding the spark of optimism that has helped push her forward through tough times. “In my mind — in my imagination — I can still sing.”
Lsvt Big Therapy Can Make A Positive Impact With Movement And Quality Of Life
The good news for Parkinson’s Disease patients is a relatively new therapy called LSVT BIG. Michael McKindley, DPT, in our Costa Mesa office was one of the first physical therapists in Orange County to receive certification in this therapy that is showing great results in improving the lives of patients. He has this to say:
“We all know that Parkinson’s Disease is a very debilitating and life changing disease,” said McKindley. “Researchers are working very hard toward finding a cure and reducing the effects of this neurological condition that limits the body’s ability to move and do everyday tasks. There is also good news for patients with this diagnosis. A relatively new physical therapy program called LSVT BIG is having great success in helping patients combat the physical limitations from Parkinson’s disease.
“The idea is to improve the individual’s ability to move and complete day to day tasks. We emphasize tasks that are challenging our patients. For example slow and shuffling gait. We create a program specifically around that patients’ goal and practice and implement strategies that will increase walking speed, stride length, balance and most importantly safely and fall prevention. LSVT BIG combined with our balance and strength training programs is taking Parkinson patients to functional levels we have never seen before.”
ABC News has a great story on the disease discussing both Linda and Michael J. Fox.
She Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease A Decade After Her Symptoms Began
Meanwhile, the physical problems worsened. Along with experiencing debilitating back pain, Ronstadt found herself struggling to do mundane tasks like brushing her teeth.
Dealing with the loss of touring revenue, Ronstadt accepted an offer from Simon & Schuster to write a memoir, and she diligently set herself to the task, typing out her life story even as her fingers refused to fully cooperate. The shaky hands caught a friend’s attention, and Ronstadt finally agreed to see a neurologist.
In December 2012, as she was finishing her book, Ronstadt received bombshell news: She had Parkinson’s disease.
Ronstadt’s Compared Her Fragility To ‘a Crate Of Eggs Without The Crate’
In August 2013, as she prepared to make the media rounds with her soon-to-be-released memoir, Simple Dreams, Ronstadt went public with her condition in an interview with AARP. Suggesting the disease may have been triggered by a tick bite, the artist behind such beloved hits as “You’re No Good” revealed that she could no longer sing at all, and that she needed to use a wheelchair or walking sticks to help cover longer distances. “I travel like a crate of eggs without the crate,” she said.
The news triggered an outpouring of support and a rush to honor the icon now seemingly fastened with the ticking clock of mortality. In 2014, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.
Accolades aside, there was still the matter of dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of a degenerative condition. Having already settled in the San Francisco community of Sea Cliff, Ronstadt sold her longtime home in Arizona and focused on life near the bay with her two grown children to provide support and regular exercise sessions with a trainer.
At least her friends knew where to find her. Jackson Browne, Paul Simon and ex-boyfriend Jerry Brown dropped by, as did Emmylou Harris, with the two doing laundry instead of singing together, as they did in the old days.
Linda Ronstadt speaks at the MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019, in Los Angeles, California
Linda Ronstadt Ozzy Osbourne And Muhammad Ali Are Just Some Of The Well
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, which leads to various neurological and mobility-related symptoms. The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates the number of people living with Parkinson’s at 1 million in the United States alone, with over 10 million cases worldwide.
In January 2020, Ozzy Osbourne became the latest public figure to announce a Parkinson’s diagnosis, helping to raise the profile of this little-understood neurological condition. Read on to learn more about how other celebrities living with Parkinson’s disease have managed their condition and the work they’ve done to raise awareness.
Linda Ronstadt Opens Up About Losing Her Voice To Parkinsons Disease
Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013.
Songstress Linda Ronstadt is no longer able to sing after Parkinson’s disease robbed her of her voice.
Ronstadt, who has sold more than 100 million records, opened up about her experience with the degenerative central nervous system disease during an interview with CBS This Morning which aired Sunday, Feb. 3.
“I can’t even sing in the shower,” Ronstadt tells interviewer Tracy Smith during their chat.
It was back in 2000 when Ronstadt first recognized that she was having trouble with her voice. After a few years of shouting rather than singing to her audiences, she retired from the stage in 2009. Just four years later, she learned she had Parkinson’s.
