Now we know why Linda Ronstadt stopped singing some time ago: she says she has Parkinson’s Disease. Ronstadt reveals this in AARP magazine, and at www.aarp.com. But not in her forthcoming memoir, “Simple Dreams” which concentrates on her musical career. I told you that Ronstadt had already decreed she wouldn’t be singing on her “Simple Dreams” book tour. She tells AARP: “No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”
Ronstadt says she thinks the Parkinson’s may have started seven or eight years ago. She’d had a lyme-related disease and thought her condition, which included shaking hands, might have been caused by that. “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.”
For the last few years Ronstadt has been asked by everyone — from the Songwriters Hall of Fame to the Grammys and others– to come accept a lifetime achievement award. She’s refused and declined all invites. She should know that she’s welcome at all of them and doesn’t have to sing. She’s beloved. And we can always play the records.