Linda Ronstadt: The First Lady of Rock and Parkinson's Iron Lady
Photo: Singer Linda Ronstradt. Source: ABC News.
In the United States alone, there are approximately one million cases of existing patients with Parkinson’s with an estimated 60,000 of new cases each year. In addition, about 10 million people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease worldwide. Unfortunately, despite these high numbers, there are still undetected or unreported cases due to varying factors.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative and progressive disease. Deep parts of the brain get damaged which, in turn, affects the body movement and motor skills of a person. Unfortunate victims of Parkinson’s experience uncontrollable muscle movements like tremors, slowed motor skills, impaired balance, and even changes in their speech and writing. With the damages that the disease cause to a person, having Parkinson’s can be very debilitating.
Since a lot of people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s worldwide, famous celebrities are no exception to this very unfortunate and degenerative disease. Year by year, celebrities with Parkinson’s disease walk a red carpet in the Celebrity Fight Night for an annual fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease in which the featured guest was Muhammad Ali for almost 18 years. Celebrities like Michael J. Fox, Freddie Roach, Billy Connolly, Maurice White, James Levine, and Linda Ronstadt have continued to fight for awareness and to fund charities dedicated to Parkinson’s.
Getting to know Linda
For those who may not already know this legend, Linda Ronstadt is an American pop and country singer. Born on July 15th ,1946, she hails from Tucson, Arizona. She also sings a wide array of genres like folk rock, jazz, soft rock, Latin, mariachi, and even big bands since most of her early influences in music include Mexican music, which was widely sung in her family. She also taps into the influences of gospel and opera in some of her songs.
Linda established her career in the mid-1960’s wherein at that time, folk rock, and country rock genres were on the rise. Together with her co-singers Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards, they were the known folk rock trio called Stone Poneys. Later on, Ronstadt decided to have a solo career and had succeeded in it as well. One of her famous albums Hand Sown… Home Grown has garnered her the label as the first female recording artist to have an alternative country album. After the array of limelight that she has accumulated, her career had slowed down. Despite this, she toured with other bands and artists and appeared mostly on television shows as a guest. After her career slowed down, she regained her fame through her albums Heart Like A Wheel, Simple Dreams, and Living In The USA. Her top chart albums made her the “First Lady of Rock” and the “Queen of Rock”.