“When you’ve been able to do certain things all your life, like put your shoes on and brush your teeth or whatever — when you can’t do that, you sort of go, ‘What’s this?’” she explained. “You know, what’s happening here? Come help me with this. And then you have to learn to ask people to help, and that — that took a little doing. But I do that now, because I need the help.”
Though she’s unable to sing, Ronstadt still appears at events, sharing the stories from her decades long career. While there is no known cure for the disease, Ronstadt remains optimistic that something will come, whether its during her lifetime or not.
Inside Linda Ronstadts Courageous Battle Against Parkinsons Disease
Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns
Linda Ronstadt’s voice was seemingly a gift from the angels above.
It was one that enabled her to belt out country-rockers like “Heat Wave” and yearning ballads like “Blue Bayou” with equal conviction, making her a top-selling female artist of the 1970s. It was also an instrument that provided the heft to branch into adventurous terrain, from a starring role in The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway to an immensely successful album of Spanish-language music.
But by 2000, the 10-time Grammy winner knew that something was wrong with her once-powerhouse vocals.
“I’d start to sing and then it would just clamp up,”she told CBS Sunday Morning in early 2019. “My voice would freeze.”
Exclusive: Linda Ronstadt Suspects She Had Parkinson’s For 12 Years
Linda Ronstadt’s new memoir, titled is a rocket ride through a megahit career and the glory days of rock and roll.
It makes no mention, however, of her battle with Parkinson’s disease, which she disclosed to AARP in August. Ronstadt said, at the time, she was still finishing up the book and a diagnosis had not been officially confirmed.
“It was so great to think that there was a chance that I didn’t have it,” she said. “I was kind of glorying in that reality for a while, you know? But I do and that’s just that.”
Ronstadt was born in Arizona. At 4 years old, she already had the voice that would earn her 12 Grammys. She was the first woman ever to have four platinum albums in a row. In the golden age of rock, everyone from Johnny Cash and Jackson Browne to Kermit the Frog wanted to sing with her.
But Ronstadt said that for perhaps 12 to 15 years, she likely suffered unknowingly from the disease.
“I was struggling to sing for so many years,” she said. “I knew there was something dramatically, systemically wrong. And I knew it was mechanical and it was muscular. … I had no control over the muscular, you know. … The brain has to be able to send very, very subtle cues to your vocal chords and get the muscles to vibrate a certain way.”
She said that, at some point, she couldn’t even make the notes.
She sang publicly for the last time in 2009.
ABC News’ Margaret Dawson contributed to this story.
Linda Ronstadt Actually Suffers From Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
The 73-year-old is speaking up about a rare brain condition that she has that is similar to Parkinson’s. She doesn’t actually have Parkinson’s at all. Called progressive supranuclear palsy, it gradually affects motor control skills among other things and there is no cure. “I was expecting was going to say I had a pinched nerve and they could fix it. And he said, ‘Well, I think you might have Parkinson’s disease,’ and I was totally shocked. It took him about a year after that to come to the diagnosis and then took a little bit longer to come to supranuclear palsy,” Linda says.
She also talks about how this disorder affects her day-to-day life. “Everything becomes a challenge. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower,” she tells Cooper. Linda even says that simple things like maintaining your balance, eye movement, and speaking become a chore. “Eating is hard … I’ve had to relearn how to eat. You could carve a new brain map if you’re patient and willing to do that, but it’s hard,” she explains.
Linda Ronstadt Tribute Film To Raise Funds For Parkinsons Research
Common Ground Concerts and Irvington Theater are once again collaborating to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research with a special on-demand streaming February 26-28th of The Music of Linda Ronstadt.
With ten Grammys, two dozen studio albums, and a career spanning five decades, Linda Ronstadt is an internationally beloved musical legend. Irvington Theater will celebrate the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer with The Music of Linda Ronstadt, a benefit concert film, streaming on demand Friday through Sunday, February 26-28th. All proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
This virtual premiere of Common Ground Concerts’ sold-out 2016 tribute to Ronstadt features mega-hits like “It’s So Easy,” “You’re No Good,” and “Different Drum” alongside lesser-known gems from her expansive, expressive catalogue, including “El Lago Azul,” the Spanish-language version of “Blue Bayou,” and “High Sierra,” one of her collaborations with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
Ronstadt has long been a champion of emerging singer-songwriters. Her renditions of once little-known songs by The Eagles, Warren Zevon, and Lowell George brought their music to listeners worldwide.
