Ronstadt, Linda

Ronstadt, Linda (Linda Maria Ronstadt), 1946–, American singer, b. Tucson, Ariz. She is known for the clarity and strength of her soprano voice and for the range of song genres in which she performed. Part of the 1960s California folk-rock trio the Stone Poneys, she began her solo career with Hand Sown…Home Grown (1969). Her fifth solo album, Heart like a Wheel (1974), made her a star, and won her a Grammy for its cover of Hank Williams' “I Can't Help It.” Among her many hits in the 1970s were “Tracks of My Tears” and “Blue Bayou.” In the 1980s she performed on Broadway in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance (1981; film, 1983); recorded Tin Pan Alley favorites with Nelson Riddle; joined Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris on the country album Trio (1986; Grammy); and sang traditional Mexican songs on Canciones di Mi Padre (1987; Grammy). She made albums in several different styles during the 1990s and early 2000s before retiring in 2011. She received 11 Grammy awards in all, and an Emmy for a PBS show focused on Mexican song.

See her autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir (2013); biography by M. Bego (1990); documentary dir. by R. Epstein and J. Friedman (2019).

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