Linda Ronstadt Discusses Struggle With Parkinson’s
Sitting down with Diane Sawyer to discuss her new memoir, ‘Simple Dreams,’ Ronstadt described the disease’s effects, saying it left her singing voice like an “elevator [that] would go to the wrong floor all the time.” Looking back on the illness’ steady encroachment, and guessing she may have been suffering from it for up to 15 years before she realized she was sick, she said, “It was hard to comb my hair. It was hard to brush my teeth. It was hard to wash my hair. Hard to get my hands up over my head.”
As we previously reported, Ronstadt recently disclosed her diagnosis to AARP Magazine. Although she’d been struggling with various physical symptoms for some time, she remained unaware of her Parkinson’s until very recently; in fact, ‘Simple Dreams,’ due Sept. 17, includes no mention of the illness, because she completed work on the book before doctors discovered the source of her problems.
Over the course of more than four decades as a professional singer, Ronstadt earned 11 Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award and a string of gold and platinum records that spun off 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including a No. 1 1975 hit ‘You’re No Good.’