Linda Ronstadt has sold tens of millions records throughout her illustrious musical career as a genre-bending singer and songwriter. But in recent years, she made headlines discussing a very different topic: her Parkinson’s disease (PD).
In 2013, Ronstadt announced that she’s living with Parkinson’s, but had noticed symptoms impacting her vocal cords as early as 2000. This weekend on CBS Sunday Morning, Ronstadt spoke about the impact of her disease on her career:
For more than four decades it seemed there was nothing Linda Ronstadt couldn’t do, until she sensed that her voice was beginning to fail her.
Smith asked, “When did you start noticing there was something wrong with your voice?”
“2000,” she replied. “I’d start to sing and then it would just clamp up. It was, like, a cramp. My voice would freeze. And I said, ‘There’s something wrong with my voice.’ And people would say, ‘Oh, you’re just a perfectionist.’ I go, ‘No, there’s really something systemically wrong.’
“And it’s very slow-moving, this disease, so it took a long time to really finally manifest.”
Estimates vary, but up to 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s may experience a speech problem, including a softer voice, monotone speech, and slurred or mumbled words. For many, these symptoms can become more troublesome as disease progresses. Treatment typically involves speech therapy (formal programs with a certified speech therapist) and sometimes also communication devices that amplify or enhance speech.
Linda played her last show in 2009 but it was in 2013 when she finally revealed she had Parkinson’s. Whilst Linda is no longer performing you can still experience her wonderful music by joining Shake It Up Ambassador “Bloom” at one of her concerts at various locations around Australia.
Bloom has been described as “one of Australia’s finest vocalist” and Six-Time Golden Guitar Award Winning singer/songwriter Melinda Schneider describing her as “the next generation of amazing vocalists!”
Expect to hear songs including timeless hits as Blue Bayou, When Will I Be In Loved, It’s So Easy, When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, That’ll Be The Day, Just One Look, Back In The U.S.A, Poor Poor Pitiful Me and many more.
As Linda did to Australian audiences in 1979, come and be charmed by the Australian vocal powerhouse that is Bloom and celebrate all that is Linda Ronstadt.
Here’s a sneak peak of Bloom