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Singer Linda Ronstadt announced that she has Parkinson’s disease and can no longer sing, leaving the music world without one of its signature voices.
The 67-year-old singer made the announcement in an interview with AARP, confirming that she was diagnosed eight months ago, although she had been showing signs of the disease as far back as eight years ago. In the interview, Ronstadt said that she could feel that something was wrong with her voice and at first thought it was because of a tick bite she had. She believed the shaking in her hands were caused by shoulder surgery.
“I couldn’t sing,” she told AARP, “and I couldn’t figure out why.”
She continued, “ 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. 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.”
When she was diagnosed, she was “completely shocked,” adding, “I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.”
The “You’re No Good” singer added that “No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”
Rondtandt’s memoir Simple Dreams comes out in September, but she didn’t write about Parkinson’s in the book. As USA Today notes, she has 11 Grammy wins on her resume and last released an album in 2006, titled Adieu False Heart. Her other hits include "Blue Bayou" and "Desperado."