Linda Ronstadt Opens Up on Parkinson's Disease: 'Can't Sing a Note'

Linda Ronstadt
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The singer says she was diagnosed eight months ago, though she may have suffered symptoms for nearly a decade.

Linda Ronstadt has revealed her struggles with Parkinson's disease in an interview with AARP.

The singer, 67, told the magazine that she can no longer sing. She was diagnosed eight months ago but has suffered from symptoms for as long as eight years -- issues she previously ascribed to a tick bite and shoulder surgery.

"No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt said. “No matter how hard you try.”

She said she was "completely shocked" at the diagnosis.

"It didn't occur to me to go to a neurologist" initially, Ronstadt said. “I couldn’t sing 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… I wouldn't have suspected [Parkinson's] in a million years."

Her symptoms have gone beyond her voice, reportedly inhibiting her ability to walk: she now travels in a wheelchair and uses poles on uneven ground.

The full interview with the musician will appear on AARP's site next week, in advance of her upcoming memoir, "Simple Dreams," due Sept. 17. The book will not chronicle the diagnosis.