LOS ANGELES — Music legend Linda Ronstadt says she has Parkinson’s disease, which has robbed her of her ability to sing.
Ronstadt, 67, tells AARP Magazine, in an article posted online Friday, that she was diagnosed eight months ago and “can’t sing a note.”
The 11-time Grammy winner said she began to show symptoms as long as eight years ago, but attributed her inability to sing then to a tick disease. When her hands began to tremble, Ronstadt said she thought the shaking was the result of a shoulder operation.
She said she was “completely shocked” when she finally saw a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological disease that is marked especially by tremor of resting muscles, rigidity, slowness of movement, impaired balance, and a shuffling gait. “I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.
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“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt told AARP music writer Alanna Nash. “No matter how hard you try.”
Ronstadt sold tens of millions of records starting in the 1970s with pop hits such as “You’re No Good” and “When Will I Be Loved.” She also segued into country, pop standards and mariachi music, among other genres.
In addition, the singer was known for her romances with California Gov. Jerry Brown and filmmaker George Lucas.
Ronstadt now uses poles to walk on uneven ground and a wheelchair when traveling, the AARP story said.
Her autobiography, “Simple Dreams,” will be released next month, but makes no mention of Parkinson’s or the loss of her voice, according to the AARP article.
The singer’s New York-based managers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.