Linda Ronstadt, 76, reveals her life living with Parkinson’s Disease in a heartbreaking interview

The girl with the silver pipes.

One of the greatest voices of the past 50 years.

Linda Ronstadt is a legendary artist who has earned her place among the top female artists in music history. But since 2000, she’s reduced her activity after her voice started deteriorating.

Wikipedia Commons / Circacies

Singer and songwriter Linda Ronstadt is perhaps known for pieces like “It’s So Easy” and “You’re No Good”. She had the complete package in her heydays, and many consider her the greatest female vocalist of a generation.

In my view, no one could touch Linda in her day, and few can now. Of course, there are other great female vocalists who can belt out a power ballad (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey) – but Linda had something special, something the others lack: Restraint.

“I thought I did pretty well,” she told Washington Post in 2019 and added:

“But I didn’t think I was the greatest at anything.”

Wikipedia Commons / Rob Bogaerts / Anefo

Despite her enduring fame, she expressed that she began to have issues with her voice before she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013.

Linda was ”completely shocked” when she finally took the courage to see a neurologist and got diagnosed.

”I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.

She began to experience problems already in 2000.

“It was like something had grabbed my vocal cords and stopped them,” she said. “Like a hand had just grabbed it and was squeezing.”


Linda did her last live performance in 2009 and three years later, she announced her retirement. By then, it had become too difficult to use her voice. First, Linda thought her voice was cracking due to the aftereffects of shoulder surgery and a tick bite.

But later, doctors confirmed that she had a degenerative condition later determined to be Parkinson’s.

During a recent chat with “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith, Linda Ronstadt revealed the details of what it is like to live with Parkinson’s.

Music legend Linda Ronstadt poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California(Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)

Linda explained that, now, “I can’t even sing in the shower.”

According to the eleven-time Grammy-winner, she’s not bitter about her situation, expressing:

“When you’ve been able to do certain things all your life, like put your shoes on and brush your teeth or whatever, you – when you can’t do that, you sort of go, ‘What’s this?’”

In discussing her prayers that a cure is eventually discovered for the debilitating illness, she said:

“I’m sure they’ll find something eventually. They’re learning so much more about it every day. If not, I mean, I’m 72. We’re all going to die. So, they say people usually die with Parkinson’s. They don’t always die of it because it’s so slow-moving.”

Somehow, her condition has not prevented her from releasing new music, either. She will be releasing her first-ever live album, as revealed in her interview. The album, titled “Live in Hollywood,” was pulled from a 1980 concert intended for HBO. The footage was discovered by longtime record producer John Boylan, and the album will feature 12 full songs. 

Youtube screenshot/CBS Sunday Morning

Linda, who hadn’t known of the footage’s existence, explained:

“It was recorded for television, which is unfortunate because television compresses things so much. So it didn’t turn out to be a really hi-fi record. It turned out to be a television record.”

The musician has also acknowledged the difficulties of living with Parkinson’s, saying, “Brushing my teeth is the hardest thing I do all day. I’m like a window washer without a safety harness. Of course, I have a hard time talking, and traveling is ridiculous. It’s just the nature of the beast.”

Honoree Linda Ronstadt attends the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors at Kennedy Center Hall of States on December 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Another star known for suffering from the disease, actor Michael J. Fox, once told Linda, “I make plans, and I keep them.”

She claims that this philosophy helps her to get through each day.

“I can still sing in my brain,” she told Washington Post and continued:

“I have to keep the seed alive.”

There’s only 1 Linda Ronstadt and she’s got the type of voice that sends chills up your spine in a great way!

Today, she’s an inspiration to everyone suffering from this debilitating condition. How would you encourage her or others going through this if you could?