Brave Linda Ronstadt on Parkinson’s Disease: ‘I’m Not Afraid of Dying’

Linda Ronstadt - Courtesy image

Adored Singer Releases Album ‘Live In Hollywood’


Linda Ronstadt, the hit singer of the 1970s, has been living a quiet life in San Francisco bravely battling Parkinson’s Disease. But she faces the future with strength and dignity. She even says she’s finally getting time to do some long-overdue reading.

In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, Ronstadt, 72, said Parkinson’s Disease slowly robbed her of her beautiful voice. But, the singer of such hits as “Heat Wave,” “When Will I Be Loved” and “You’re No Good” says in her mind she is still able to carry on.

“I sing in my brain all the time,” she told interviewer Tracy Smith. “But it’s not the same as doing it physically. There’s a physical feeling in singing it’s like skiing down a hill except better because I’m not a very good skiier.”

‘Live In Hollywood’ the First Live Album for Ronstadt

Ronstadt has just put out her first live album from among a catalog of more than 45 albums. Live In Hollywood, (Rhino) is a collection from a made-for-TV in-concert special taped at Television Center in 1980.

The singer of hits like “Heat Wave,” “When Will I Be Loved” and “You’re No Good,” said she first discovered symptoms of Parkinson’s in 2000. She played her last concert in 2009. She retired from music because she “didn’t want to charge people” for what she called “yelling” rather than singing, a result of the slow-moving Parkinson’s. She broke the news to the world in 2013 that she had Parkinson’s disease. But she keeps a smile on her face and keeps going, cute purple-streaked bob haircut and all. 

Linda Ronstadt on CBS Sunday Morning:

The newly released Live in Hollywood is an in-concert collection produced from a made-for-TV special recorded in LA. The record includes many previously unreleased tracks. Musicians on the record are Kenny Edwards on guitar; Danny Kortchmar on guitar; Russ Kunkel on drums; Bob Glaub on bass; Billy Payne on keyboards; Dan Dugmore on pedal steel guitar; Wendy Waldman on backing vocals and Peter Asher on percussion and backing vocals. 

Live in Hollywood came about when producer John Boylan discovered the existence of the supposedly long lost 1980 tapes through a conversation with a Warner Bros engineer. 

Ronstadt grew up in Arizona climbed the ranks of rock music, starting with performances at a folk club in Hermosa Beach.  She collaborated with many top musicians and even dated Gov. Jerry Brown, who she said was at her home as recently as last Thanksgiving.

Linda Ronstadt and Jerry Brown – Courtesy image

In addition to her beautful voice, she had knockout looks as well. Even President Obama admitted he had a crush on her when he awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 2013.

“It’s nice to be acknowledged but that’s not what you do it for,” she said. “You do it for the work,” she said.

Ronstadt Faces the Future with Bravery

“I’m 72, we’re all going to die,” she said. “They say people usually die with Parkinson’s they don’t always die of it. I figure I’ll die of something and I’ve watched people die so I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of suffering I’m not afraid of dying.” 

Linda Rondstadt – Just One Look from the new Live In Hollywood album:

Ronstadt has released more than 30 studio albums and 15 collections, and has earned 11 Grammy Awards.  She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, she was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy in 2011. She was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy in 2016.


CD Track Listing:

1.   “I Can’t Let Go” *
2.   “It’s So Easy”
3.   “Willin'” *
4.   “Just One Look” *
5.   “Blue Bayou”
6.   “Faithless Love” *
7.   “Hurt So Bad” *
8.   “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”
9.   “You’re No Good” *
10. “How Do I Make You” *
11. “Back In The U.S.A.” *
12. “Desperado” *

LP Track Listing:

Side One

1.   “I Can’t Let Go” *
2.   “It’s So Easy”
3.   “Willin'” *
4.   “Just One Look” *
5.   “Blue Bayou”
6.   “Faithless Love” *

Side Two

1.   “Hurt So Bad” *
2.   “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”
3.   “You’re No Good” *
4.   “How Do I Make You” *
5.   “Back In The U.S.A.” *
6.   “Desperado” *

*previously unreleased