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Linda Ronstadt Still Wows Us from the '70s to Now

Music | August 6, 2018

CIRCA 1970: Photo of Linda Ronstadt Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Is it even possible that the celebrated Linda Ronstadt just turned 72 years old in July? Yikes! Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday that she was entertaining audiences on the Sunset Strip. There have been many twists and turns throughout the years of her successful music career.  

It has been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and in the case of Ronstadt, a truer statement could not be made.

Linda Ronstadt grew up with her family on a ranch in Arizona. The Ronstadt family was no stranger to music. They were a family rooted in tradition, which is where she drew her inspiration. Together, the family listened to and sang a wide variety of music genres including Mexican music, which was said to have been a “staple” in their lives.

Ronstadt has been quoted as saying, “I don’t record (any type of genre of music) that I didn’t hear in my family’s living room by the time I was 10. It just is my rule that I don’t break because… I can’t do it authentically… I really think that you’re just hard-wiring … in your brain up until the age of maybe 12 or 10, and there are certain things you can’t learn in an authentic way after that.”

Music genres that Linda Ronstadt has recorded throughout her career include rock and roll, jazz, R&B, gospel, opera, country, choral and mariachi. These comprise the music she was exposed to up until the age of 10.  

Linda Ronstadt had the world at her fingertips beginning in the mid-60s as the lead singer with The Stone Poneys.

Ronstadt’s life and epic career played out in front of countless audiences and have been defined in the photos chronicling her success. Her career emerged in the mid-60s with her then-signature folksy style of music. Ronstadt was the lead singer in the group, The Stone Poneys, along with vocalist/guitarist, Bobby Kimmel and lead guitarist, Kenny Edwards.

From her early years California’s Sunset Strip, all the way to Retirement, Linda Ronstadt has wowed her audiences!

Ronstadt’s 2nd Solo Album, Silk Purse, was Released in 1970.

After performing with The Silk Poneys from 1965 to 1968, Linda Ronstadt began her solo career in 1969. At the beginning of her solo career, she performed vocals for television commercials. One, in particular, was for Remington Razors, in which Frank Zappa made some successful marketing claims for the brand.

To her credit, Ronstadt has released some chart-topping albums including Heart Like a Wheel, Simple Dreams and Living in the USA.

With these accomplishments under her belt, Linda Ronstadt became one of the highest grossing concert artists of her era. She set records that couldn’t be touched and was referred to as the “First Lady of Rock” and the “Queen of Rock.” During this time, Ronstadt was voted the Top Female Pop Singer of the 1970s.    

Linda Ronstadt toured with the likes of the Eagles, Aaron Neville, the Doors, Jackson Browne, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Neil Young.

Ronstadt is no stranger to success. She toured with many of the groups that were front and center in the groovy era. Although she was also a songwriter, she made a bigger name for herself performing songs written by other songwriters. For this reason, although she has been extremely successful, she cannot claim a huge income from royalties.  

Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt and Paul Williams attending the Annual Grammy Awards in 1977.

Ronstadt has been celebrated with many music awards including the coveted Grammy Award, along with other deserving artists like Ringo Starr and Elton John.

Music legend, Linda Ronstadt, has earned the admiration of many fans and fellow artists over the years and has also been celebrated with many awards. She has 11 Grammy Awards, 3 American Music Awards, 2 Academy of Country Music Awards, an Alma Award and an Emmy Award. In addition to that, Ronstadt has many gold, platinum/multi-platinum albums. In 2011, she was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Linda Ronstadt also dabbled in acting on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The Pirates of Penzance, in the '80s.

In 2014, Ronstadt was inducted into the prestigious, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Often, we forget that celebrities are just regular people. Much like the rest of us, they are often faced with real-life and sometimes devastating circumstances. Linda Ronstadt was forced into retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She struggles with her condition but don’t count her out yet. Ronstadt is a person that sees the glass as half-full. She will make the most of her situation and do the best she can with it.

Next year, 2019, Linda Ronstadt is on track to receive a joint star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

It is a fact that entertainers come and go. It is also a fact that great artists like Linda Ronstadt are definitely fixtures that have shaped the music world.

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.