In August of 2013, Linda Ronstadt revealed to the world that she was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, a debilitating illness that robs its victims of muscle movement and control.
At that time, she said that she no longer can sing and, in a new interview with CBS, has elaborated, saying “It wouldn’t sound like anything. I can’t get to the note. I can’t make any quality sound. I can’t arrange pitch. I might aim for a note and hit another one. It sounds like shouting.”
Ronstadt has been gathering numerous honors over the last year including her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose ceremony she wasn’t able to attend because of her illness, and the National Medal of the Arts, which was presented to her by President Obama earlier this year.
The fact that the illness has robbed her of the voice for which she is being honored is the ultimate irony. Over the course of her career, Ronstadt conquered the worlds of country, rock, pop, opera, Broadway and Mexican traditional music. The vast scope of her vocal talents were unprecedented in the music world.
Now, beyond her voice, the disease is robbing her of her quality of life. “It’s hard to wash my hair, brush my teeth, and put my clothes on. It’s hard to get up and out of a chair.”
She went on to say that she still tries to walk around her neighborhood on a regular basis but is no longer able to make it down to her local beach in San Francisco.
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