One of rock's most iconic voices has been silenced. Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt, the "Hurt So Bad" songstress, has revealed that she can longer sing after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Doctors made the devastating diagnosis eight months ago, though she showed signs of the disease eight years prior.
"I couldn't sing, and I couldn't figure out why," she said in an interview with AARP magazine on Friday, Aug. 23. "I knew it was mechanical. I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had. And it didn't occur to me to go to a neurologist."
She added: "I think I've had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I've had. Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling." She now uses poles to assist her and sometimes travels with a wheelchair.
The 11-time Grammy Award winner admitted she was absolutely shocked when first finding out. "I wouldn't have suspected that in a million, billion years. No one can sing with Parkinson's disease. No matter how hard you try."
Ronstadt first shot to fame in the late 1960s, and became lead singer of the folk-rock band The Stone Poneys before going solo. With such chart topping '70s and '80s classics as "Just One Look" and "You're No Good," she sold over 100 million albums and was once the highest paid woman in rock. Her memoir, "Simple Dreams," is set to release in September.