Linda Ronstadt’s Encore

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Young, Beautiful and Talented, Photo By Rob Bogaerts, Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t know who Linda Rondstadt is, you probably weren’t around during the 1970s. The award-winning singer sang rock, country, Latin, and light opera as well as other genres. She won 10 Grammy awards, three American music awards, two academy of country music awards, and the list goes on. Add to that the numerous albums and singles she produced, and you have a superstar.

Ronstadt retired in 2011 due to a rare degenerative disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). It’s the same disease that actor Dudley Moore died from in 2002. It’s the same disease that my brother suffers from today. This gives me a special interest in knowing more about it.

Mayo Clinic Definition

Progressive supranuclear palsy is an uncommon brain disorder that causes serious problems with walking, balance and eye movements, and later with swallowing. The disorder results from the deterioration of cells in areas of your brain that control body movement, coordination, thinking, and other important functions. Progressive supranuclear palsy is also called Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome.

PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s in the beginning stages, but some significant differences are observed as it progresses. With PSP, the shaking isn’t present like in Parkinson’s. Frequent falls and usually falling backward occur in PSP sufferers, and they can occur two and three times a day. One telltale sign of PSP is the lack of the ability to focus the eyes downward or upward.

In the last few years, Ronstadt has appeared in interviews stating that she has Parkinson’s. That has been rediagnosed as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Patients don’t die of the disease itself, but they can lose the ability to swallow, therefore needing a feeding tube inserted in the stomach. Dudley Moore eventually died of pneumonia, which is often the case with PSP.

Linda Rondstadt had a phenomenal singing voice that could reach a wide range of octaves. If you’re too young to have ever heard her, look her up on YouTube, where there are many videos of her concerts. You’re in for a treat and might even become a fan.

Although big news at the time, below is a bit of trivia on Governor Jerry Brown’s and Linda Rondstat’s romantic relationship in the 1970s.


A free spirit, visual artist, writer, animal lover, introvert and independent woman.

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