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Linda Ronstadt Opens Up About Her Difficult Struggle With Parkinson’s Disease

Linda Ronstadt
Vince Bucci, Getty Images

It was only recently revealed that Linda Ronstadt is battling Parkinson’s Disease, but now, the singer is opening up about her struggle with the illness, including sharing the symptoms she noticed before being diagnosed. 

The 67-year-old singer tells ABC News that Parkinson’s had affected her singing so much that it was as if her “elevator would go to the wrong floor all the time.” It’s difficult to imagine this talented songstress struggling to sing. She’s had a storied career spanning four decades, releasing a range of original songs and inspirational covers.

Ronstadt believes she had Parkinson’s for a long time before she was diagnosed — possibly between 12 to 15 years. “It was hard to comb my hair,” she recalls. “It was hard to brush my teeth. It was hard to wash my hair. Hard to get my hands up over my head.”

The disease also showed up in her music, as she reveals that she could no longer hit the correct notes while singing — something that must have been difficult for her to face.

Ronstadt’s memoir, ‘Simple Dreams — A Musical Memoir,’ was released Tuesday (Sept. 17), but since she was diagnosed after the completion of the book, her illness is not mentioned.

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