Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Linda Ronstadt confronts disease

Linda Ronstadt has brought out her music memoirs

Linda Ronstadt has revealed she got a message of support from Michael J Fox as she talked about dealing with her Parkinson's Disease.

The 67-year-old music legend is no longer able sing and finds it hard to get around without crutches thanks to the debilitating effects of the disease, but she has still been expressing herself in her new memoir Simple Dreams.

The woman behind hits When Will I Be Loved and You're No Good discusses the many milestones in her career in her book, though more personal matters, like her high-profile romances with Jerry Brown and others, are briefly mentioned or not at all. It also doesn't discuss her Parkinson's diagnosis, which came after the book was written.

But when asked about dealing with her condition, Ronstadt said: "I have to ask people to do things for me that are hard. That's been the hardest thing, I think. It's harder to go out and do things... I live like a person with a disability now."

Asked if Fox - who also suffers from Parkinson's - had reached out to her - she said: " I have an email from him. You know, he's been a great person to raise awareness. Bless his heart because it's something that people need to know about.

"Of course, the most promising treatment is fetal stem cell, which is also a great treatment for diabetes, MS, all kinds of things. And of course, the Christian right will not allow that research. It's a terrible thing that they're blocking that research because it could help so many people."

Looking back at some of her best moments, Ronstadt recalled: " I got to sing with Placido Domingo ... I got to sing with Aaron Neville, who is one of my favourites. Got to sing with Brian Wilson, one of the great high tenors. And Ricky Skaggs, a bluegrass tenor. I'm also proud of my musical friendship with Emmylou Harris."

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