Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt, now 67 years old, revealed to AARP that she has Parkinson's disease, and the effects of the disease have rendered her unable to sing. Ronstadt started making music in the 1960s, releasing over 30 studio albums, getting 38 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, selling over 100 million records, having eight consecutive albums go platinum, and earning 11 Grammys, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and an Emmy.
Ronstadt got her start singing for the folk rock group, The Stone Poneys, in 1964. She stayed with them for two albums, but went out on her own when the group broke up, releasing her first solo album in 1969. She was known for covering other artists' songs and putting her own spin on them, sometimes switching the gender of the song from male to female, though sometimes she left the words the same and sang from a man's point of view.
Here is Linda Ronstadt singing Smokey Robinson's hit song, "The Tracks of My Tears."
Ronstadt sang a huge variety of genres over the course of her career, including pop, rock, country, motown, folk, jazz, and some Latin music styles. She was known for having one of the best female rock voices of all time, and was called the "Queen of Rock" and the "First Lady of Rock." She is also considered the most successful solo female act of the 1970s, having six Rolling Stone Magazine covers, multiple platinum albums, as well as becoming the first female solo act to sell out arena tours. In 1978 alone, she made $12 million, which today would be about $43 million.
Ronstadt collaborated with countless other artists over the years, including Frank Zappa, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Dolly Parton. The backing band for her third album, Linda Ronstadt, decided to form their own band, which became The Eagles.
Ronstadt retired from singing in 2011. Her autobiography, Simple Dreams - A Musical Memoir, will be released September 17. You can pre-order it on Amazon.
Via: The New Yorker