Linda Ronstadt Has Parkinson’s Disease: I ‘Can’t Sing a Note’
In the interview, to be published online next week, the 67-year-old says she “can’t sing a note” these days because of the disease, diagnosed eight months ago.
But Ronstadt, who’s won 11 Grammy Awards for work spanning for more than four decades, began to show symptoms of Parkinson’s as long as eight years ago.
“I couldn’t sing . . . and I couldn’t figure out why,” she tells the AARP. “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 also adds:
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. No matter how hard you try.
Ronstadt now requires poles to walk with when on uneven ground and a wheelchair when traveling, according to the AARP interview.
Her new memoir, Simple Dreams, will be released on Sept. 17, but does not mention the loss of her voice and her Parkinson’s.