In Face Of Crippling Disease, Linda Ronstadt Is Still Going Strong

Ed Perlstein/Getty Images, YouTube/ CBS Sunday Morning

She’s a true living legend, but after a terrible disease stole her ability to sing – many thought they would never see her on stage again, or see the day when she released another record. She has stood up in the face of adversity and done both – because she’s still a treasured icon and a fighter.


For decades she was known as one of the most versatile and talented singers in all of music. She charted major hits in almost every single genre – including rock, country, pop, and Latin. She sold more than 100 million albums and collaborated with some of the biggest names to ever hit the stage, like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and more.

After more than 40 years on stage, Linda Ronstadt retired from performing after Parkinson’s disease made it impossible for her to sing.

“Well, I was standing on stage trying to sing and I couldn’t. Ya know, I’d do my vocal exercises before I’d start the show and they used to make me get really into a good voice and somehow it wasn’t happening. I was struggling with pitch, I was struggling with…. I didn’t have any color that I could bring into my voice.” Ronstadt said in an interview with Dan Rather. “I got to the point where I was basically really shouting and barking.”

Her final performance was in 2009, but Ronstadt didn’t reveal that she was battling Parkinson’s until 2013 when she went public with the information.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Ronstadt opened up about what she’s been doing recently – and what it’s been like battling Parkinson’s in this way.

In 2018, Ronstadt took to the stage for an experience like no other: she sat down in a comfy chair on top of the stage outside of Los Angeles and spoke to a sold-out crowd as part of her mutli-date tour called “A Conversation With Linda.”

This, as she described, would be one of her very last public appearances due to ill health. Unfortunately, some of the additional dates she had planned in 2019 were all canceled due to illness as well.

The speaking sessions covered all of her incredibly colorful life from early days in folk-rock all the way up to her immense stardom and fame as one of the most powerful female vocalists to ever exist.

On top of this magical (and sold-out) tour, Ronstadt also released a collection of rare and unheard tapes from a very special session in her career. Recorded during a show at Hollywood’s Television Center Studios in April 1980, this incredible collection of her stunning hits has only been heard once before – and now, her first live album is available for everyone!

Released on February 1st, 2019, Live in Hollywood features 12 performances hand-picked by Ronstadt herself and is a mix of rock, country, and pop songs that all will bring the memories flooding back.

Watch Linda Ronstadt’s full interview with CBS Sunday Morning below and check out the full track listing for her stunning new album as well.

Live in Hollywood track listing:

  1. “I Can’t Let Go”
  2. “It’s So Easy”
  3. “Willin’”
  4. “Just One Look”
  5. “Blue Bayou”
  6. “Faithless Love”
  7. “Hurt So Bad”
  8. “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”
  9. “You’re No Good”
  10. “How Do I Make You”
  11. “Back in the U.S.A.”
  12. “Desperado”