By now you may already know about Linda Ronstadt's recent interview with AARP, in which she revealed that she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Perhaps your reaction was like mine. I gasped, and then sat for a good long time, with tears falling down my cheeks.
With the combination of her talent, luck, and hard work she's made a big career; with her keen intelligence she made it a fascinating one for us to follow. She has walked right through the fences that separate Different Drum from Pirates of Penzance, You're No Good from Mean to Me, and has embraced hard rock, country, opera, operetta, standards...
And always that voice. That glorious, rich, supple, once in a generation, once in a million moons voice.
The clip below is from her mariachi album, Canciones de Mi Padre. The first time I saw and heard her sing this music, I was moved to tears, and now here I am again, crying like a rainstorm for Linda, for her voice, for her illness, her passion, and for the difficult road ahead. She said in the AARP interview, "No one can sing with Parkinson's disease. No matter how hard you try." It is so hard to imagine how that must feel, hard to imagine her not singing.
I hope she will surprise us all.