The Music of Linda Ronstadt will be available to stream on demand from Friday, February 26 at 7:30pm EST through Sunday, February 28 at 11:59 pm EST. Patrons can purchase one-per-household tickets to receive the viewing link and password at irvingtontheater.com/lindaronstadt.
Linda Ronstadt On Her Parkinson’s Disease: ‘i Can’t Sing At All’
Last week came the very sad news that Grammy-and-Emmy-award-winning singer Linda Ronstadt can no longer sing as a result of her Parkinson’s disease. Ronstadt was diagnosed eight months ago. She shared her diagnosis in an interview with AARP Magazine.
In her chat with writer Alanna Nash, we learn more about Ronstadt’s first signs of Parkinson’s, her famous friends , her pet cow, and details from her upcoming biography, Simple Dreams, to be released on Sept. 17.
Her voice was the first to go
“In fact I couldn’t sing for the last five or six years I appeared on stage, but I kept trying. I kept thinking, ‘What if I tried singing upside down? Or standing on my head? Or while juggling? Maybe I’d be able to sing better then.’ So I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular, or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason.”
Ronstadt thinks her pet cow may be to blame for her Parkinson’s
“Oh, Luna! Yeah, I loved her — she was such a nice old girl — but I got a tick from her, and that’s probably why I’m sick.”
“They’re saying now they think there’s a relationship between tick bites and Parkinson’s disease — that a virus can switch on a gene, or cause neurodegeneration. So I can’t sing at all.”
She found out she had Parkinson’s while penning her autobiography
And it was a total surprise
On her relationship with George Lucas
On a funny story involving a California governor and another legendary singer
Neil Diamond: Stepping Away From Touring Because Of Parkinsons
Singer Neil Diamond announced on January 22, 2018, that he was retiring from touring because of a recent Parkinson’s diagnosis. The news came during his 50th anniversary tour, as Diamond announced he would have to cancel upcoming concert dates in Australia and New Zealand. In a statement on his official website, he said, “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.”
Diamond reassured fans that he would continue writing and recording music, but he would not perform in front of live audiences in the future. His hits over the years have included “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” and “Red, Red Wine.”
Diamond was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Linda Ronstadt: Parkinson’s Took Her Voice But Not Her Spirit
Known for her rich soprano vocals as the lead singer of the 1960s band the Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt opened up about her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis to AARP The Magazine in 2013. After two very bad tick bites in the 1980s, Ronstadt says her health never fully recovered — but she didn’t visit a neurologist until she was no longer able to sing.
“I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular or mechanical. Then when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try. And in my case, I can’t sing a note,” she told AARP.
The Actor Wasnt Initially Open About His Parkinsons Diagnosis
Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, but he stayed quiet about it for seven years, only telling people who needed to know . Finding new career success with the film “The American President,” Fox returned to television with the sitcom “Spin City.” This, however, meant talking about his diagnosis with the network and production company. “I said it could get very bad or not get bad,” he recalled to People in 1998. “They said, ‘Let’s go!’” It would be two seasons into the show’s run before Fox told his costars about his condition.
It’s understandable that someone with Parkinson’s would feel anxiety and not want to talk about the disease. The European Parkinson’s Disease Association’s website explains that it is common for someone with this disease to experience mild to severe general social anxiety in which they are worried about being judged. And, unfortunately, that fear can exacerbate some of their symptoms like shaking. But beyond this, research shows that the way Parkinson’s disease can change a person’s brain chemistry may alone bring on feelings of anxiety. In addition, someone with Parkinson’s might develop akathisia, a different condition which mimics anxiety in that the person is uncontrollably restless.
Ultimately, Fox came to an important realization: To properly accept having Parkinson’s, he needed to be open about it. This turning point for Fox, however, meant he had to make significant changes in his life.
Tucson Fetes Native Daughter Linda Ronstadt On 75th Birthday
FILE – In this March 31, 2009 file photo singer Linda Ronstadt waits to testify to Congress, in Washington. The retired singer is being recognized by her hometown with a day in her honor. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero earlier this week officially proclaimed Thursday, July 15, 2021 as Linda Ronstadt Day.
TUCSON, Ariz. — Retired singer Linda Ronstadt is being feted by her hometown with her very own day.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero earlier this week officially proclaimed Thursday as Linda Ronstadt Day. It was the Grammy award winner’s 75th birthday.
