SINGER-SONGWRITER LINDA RONSTADT OPENS UP TO “CBS SUNDAY MORNING” ABOUT THE LOSS OF HER SINGING VOICE, HER CAREER AND LIVING WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Ronstadt Tells Tracy Smith: “I’m Afraid of Suffering, But I’m Not Afraid of Dying”
Legendary singer-songwriter Linda Ronstadt opens up to Tracy Smith about the loss of her singing voice, her career, living with Parkinson’s and more, in a revealing interview for CBS SUNDAY MORNING to be broadcast Sunday, Feb. 3 (9 a.m., ET) on the CBS Television Network.
Ronstadt, who is 72, has sold more than 100 million records and is known for such hits as “You’re No Good,” “It’s So Easy” and “Blue Bayou.” Ronstadt tells Smith she noticed something was wrong with her voice in 2000. In 2013 she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Today, Ronstadt can no longer sing.
“I can’t even sing in the shower,” Ronstadt tells Smith.
Ronstadt doesn’t get angry at her situation – there’s no point in it, she tells Smith.
“When you’ve been able to do certain things all your life, like put your shoes on and brush your teeth or whatever, you – when you can’t do that, you sort of go, ‘What’s this?’” says Ronstadt. “You know, what’s happening here? Come help me with this. And then you have to learn to ask people to help, and that – that took a little doing. But I do that now, because I need the help.”
Ronstadt says the problem with her voice emerged when she tried singing and couldn’t. She then found herself yelling at concerts, rather than singing. She played her last show in 2009 and retired from the stage before she knew what was really happening to her.
She has not completely disappeared, however. Last fall, before a packed house, Ronstadt appeared on stage at a theater in Los Angeles to talk about her music and her life. And this week, Ronstadt will release her first-ever live album, Live in Hollywood, which includes 12 songs that were pulled from a 1980 concert originally shot for an HBO special.
In a wide-ranging interview, Ronstadt talks with Smith about her life today, what it’s like having hit songs, about getting a National Medal of Arts award and more. She also talks about the future and hopes for a cure for Parkinson’s.
“I’m sure they’ll find something eventually,” she tells Smith. “They’re learning so much more about it every day. If not, I mean, I’m 72. We’re all going to die. So, they say people usually die with Parkinson’s. They don’t always die of it because it’s so slow-moving. So, I’ll figure I’ll die of something. And I’ve watched people die, so I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of suffering, but I’m not afraid of dying.”
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.