Home Celebrity Linda Ronstadt Says She Has Parkinson’s Disease, Can’t Sing

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.


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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
3 replies to this post
  1. We love you, Linda! You are an icon and this new deeply saddens me. Thank you for being so brave to share your story with the word, Linda! We do not have enough brave or strong celebrities/stars to spread awareness about a disease that ruins health, lives, families…

    Untreated or inadequately treated Lyme disease can lead to and is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, Chronic Fibromyalgia. Read this from the Parkinson’s Foundation:

    http://www.nwpf.org/News.aspx?… “That’s because when not treated immediately, Lyme can hide in the body for years and then attack, masquerading as anything from heart disease to arthritis to lupus. Folks might not even know they’d been bitten. And the tests for Lyme disease are notoriously unreliable.”

    THe CDC just admitted that it has grossly underreported Lyme disease.

    Lyme disease rates 10 times higher than previously reported


    Spread the word and push for increased funding for research, treatment, prevention & awareness. Our states spend practically nothing to do this (only $60k per year in Mass/New England!)

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