Saturday, August 24, 2013

Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's

And it has left her unable to sing.

The 67-year-old singer, who will publish her memoir, Simple Dreams, next month, revealed her condition Friday in an interview with AARP.

The singer of such '70s and '80s hits as You're No Good, Hurt So Bad and Don't Know Much now uses poles to assist her when walking on uneven ground and travels with a wheelchair. She says she was diagnosed with the neurological disorder eight months ago, though she began experiencing symptoms, including hand tremors and trouble controlling the muscles that let her sing, several years ago.

Linda was the first woman -- not girl, woman -- I ever loved (OK, crushed on).  That Livin' in the USA album cover up there, coming out in '78, nearly knocked me over. But it was obviously her pipes that finished me off. Here she covered Gershwin...

...but she could also do country.

Her hits defined the '70's and '80's as much as anybody's.

"I think I've had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I've had," the 11-time Grammy winner tells interviewer Alanna Nash. Ronstadt's last album was 2006's Adieu False Heart with Cajun musician Ann Savoy.

"No one can sing with Parkinson's disease," she says. "No matter how hard you try."

Color me a deep shade of melancholy at this news. One more, with my two favorite songs (interspersed with the 1978 comedy flick FM and Martin Mull).

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