Linda Ronstadt performs at Stokely Athletic Center on Oct. 26, 1975. (University of Tennessee Libraries)

Linda Ronstadt Rocks Highest-Charting Album In 24 Years


By  | April 18, 2014 1:45 PM EDT

The pop/rock icon – and now Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – returns with ‘Duets,’ which spurs her best chart rank since 1990

New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Linda Ronstadt roars back onto theBillboard 200, as her new compilation “Duets” debuts at No. 32. The bow instantly grants Ronstadt her highest-charting album since 1990.

The multi-genre performer last charted higher with “Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind” (featuring Aaron Neville), which peaked at No. 7 on March 17, 1990. That set spawned three hit singles with Neville on the Billboard Hot 100, including the smash No. 2 ballad “Don’t Know Much.” It also produced the No. 11 hit “All My Life” and her so-far final Hot 100 entry, “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby,” which topped out at No. 78. (“Much” and “Life” each topped Adult Contemporary, while “Baby” rose to No. 5.)

The new compilation includes “Much” and boasts collaborations with Don Henley, Bette Midler, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Her 1987 No. 2 Hot 100 hit with James Ingram, “Somewhere Out There,” is also on the set. One previously-unreleased cut rounds out the 15-song collection: “Pretty Bird,” with Laurie Lewis.

The new Billboard 200 chart feat and Rock Hall induction comes at a time of crossroads for the singer, who announced in 2013 that she is unable to sing because of Parkinson’s disease. Still, “Duets” is her 35th charting album, stretching back to 1970’s “Silk Purse,” which hit No. 103. She’s scored 10 Billboard 200 top 10s, including three No. 1s: “Heart Like a Wheel” (1975), “Simple Dreams” (1977) and “Living in the USA” (1978).

On the Hot 100, Ronstadt has charted 34 songs, 10 of which reached the top 10 and one of which hit No. 1: 1975’s “You’re No Good.”

Ronstadt, who could not attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 10 (as travel is very difficult for her), was celebrated at the event via an all-star performance. A quintet of leading women (along with Glenn Frey) sang for Ronstadt: Sheryl Crow, Harris, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and Carrie Underwood.


Waddy Wachtel, Andrew Gold, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Edwards - 8/10/76 Ravina Festival

Glenn Frey insists Linda Ronstadt is doing ‘fine’


Eagles rocker Glenn Frey has assured fans old friend and collaborator Linda Ronstadt is doing well after she was forced to skip her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday due to ill health.

The “Blue Bayou” singer, 67, was a member of the Class of 2014 feted during a ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y., but she was a no-show after recently revealing her battle with Parkinson’s disease had made traveling cross-country from Los Angeles too difficult for her.

But Frey, who did turn out to the event to honor his pal, insists devotees have no need to worry as she is feeling good otherwise.

The rocker says, “I spoke to her a couple of days ago. … She’s got a very bad back and she can’t sit for too long without lying down and she can’t lie down for too long without sitting up. But she’s doing fine.

“At this time, I just think it was a little much to ask her to fly across the country for this (induction).”

In Ronstadt’s absence, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris paid tribute to the singer by performing a medley of her hits for the Barclays Center crowd.

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'It's So Easy' and 'When Will I Be Loved' performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, honouring Linda Ronstadt

source: Cool Hand 62

Stevie Nicks Talks Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens and KISS At The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


April 11, 2014 1:38 AM ET

Why did you want to pay tribute to Linda Ronstadt?

Because Linda was one of the first artists that really caught my eye when I was in high school. And I really could sing just like her. I’m sure a lot of people could. Because if you study her, you can get her vibe. So I could sing “Different Drum.” I couldn’t sing it as good as Carrie Underwood just sang it, I have to say, God bless her. But I got it pretty good, and I could also play it on my guitar – and I’m not the best guitar player. But I learned it and I could sing it.

Linda was really a rock star, but she was tinged with the country thing. And so she figured out a way to blend those things. So she was rockin’, and she hung out with the rockers, the rock bands. But she still had that little bit of country that went along with her. And, her voice was so spectacular that all the men surrounding her – Don Henley and Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne – that whole bunch of guys that was so fantastic. So she was like myself.

