NME.COM

Linda Ronstadt reveals her singing career has been ended by Parkinson's disease

Eleven-time Grammy winner says she 'can't sing a note' because of the degenerative neurological disorder

From Rock ’n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip by Robert Landau, published by Angel City Press.
Photo: From Rock ’n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip by Robert Landau, published by Angel City Press.
Linda Ronstadt, the Grammy-winning pop singer who scored three US Number One albums in the '70s, has revealed that her singing career has been ended by Parkinson's disease.

In a new interview with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), to be published in full next week, the singer says that she "can't sing a note" because of the disease, which she was diagnosed with eight months ago.

The singer, 67, explains she actually began exhibiting symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, "seven or eight years ago", but attributed them to other health issues including a tick bite and a shoulder operation.

"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 wouldn't have suspected that in a million, billion years," she explains. "No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try."

Ronstadt released her first album in 1969 and enjoyed her greatest success in the '70s, when her LPs 'Heart Like A Wheel', 'Simple Dreams' and 'Living In The USA' all topped the US albums chart. In the UK, she is perhaps best known for 'Don't Know Much', her duet with Aaron Neville, which reached Number 2 in 1989.

Over the years she has won 11 Grammy Awards and collaborated with artists including Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Frank Zappa and Emmylou Harris. Ronstadt's most recent album, 'Adieu False Heart', a collaboration with Cajun singer Ann Savoy, came out in 2006.

Elsewhere on NME.com today:
The latest pictures from Reading and Leeds Festival 2013
Visit our backstage gallery

Share This

Connect With Us
This Week's Magazine