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Linda Ronstadt

With roots in the Los Angeles country and folk-rock scenes, Linda Ronstadt became one of the most popular interpretive singers of the '70s, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles. Throughout the '70s, her laid-back pop never lost sight of her folky roots, yet as she moved into the '80s, she began to change her sound with the times, adding new wave influences. After a brief flirtation with pre-rock pop, Ronstadt settled into a pattern of adult contemporary pop and Latin albums, sustaining her popularity in both fields.

While Ronstadt was a student at Arizona State University, she met guitarist Bob Kimmel. The duo moved to Los Angeles, where guitarist/songwriter Kenny Edwards joined the pair. Calling themselves the Stone Poneys, the group became a leading attraction on California's folk circuit, recording their first album in 1967. The band's second album, Evergreen, Vol. 2, featured the Top 20 hit "Different Drum," which was written by Michael Nesmith. After recording one more album with the group, Ronstadt left for a solo career at the end of 1968.

Ronstadt's first two solo albums -- Hand Sown Home Grown (1969) and Silk Purse (1970) -- accentuated her country roots, featuring several honky tonk numbers. Released in 1971, her self-titled third album was a pivotal record in her career. Featuring a group of session musicians who would later form the Eagles, the album was a softer, more laid-back variation of the country-rock she had been recording. With the inclusion of songs from singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne, Neil Young, and Eric Anderson, Linda Ronstadt had folk-rock connections as well. Don't Cry Now, released in 1973, followed the same formula to greater success, yet it was 1974's Heart Like a Wheel that perfected the sound, making Ronstadt a star. Featuring the hit covers "You're No Good," "When Will I Be Loved," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," Heart Like a Wheel reached number one and sold over two million copies.

Released in the fall of 1975, Prisoner in Disguise followed the same pattern as Heart Like a Wheel and was nearly as successful. Hasten Down the Wind, released in 1976, suggested a holding pattern, even if it charted higher than Prisoner in Disguise. Simple Dreams (1977) expanded the formula by adding a more rock-oriented supporting band, which breathed life into the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice" and Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." The record became the singer's biggest hit, staying on the top of the charts for five weeks and selling over three million copies. With Living in the U.S.A. (1978), Ronstadt began experimenting with new wave, recording Elvis Costello's "Alison"; the album was another number one hit. On 1980's Mad Love, she made a full-fledged new wave record, recording three Costello songs and adopting a synth-laden sound. While the album was a commercial success, it signaled that her patented formula was beginning to run out of steam. That suspicion was confirmed with 1982's Get Closer, her first album since Heart Like a Wheel to fail to go platinum.

Sensing it was time to change direction, Ronstadt starred in the Broadway production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, as well as the accompanying movie. Pirates of Penzance led the singer to a collaboration with Nelson Riddle, who arranged and conducted her 1983 collection of pop standards What's New. While it received lukewarm reviews, it was a considerable hit, reaching number three on the charts and selling over two million copies. Ronstadt's next two albums -- Lush Life (1984) and For Sentimental Reasons (1986) -- were also albums of pre-rock standards recorded with Riddle.

At the end of 1986, Ronstadt returned to contemporary pop, recording "Somewhere Out There," the theme to the animated An American Tail, with James Ingram; the single became a number two hit. She also returned to her country roots in 1987, recording the Trio album with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. That same year, Ronstadt recorded Canciones de Mi Padre, a set of traditional Mexican songs that became a surprise hit. Two years later, she recorded Cry Like a Rainstorm - Howl Like the Wind -- her first contemporary pop album since 1982's Get Closer. Featuring four duets with Aaron Neville, including the number two hit "Don't Know Much," the album sold over two million copies.

Ronstadt returned to traditional Mexican and Spanish material with Mas Canciones (1991) and Frenesi (1992). She returned to pop with 1994's Winter Light, which failed to generate a hit single, as did 1995's Feels Like Home. In 1996, she released the children's album Dedicated to the One I Love; We Ran followed in 1998. Two years later, Ronstadt delivered the holiday collection A Merry Little Christmas. Another collection of standards, Hummin' to Myself, arrived in 2004, followed by Adieu False Heart, a collaboration with Ann Savoy of the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band in 2006.

As it turned out, Adieu False Heart would be Ronstadt's last studio album. She supported it with a tour in 2007, including an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival, and although it didn't rise above 146 on the Billboard charts, it did receive a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 2010, she appeared on the Chieftains San Patricio album, but a year later, she told the Arizona Daily Star she was retired. Three years later, she published her autobiography Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir and, in its pre-release publicity, Ronstadt confessed that she had Parkinson's disease, explaining that it was a factor in her retirement. Early in 2014, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; although she wasn't able to attend, an inter-generational all-star group performed in her honor, including Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Carrie Underwood. Around the time of her induction, the compilation Duets was released on Rhino. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I'll always remember laying on my moms green shag carpet,playi n g on repeatplay blue bayou on vinyl l.p. on my dads old wooden console with mom in the background singin.I remember was so proud to find out all this time she was a latina,wow whatt a heavenly voice,bless you always,i know you dislike mp3s.and i totally agree.
I would sing blue bayou,and when my sister left my side to get married .I do
don't know, but I never trusted him for some reason.
I remember belting out When Will I Be Loved on road trips with my mom as a kid. Allentown PA to Burlington VT. Summers at grandaddy's. Fishing in Lake Champlain. Winters in Stowe. The harpsichord at Duncan Mcdonald's house and Mrs. Von Trapp telling us stories. Long ago but the music brings it all back like yesterday :-)
Linda , you had my heart when you sang Blue Bayou. Congrats on your induction to the Rock and Roll hall of fame . I was very touched when Emmylou, Stevie ,Bonnie Sheryl and Carrie sang a tribute to you. I also love your album Canciones de mi Padre. I'LL say a prayer for your battle with Parkinson's.
La Charreada : Me encanta Linda Ronstadt Canciones
La Cherreada : Me encanta Linda Ronstadt Canciones
One of my favorito Song Ever by

