This Thursday, Linda Ronstadt is being forever immortalized as one of rock’s elite as she is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As one of California’s most influential singers to come out of the 60s folk-rock era, this honor is bittersweet for Ronstadt, who revealed she can no longer sing after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease last year.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published today (April 8th), Ronstadt opens up about what the Rock Hall honor means to her, saying “it’s nice,” but has been really focusing most her energy for release of her new album Duets – out today.
“It’s just something I never gave one thought to,” she told the L.A. Times on the honor. “Other people seem to be way more interested [in the Hall of Fame induction] than I am. It’s like other awards that have come my way: I’m delighted to get them, and I’m very grateful. But I didn’t work for that reason.”
Ronstadt won’t be attending the induction ceremony this Thursday in Brooklyn, NY due to her condition, which makes traveling difficult. In her honor, the Rock Hall has assembled an all-star tribute comprised of country-rock icons Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow to perform at the ceremony. Glenn Fry of The Eagles, who started his career in Ronstadt’s backing band, will give the induction speech.
Though she’s not giving her Rock Hall honor ‘one thought,’ Ronstadt is exceptionally enthusiastic about the release of her new album Duets, which features memorable recordings spanning 30 years of musical collaborations. The collection of songs features duets with artists like Frank Sinatra, Don Henley, Bette Midler, James Ingram, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and more.
“It’s so much fun. So much better than just singing by yourself. It’s like a journey, or a road trip, which isn’t so much fun if you go by yourself,” she said of the album in the interview. “You have somebody to share the load with. The thing I like about singing duets is that I get things out of my voice I never get singing by myself.”
Though her disease has deprived her of the voice she’s so well known for, Ronstadt has found a way to keep singing with the release of the Duets collection. She even told Billboard that she’d be open to releasing more archival recordings in the future.
“I sang a lot of stuff, so there are all sorts of possibilities, I guess,” she said.