Linda Ronstadt, Queen Of Rock In The '70s, Then And Now

By | August 6, 2018

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Left: Photo of Linda Ronstadt circa 1970 Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Roght: Ronstadt on the cover of her 1978 album 'Living In The USA.' Source:

They called Linda Ronstadt the "Queen of Rock" in the '70s, but the name is a little limiting. Ronstadt has recorded and performed in just about every genre during her career -- not just rock, but vocal jazz, country, and Latin. The ten-time Grammy Award winner has worked with musicians all acoss the spectrum, from rockers like Neil Young and Frank Zappa to bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs and composer Philip Glass. From more than 30 studio albums, she has placed 38 songs in the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1978, Linda Ronstadt was the highest paid woman in rock, with solo platinum records to her name and sold-out stadium shows.

Is it even possible that the celebrated Linda Ronstadt is in her 70s? 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.  

Linda Ronstadt grew up with her family on a ranch in Arizona. The Ronstadt family was musically inclined and 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.

Linda Ronstadt Seemed Destined For Success In Music

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Ronstadt told Debbie Kruger, “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.