Iconic US rock and country star Linda Ronstadt said she “can’t sing a note” anymore after Parkinson’s disease stole her voice.
Though she was diagnosed just eight months ago, the 67-year-old singer behind 1970s hits like “It’s so easy” and “That’ll be the day,” said in an interview posted on the AARP website that the symptoms first started appearing eight years ago.
“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt lamented. “No matter how hard you try.”
In the interview, the singer — winner of 11 Grammy awards and two Country Music Awards — explained her realization that “there was something wrong” with her voice.
“I couldn’t sing,” she told the AARP, an advocacy group for senior citizens and retired people, “and I couldn’t figure out why.
“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 finally went to a neurologist and received the diagnosis, Ronstadt said: “I was completely shocked. I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years.”
According to the AARP, the singer now sometimes relies on a cane to walk and uses a wheelchair while traveling.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative nerve disease that causes tremors, stiffness and slowed movement.
Ronstadt hit it big in the 1970s, and at one point was one of the best paid singers in rock’n’roll.
She produced more than 40 albums and collaborated with other stars, including Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, The Eagles, James Taylor, Neil Young and Elvis Costello.