Linda Ronstadt | Music | News

Linda Ronstadt Silenced by Parkinson's Disease: VIDEO

Singer Linda Ronstadt's beautiful voice has been silenced by Parkinson's Disease. She can no longer sing, she tells AARP:

RonstadtIn a wide-ranging interview with AARP’s music writer Alanna Nash to be published on next week, Ronstadt revealed how she discovered that “there was something wrong” with her voice.

“I couldn’t sing,” she told Nash, “and I couldn’t figure out why. I knew it was mechanical. I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had. And it didn’t occur to me to go to a neurologist. I think I’ve had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I’ve had. Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling.

“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.

“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt said. “No matter how hard you try.”

Ronstadt walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground, and uses a wheelchair when she travels.

Listen to Ronstadt sing "Blue Bayou" and an ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This is not a reflection on Linda, whom I love and who is not in the Health Sciences. Parkinson's is NOT a difficult disease to diagnose. It's just that there are many inept practitioners out there.

    Posted by: fausto fernandez, md | Aug 25, 2013 9:28:30 AM

  2. This news just makes me incredibly sad. There is Parkinsons in my family and it is a debilitating, cruel disease.

    Posted by: greg | Aug 25, 2013 9:35:23 AM

  3. One of the great voices, and one I've listened to for many years now.

    I'd heard a charming, smart radio interview with Linda this past winter, in which she said she could no longer sing but didn't say why, other than mentioning health issues. If the symptoms are mild, Parkinson's can be difficult to diagnose--my mother received a conflicting diagnosis from 2 doctors within the same neurology practice, one thought she had it, one thought she didn't.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 25, 2013 9:41:36 AM

  4. This is another reason that I can't believe in a "loving god" "sadistic cruel god" yup I can believe that one exists but not when someone as wonderful as Linda Ronstadt is struck by a horrid thing like Parkinson's and scum like the phelps clan and all the other hateful sub humans live healthy long lives. Sorry just had to vent, it saddens me to hear this news

    Posted by: Akula | Aug 25, 2013 9:41:46 AM

  5. Very sad ...One of the best voices of this generation! Stay strong Linda!!

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 25, 2013 9:45:50 AM

  6. @FAUSTO: some cases of Parkinson's are hard to diagnose, and others aren't, and not exclusively because of inept practitioners. In a 2002 study, Schrag et. al. found that 15% of patients diagnosed as having Parkinson's disease did not actually fulfill the clinical criteria for diagnosis, and 20% of patients with Parkinson's disease were not diagnosed as such by their health care provider.

    Posted by: Vint | Aug 25, 2013 10:40:07 AM

  7. Living in Los Angeles in the pre-iPod 70's, you couldn't escape her on the radio. I never liked the music she did, but she had one of those voices that is really special. What a cruel twist of fate for her. :-(

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Aug 25, 2013 12:04:26 PM

  8. When an artist provides you with hours & hours of listening pleasure, you can't help feeling like you really love them. I was devastated when Jose Carreras had leukemia in the 80s & was overjoyed when he recovered after treatment. Linda Ronstadt's news just breaks my heart because of what she has yet to endure.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Aug 25, 2013 12:05:26 PM

  9. We somehow expect physicians to be experts in all forms of disease. They can't be. That is why we have to depend on specialists. This is not the fault of her previous doctors and it seems that she feels that too. At least she found one that figured it out.
    Such a loss for the world and for her. My heart goes out to her.

    Posted by: Larry | Aug 25, 2013 12:34:44 PM

  10. How sad, a terrible loss of an incredibly talented lady; her unique voic will be sorely missed.

    Posted by: mundus | Aug 25, 2013 12:35:14 PM

  11. "And I think I'm gonna' love you for long long time..."

    Yes, a great talent.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 25, 2013 1:08:28 PM

  12. Linda's voice is timeless. I never really understood the allure of mariachi music until I heard her album Canciones de Mi Padre.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Aug 25, 2013 5:51:01 PM

  13. I'm terribly sad for Linda. Linda Ronstadt's voice ruled the radio in the late 70's and I was in my 20's living in Austin, Texas. She became the sound that takes me back there. Beautiful music from a beautiful person at a very special time in a very special place.

    Her Trio record with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton is a musical treasure to this day. I'm really sorry she has to go through this. You're in my prayers Ms. Ronstadt.

    Posted by: Mitch | Aug 25, 2013 8:53:22 PM

  14. Linda Ronstadt was one of the biggest female singers of the '70's and 80's, and I have all of her records. Very versatile singer, including all the old, classic standards she recorded with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra.
    If you want to pay homage to this beautiful singer and gifted lady, buy her new memoir coming out this September, called "Simple Dreams". I plan to.
    Linda, we love you!!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Aug 25, 2013 11:18:54 PM

  15. Sad to hear that one of the best voices in music has been silenced. I wish Linda all the best and hope she gets the help she needs to deal with her condition.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Aug 26, 2013 12:24:50 AM

  16. I agree with DAVID FROM CANADA - the Nelson Riddle collaborations are among my favorite recordings. I also got a huge kick out of her interpretation of Mabel in the movie version of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. I suspect she got a huge kick out of it too ...

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Aug 26, 2013 12:55:09 AM

  17. a lovely voice silenced by too often this is happening
    Best Linda!

    Posted by: L Goethe | Aug 26, 2013 4:26:53 AM

  18. Such a beautiful voice has been silenced. How very sad. All the best, Linda. Thanks for all the years of musical happiness you provided.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Sep 2, 2013 5:25:04 AM

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