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Linda Ronstadt Opens Up About Losing Her Voice and Living With Parkinson’s

In a candid interview, Linda Ronstadt revealed that her health has deteriorated to such an extent that she “can’t even sing in the shower.”

The singer and songwriter, known for hits like “You’re No Good” and “It’s So Easy,” told “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith that she began having issues with her voice in 2000. She was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013.

Ronstadt says she found herself yelling during her concerts, rather than singing. She retired from the stage, and performed her last show in 2009, even before she knew what exactly was afflicting her. But Ronstadt insists she isn’t angry about the situation. “When you’ve been able to do certain things all your life, like put your shoes on and brush your teeth or whatever, you – when you can’t do that, you sort of go, ‘What’s this?’” she said. “You know, what’s happening here? Come help me with this. And then you have to learn to ask people to help, and that – that took a little doing. But I do that now, because I need the help.”

Despite the challenges, Ronstadt believes there’s hope for a cure to Parkinson’s in the future. “I’m sure they’ll find something eventually,” she said. “They’re learning so much more about it every day. If not, I mean, I’m 72. We’re all going to die. So, they say people usually die with Parkinson’s. They don’t always die of it because it’s so slow-moving. So, I’ll figure I’ll die of something. And I’ve watched people die, so I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of suffering, but I’m not afraid of dying.”

During the wide-ranging conversation, Ronstadt also talked about her life today, her iconic tracks, receiving a National Medal of Arts award, and more. This week, Ronstadt will release her first-ever live album, “Live in Hollywood,” which includes 12 songs that were pulled from a 1980 concert originally shot for an HBO special.

CBS Sunday Morning” will air Sunday, Feb. 3, at 9 a.m. ET/PT. Watch a preview of the interview here.

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