Ronstadt id blue bayou
OBEY AND THE POSSE ....HERE CON EL PLEBE CHINO....JAJ A J A J A MUAH Y EL SARGENTO
ph724
HOF Baby!!! About Damn Time!!!!!!
Take a good look at my face....��
pariente2216
SALUDOS A LA RATONA CON SU BISKON VERDE..AHAHA H
I'm am a mature adult woman (70) with my almost 73 husband, May 7th, married 51 years in Aug. in Green Valley sitting on my small back patio enjoying your beautiful music. Stop by some time..you will always be in our hearts. Hugs
El Toro Relajo. I love this song. I used to sing this with my friend Sally Villarreal. it was awesome.
Cantas Bonito
Amor
<3
simply the best !! congrats finally !!! newest RRHOF member !
taty24ny
Well derseved inductee to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Just an angelic and harmonious voice!
Thank you for all the wonderful music Linda!! Keep strong in your battle.
My idea of heaven is to have you, Dolly, and sweet Emmy Lou sing to me forever..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Her ROOTS are Tucson, AZ.
El Camino. I want to play like the guitar is being played in this song. The guitar I want is expensive so I'm hold for that one.
She still takes me to a place in the Universe where there is no pain or sorrow. I miss her SO MUCH.
Viva la Mexicana
Beautiful harmony and song!
*¨*•.¸*•.¸¸♪ • Just Beach (¯`'•.ೋ BEACH BUM......... . . . . . . . . .

QUE BONITA
What can I say that hasn't been said. Look at those eyes .I DO LOVE HER
Los Laureles. Canciones De Mi Padre (Spanish for Songs Of My Father, or My Father's Songs) is American singer/songw r i t e r / p r o d u c e r Linda Ronstadt's first album of Mexican traditional Mariachi music.

AND NO ONE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET DOES AS WELL AT SINGING THIS THAN LINDA RONSTADT.
Where is the Love This Artist icon? I Like This Artist is terribly insufficient for someone like Linda Ronstadt.
congrats on hall of fame
loved you at 17 still do 45 years later best female voice ever
Congratulati o n s , Linda.
No one can sing a puro Latino song like Linda Ronstadt can. She's got such a good voice.
Mi prieta linda, you will always be number 1 in my heart. I love all your music.
Dearest Linda, You have given so much joy to an infinite number of listeners, and especially us fans. You have personified what most of us strive for: A Purposeful Life Well-Lived. Thank you endlessly!
El Sueno. Me encanta escuchar a Linda Ronstadt. Nunca he oído a una mujer cantar tan bien el español. Creo que es tan hermoso
Such a purity of soul-- it comes thru in both languages. Thank you Linda for your powerful talent and your generosity of spirit.
paulda9
One of my favorite songs ever by Ronstadt is Blue Bayou.
Te amo LR. My idol
One of the few voices that give me chills! Love her♥
all I can say is thank you
On the ballot this year. The fan poll is up.
love h e r ............ .
I didn't realize Linda was the age she could get that illness. Sad to hesr about it. Then again Michael J. Fox isn't that old and he has itbalso for many years.
wendy0776
Always have loved listening to Linda Ronstadt. I was fortunate to see/hear her several times in concert, way back in the 70s, 80s. She has it all... beautiful, lovely voice, strength, and multi-talent e d all the way around. Everyone I know loves Linda Ronstadt. I wish her the best.
empty317
I grew up listening to her songs on the radio and albums at home. Great voice! So sorry to hear she won't be able to sing again. Thankfully, all of her music was recorded!
Tu Solo Tu. One of my best friends used to sing this song and she did such a beautiful job of it. I love this song. I used to sing this song with her. My friends name was Amelia Carrillo of Dinuba, California . Beautiful singer.
Such a wonderful singer and then to hear she is ill and will NEVER sing again. My heart goes out to you Linda, Love you much. Jack in San Diego
angelofmcy
Not many can match Linda's beautiful voice. She always has been my very favorite female singer since the Stone Poneys. I was lucky enough to see her a couple times in concert. Absolutely amazing!
rodriguezh69
Linda I Love all your song's I consider u the greatest female singer of all time,may god bless u and all your love one's
what an extraordinar y talent. what a gift her music gave us.
Thanks for years of the most wonderful music imaginable, talented, versatal, with great enthusiasm for your music, we are all so lucky.
troyeclark7
My prayers are with you. I consider you greatest female singer of all time. Thankyou for a beautiful voice and your many years of singing.
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