MSN Music Blog - Reverb

Linda Ronstadt's diagnosis ends her career

Parkinson's has left her unable to sing

By Mark C. Brown Aug 23, 2013 5:15PM
Linda Ronstadt
One of the greatest female voices in music history has been silenced. Linda Ronstadt announced today that she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and will never be able to sing again.

In this auto-tune world too many people haven't been exposed to true, great voices. Ronstadt helped define '70s and '80s rock with a voice pure and true. Not many singers would take on Roy Orbison ("Blue Bayou") or many of the other classics she covered, including "Desperado," "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me" and "You're No Good."

BING: Linda Ronstadt live performances

She revealed her condition on the AARP website today, saying "I couldn’t sing, and I couldn’t figure out why.... 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."

The diagnosis was devastating.

“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." As a result, she said, she "can't sing a note."

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

Here are three of her best performances, and best wishes that she is able to cope with the disease.

Aug 24, 2013 9:16PM
Thank you for all the kind and thoughtful comments on Linda. Unfortunately, due to some recurring racist and libelous commentators, we've got to close comments on this thread.
Aug 24, 2013 9:06PM
Linda, you gave so much joy to people! May you be blessed during this disease progression. Much love, hugs, prayers.
Aug 24, 2013 8:30PM
We have loved what you have done.  I hope you get this!

Aug 24, 2013 6:19PM
Find me, Linda. I've had some career changes that I hated, too. I found new ways and new things to 'love'. I've had every emotion there is, but finally I'm at peace with the NEW Holly. I get what you're going through.
Aug 24, 2013 4:06PM

I have many of Linda's records.  Loved her voice then and now.  May god be with you and reach out to those who are also living with Parkinson's.  There you will receive the support in living with this devastating disease.  God be with you.


Aug 24, 2013 3:40PM

Meli Jarrett

My husband has Parkinson's Disease. He can barely make a sound. No volume in lungs.

So sad. Would love to hear him talk again.




Aug 24, 2013 2:24PM
So sad...just reading all the comments reminding me of ALL her fabulous songs makes me cry....Long Long Time is one of my favorites...God bless you Linda
Aug 24, 2013 11:44AM
My love for your voice is endless,  My heart is broken because of your illness.  Your politics are your opinion, I'm praying for you and Gods best .  Take care dear soul, may you one day long from now sing with angels.  Jesus loves you and yes He cares.  Be blessed.
Aug 24, 2013 11:31AM
"When Will I Be Loved". Awesome. flat out awesome
Aug 24, 2013 11:25AM

Hey everybody look up "Long Long Time" on YouTube.  There you'll get exposed to the true nature of Linda's talent.  Her voice is completely exposed there is no hiding flaws when trying to sing such as this and she executes it so very well.  Listen to her vibrato, never too much, always just right. 

Raw, unadulterated talent in all of its beautiful aspect. Then check out "Poor, Poor Pififul Me", "You're No Good", and "It's So Easy" etc., etc., etc.

Aug 24, 2013 11:22AM
There are very few singers with "perfect pitch" and the clarity Linda was given by God.  She is truly the "acapella" queen of the century.  NO ONE in this generation of "breathy tones" & music videos can hold a candle to her.  She is the TRUE talent.  It brings tears to my eyes to have Linda say she can't sing any longer.  I share her devastation & send best wishes & blessings from God.
Aug 24, 2013 11:10AM
Desperado - one of my all time favorites. So sorry for Linda. Best wishes.
Aug 24, 2013 11:08AM
Remember "Different Drum"? How about the duet she did with Aaron Neville "Don't Know Much"? Linda Rondstadt should be recognized as one of the Great Ladies of American Song.  It wasn't so much the lyric of the songs but the voice that delivered them. She has an extremely powerful voice and sings without belting. Flawless intonation. Fantastic diction. Emotional delivery. She is right up there with Ella, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Mama Cass, Karen Carpenter, Barbara Streisand. A true talent across multiple genres. Bravo Ms. Rondstadt! God Bless!
Aug 24, 2013 11:01AM
Fabulous voice and talent.  Best wishes to her.
Aug 24, 2013 10:56AM

Her beautiful voice can still bring to tears and reminds me of simpler times. God Bless Linda.


Aug 24, 2013 10:56AM

Mr Pinelli, it is plain to see you are a hurting person.  She may have had demons to deal with in her life just like we all do, even you, Mr. Pinelli. 


Linda being so sick is upsetting to most of us. I am praying for her and her loved ones.  Even you, Mr. Pinelli, are being prayed for.

Aug 24, 2013 10:54AM
I was sending messages to Linda last week not knowing that the diagnoses were probably coming through.  One of the greatest singers of our time!  sending our love to her!
Aug 24, 2013 10:47AM
It doesn't matter what her politics are, it doesn't matter who leaves negative comments here, it doesn't matter if she cant sing anymore. The one thing that matters is that she is a rare talent with a heavenly voice and her health is in jeopardy. I am a conservative, I don't believe in California politics but I can appreciate talent. Linda has a talent that can't be ignored by anyone. Especially the kids in the back of the class. I am a cancer survivor and I hope she lives on for many years. Her music will be with us forever.
Aug 24, 2013 10:47AM
One of the great voices in American music!

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?