Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she revealed to AARP. She says she “can’t sing a note” due to the diagnosis which she received eight months ago although she began showing symptoms up to eight years ago. She contributed her inability to sing to a tick bite and believed the shaking in her hand was from shoulder surgery.
“I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t figure out why,” she said. “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.
“Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked,” she continued. “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.”
Linda walks with the aid of poles when on uneven ground and uses a wheelchair when she travels. Her new memoir, Simple Dreams, will be released on September 17 but does not address her disease or the loss of her voice.