Romero said in a Facebook post that Ronstadt had made “substantial contributions to varied musical genres” while sharing the Southwestern culture of her upbringing with the world.
Ronstadt was born in Tucson on July 15, 1946, to a musically inclined ranching family, and moved to Los Angeles in the mid-’60s to start her singing career. She found enormous success performing and recording a variety of styles including folk-rock, country, Latin, light opera and pop.
Ronstadt retired after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
This Is Who Encouraged Michael J Fox During His Darkest Days
For about 27 years, Michael J. Fox approached having Parkinson’s disease with optimism. But in 2018, after an accident that shattered his arm, that optimism was all but gone . In the months that followed, the actor watched old television programs and reflected on his earlier performances. Then, he thought of a late friend who’d also had Parkinson’s disease: Muhammed Ali.
It would be a couple years after Fox announced his diagnosis with the disease that the boxing champion reached out to him . Over a phone call, Ali told Fox, “With you in this fight, we can win.” The two then worked together to raise awareness about their shared condition. In 2018, two years after Ali’s death, Fox decided to reach out to Ali’s widow, Lonnie, and ask if his late friend had ever watched himself on TV . He did indeed. This gave Fox a new perspective. “He accepts and realizes it’s great to have been that. It’s great to have done that,” Fox told the CBC.
Someone having a temporary lack of optimism is different than being clinically depressed. However, it’s worth noting that depression is common for someone with Parkinson’s . In fact, it can be the first sign of the disease for some people. Thankfully, it is treatable, although treatment can vary from person to person. Additionally, depression is not a guaranteed symptom of the disease.
Michael J Fox’s History With Parkinson’s Disease ExplainedMeredith Cooper
Opinion: This Is No Time To Let Down Our Guard On Covid
Linda Ronstadt Publicized Her Parkinsons Diagnosis In 2013
In 2013, Ronstadt revealed her Parkinson’s diagnosis during an interview with AARP. During the interview, she revealed that her Parkinson’s illness was the reason she had to stop singing: “So I didn’t know why I couldn’t sing — all I knew was that it was muscular, or mechanical. Then, when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was finally given the reason. I now understand that no one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”
Although the diagnosis made her inability to sing make sense after it was given to her, Ronstadt said that learning she had Parkinson’s was completely unexpected. She said “I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that must be why my hands were shaking. Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose. So when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked. I was totally surprised. I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.”
In February 2019, Linda sat down with CBS Sunday Morning to talk about how she’s doing today, and how her life has changed since she stopped being able to sing. In the interview, she said that, while it’s not the same as the physical act of singing , she is still able to sing in her brain and does so all the time.
People Thought Ronstadt’s Vocal Issues Were Just ‘nerves’
Collaborators assured her there was nothing wrong, that the notoriously self-critical and perfectionist artist was simply feeling “nerves.” But their words rang hollow for someone who innately understood the singing ability that had been there from as long as she could remember.
Forging ahead with what she called a “limited palette,” Ronstadt gutted out another solo album, Hummin’ to Myself , and a collaboration with Ann Savoy, Adieu False Heart . But she grew exasperated with a voice that was now “yelling,” as opposed to singing, and she delivered her final stage performance in November 2009.
Linda Ronstadt performs at the Greek Theater on September 17, 1977, in Berkeley, California
How Parkinsons Disease Changed The Life Of Linda Ronstadt
Every singer’s dream is to perform until the last breath of their life. Being able to perform on stage gives these artists unexplained happiness. It’s like they were born to sing and to give joy to other people. Once singing is taken away from a singer’s life, their world seems to fall apart. Anyway, the country icon Linda Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and this had a great impact on her life as an artist.
Since her diagnosis, Linda Ronstadtslowly withdrew herself from the public. Plus, she stopped releasing new hits and she even canceled some of her tours. She said in an interview:
“I’d start to sing and then it would just clamp up. It was, like, a cramp, my voice would freeze. And I said, ‘There’s something wrong with my voice.’ And people would say, ‘Oh, you’re just a perfectionist.’ I go, ‘No, there’s really something systemically wrong.’ And it’s very slow-moving, this disease, so it took a long time to really finally manifest.”
