Linda Ronstadt, Best-Selling Female Performer of The '70s, Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis
Linda Ronstadt, the best-selling solo female performer of the '70s, revealed in an interview with AARP Magazine that she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. She said the diagnosis came eight months ago. Ronstadt, 67, officially retired from music in 2011, following eight years of medical difficulties. Although she originally cited complications from a tick bite and a shoulder surgery, Ronstadt said that the symptoms now seem to point to Parkinson's. She said the disease has left her unable to sing. "I couldn't sing 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...Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that's why my hands were trembling," she said. "No one can sing with Parkinson's disease," she said. "No matter how hard you try." The vocalist is now forced to walk with poles, and travels with a wheelchair. Ronstadt is releasing a memoir on September 17, Simple Dreams. According to the interview with AARP, her Parkinson's diagnosis isn't mentioned in the book. Ronstadt has three albums top the Billboard charts during the '70s: "Heart Like A Wheel," "Prisoner in Disguise" and "Simple Dreams." She has won 11 Grammys, ranging from Best County Vocal Performance to Best Tropical Latin Album. "Heart Like A Wheel" was nominated for Album of The Year in 1975.