Guest Author - Michele Misurelli-Gillis
Eleven time Grammy award winner Linda Ronstadt revealed yesterday the heart breaking news that she has Parkinson’s disease and as a result, has lost her ability to sing. The devastating diagnosis came out during a recent interview with AARP magazine on August 24, 2013. The 67 year old singer indicated she has experienced symptoms for the past eight years but had received the official diagnosis 8 months ago from her physician; she obviously decided to keep quiet about it. She went on to state that no one can sing with Parkinson's disease, no matter how hard you try.
Over the past decade or so, fans have witnessed the singer’s dramatic weight gain. Then in 2004, it was announced that Ronstadt had been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, a type of autoimmune thyroid disease, which would explain her weight fluctuation. During a performance at the Aladdin Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Ronstadt allegedly made comments which trashed President George Bush. Fans speculated that the outburst was symptom of the disease. Reports state Ronstadt was fired from the hotel as a result of the incident.
Despite her health issues, Ronstadt has been busy writing; Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir is due to hit bookshelves September 17, 2013. Her book will be available in hardback, as an e-book and as a six-CD unabridged audio read by the singer herself. The book is a musical timeline of Ronstadt’s 45 year career. From her mix of genres and array of musical styles, to her origins in Tucson, Arizona with her musical family, her work with the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and JD Souther, and her rise to stardom in the 1960s and ’70s.
Her health is also not preventing her from a scheduled book tour and signing. So far, Ronstadt has scheduled six appearances.The announced dates are:
09/18 – New York, NY – 92nd Street Y
09/19 – Brookline, MA – Coolidge Center
09/21 – Washington DC – National Mall- Library of Congress National Book Festival
09/22 – Washington DC – National Mall- Library of Congress National Book Festival
09/26 – San Francisco, CA – Nourse Theatre
10/07 – Beaverton, OR – Powell’s Books
But if the book isn’t your thing or you need to hear some Ronstadt to sooth the soul, there is a newly remastered version of her great album, “Heart Like a Wheel,” available on Amazon.
Although her singing career might be over, don’t think for a minute that we won’t be hearing from Linda Ronstadt in the future. She may not be singing but you can bet she will be making herself heard.