Iconic Singer Speaks About Her Neurological Condition
The year 2019 turned out to be a memorable year for singing icon Linda Ronstadt. The most successful female singer of the 1970s became one of the five recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors. In addition, Ronstadt is the subject of a new CNN Filmsdocumentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”
But these accolades are bittersweet. In 2000, she began to have difficulty singing. As she toldCNN’s Anderson Cooper, “I couldn’t hear the top end of my voice. I couldn’t hear the part that I used to get in tune. My throat would clutch up. It would just be like I had a cramp or something.” She was initially diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease, and by 2009 she had to retire from singing. A re-evaluation in late 2019 changed her diagnosis to the rare brain disorder, progressive supranuclear palsy .
Ronstadt told Cooper that her illness has had a major impact on her life: “Everything becomes a challenge. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower… I find creative new ways to do things. I’m like a toddler. Eating is hard…. I’ve had to relearn how to eat. You could carve a new brain map if you’re patient and willing to do that, but it’s hard.”
When asked by Cooper what advice she would give to “people facing obstacles, or facing Parkinson’s — maybe some people who have just received diagnoses,” she replied, without hesitation: “Acceptance.”
What is Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?
What are the symptoms?
How is PSP different from Parkinson’s disease?
What causes PSP?
Singer Linda Ronstadt Shares How Psp Ended Her Career
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, singer Linda Ronstadt discusses how progressive supranuclear palsy has forced her to retire and how she has come to accept her diagnosis.
Ronstadt shares how the disorder, which was initially diagnosed as Parkinson’s, has caused her to lose motor control of her vocal cords, leading to what would be her last show in 2009. She officially retired from her decades-long singing career four years later.
She also talks about how she has learned to accept her diagnosis, her familial connections to the disease, and the ways she copes with its symptoms.
“I find creative new ways to do things,” she says in the interview. “Eating is hard … I’ve had to relearn how to eat. You could carve a new brain map if you’re patient and willing to do that, but it’s hard.”
Ronstadt is also the focus of a recent CNN Films documentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”, that reflects on her career and journey with PSP.
You can watch the full interview and read more here.
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Former Presidents Movement Disorder Mimics Parkinsons
Former President George H.W. Bush, who has been placed in intensive care at a Houston hospital, is suffering from pneumonia and has vascular parkinsonism, a rare syndrome that mimics Parkinson’s disease. The 92-year-old Bush also broke a vertebra in 2015 and has used a motorized scooter or a wheelchair in recent years. Some answers to common questions about his health:
Q: WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF PNEUMONIA?
A: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be mild or severe. Elderly patients are at risk of deadly complications.
The former president wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 10, saying that he would be unable to attend Friday’s inauguration because of doctor’s orders: “My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it will likely put me six feet under. Same for Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas.”
Q: WHAT IS VASCULAR PARKINSONISM?
A: People diagnosed with the condition walk with shuffling steps, and brain scans suggest they have suffered small strokes. However, they do not have the characteristic tremors of Parkinson’s disease, and they do not respond to drugs for Parkinson’s.
“They look like Parkinson’s from the waist down. From the waist up, they look very expressive,” said Dr. Alberto Espay of the University of Cincinnati’s Gardner Neuroscience Institute.
Q: IS IT DIFFERENT FROM PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Q: WHAT HAS PRESIDENT BUSH SAID ABOUT THE CONDITION?
Q: HOW IS IT TREATED?
Q: WHAT CAUSES THE DISEASE?
From The Archives: A Conversation With Linda Ronstadt
Singer Linda Ronstadt joined Diane for an interview on The Diane Rehm Show in January 2014. She had just received a presidential medal of honor for her decades-long singing career that had recently been cut short by a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Growing up on a ranch outside Tuscon, Arizona, Linda Ronstadt always knew she wanted to be a singer. Her musical family played and listened to a wide range of styles, including opera, classical and Mexican folk music.
Ronstadt landed her first recording contract as a teenager and in 1974, released “Heart Like a Wheel,” a mix of oldies covers and contemporary songs like “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.” The album hit number one and has never been out of print in 40 years.
Ronstadt went on to sell more than 100 million records. But in 2013, she announced that a Parkinson’s diagnosis had forced her to stop singing.
Diane talked with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Linda Ronstadt about her career in music and her life today.
This interview is part of Diane’s special summer series in which she shares some of her favorite interviews with singers, songwriters and musicians from her archives.