How else did you relate to her?
She was never gonna do a song she didn’t love. Because I’ve gotten in terrible arguments with producers about a song that they’ll give me, and they’ll go, “This could be your next hit single.” And I’m like, “I don’t care because I hate it, and I’m not doing it.” And huge arguments over that. And I’m sure Linda Ronstadt was the same way, where she’d say, “No, I’m not doing that song. I don’t like it.” So she was just strong.

And I think that when she was 15, 16, 17, she was probably just like me. She was marching through the halls of her high school going, ‘Everybody should be moving aside right now, because, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Linda Ronstadt, future huge rock star.” It’s just in her. I watched her and I listened to her. And I loved all her songs and I got told great stories about her from all the amazing people that did know her. And I don’t really know how she slipped through the cracks, and I never really got to meet her. I should’ve gotten to meet her. Anyway, she was just like the perfect storm of everything meeting at the same time in perfection when she hit the radio.

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Glenn Frey’s Speech Inducting Linda Ronstadt into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Hello, everybody. I’m Glenn Frey and it is my great pleasure tonight to induct Linda Ronstadt into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’d like to start by saying it’s about time. It was my selfish wish that Linda would have been inducted in 1998 with the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas and Papas and Santana. But that time has passed, the time is now, and Linda’s music and legacy give us so much to celebrate and contemplate.

In the late-1960s, after playing in various folk groups in her hometown of Tuscon, Arizona, Linda moved to Los Angeles and became a member of the Stone Poneys. They made three albums together and had one hit, ‘Different Drum.’ When the group broke up in 1968, ready or not, Linda became a solo artist. I first met Linda in 1970 at the Troubadour bar. For my part, it was love at first sight. There was just one problem: a guitar-slinging, love-rustler from Amarillo, Texas named John David Souther. He beat me to the punch, which would become a pattern throughout our careers — thank God he never met my wife.

So Linda and I, we became friends, and in the spring of 1971, she hired me and a singing drummer from Linden, Texas named Don Henley to play in her back-up band. From the first rehearsal, I felt we were working on a style of music none of us had ever heard before. Two years later, people called it “country-rock.” While touring with Linda that summer, Don and I told her that we wanted to start our own band, and she, more than anyone else, helped us put together the Eagles. That’s right. And later, she gave our careers a big shot in the arm by recording our song, ‘Desperado.’

Between 1969 and 1973, she made four solo albums. They were all really good, but they were laying the groundwork for what would be her breakthrough album, ‘Heart Like a Wheel,’ produced by Peter Asher. 1974 was the first of many magic years in Linda’s career. She found herself in a place that all artists dream of, when the producer and the material, the singer and the players all come together and something otherworldly happens in the recording studio, This was ‘Heart Like a Wheel,’ an album for all-time. The haunting title track, Linda’s deceptively simple arrangement of ‘Guess It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,’ the Hank Williams classic, ‘I Can’t Help It if I’m Still in Love With You’ and the smash ‘You’re No Good,’ kept this album in the charts for 51 weeks. And Linda became a star.

Peter and Linda went on to record five more albums, choosing material from songwriters she loved and admired. Songs like ‘Love Is a Rose,’ ‘Tracks of My Tears,’ ‘Heat Wave,’ ‘That’ll Be the Day,’ ‘It’s So Easy,’ ‘Blue Bayou,’ ‘Poor Poor Pitiful Me,’ ‘Tumblin’ Dice,’ ‘Back in the U.S.A.,’ ‘Ooh Baby Baby,’ ‘Blowin’ Away’ and ‘When Will I Be Loved.’

By the end of the 1970s, she was known as “The Queen of Country-Rock.” Uncomfortable with that label — or any other label, for that matter — she longed to break out and try things beyond rock and roll. She went to New York to sing the role of Mabel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Pirates of Penzance.’ She knocked it out of Central Park, and was nominated for a Tony.

While living and working in New York, she decided to make a jazz album — a standards album, if you will. She teamed with legendary arranger Nelson Riddle and made not one, but three records, each one an impeccable work of musical art. When the first album, ‘What’s New,’ was released, it sold three million copies and spent 81 weeks on the Billboard album chart.

For the longest time, she wanted to sing and record with two dear friends, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. They called their partnership ‘Trio,’ and they made two gorgeous records together. When the first Trio album was released, it was certified platinum, it won a Grammy and a CMA.

Always reaching, always stretching, Linda had yet another dream. She wanted to record an album of Mexican songs, sung entirely in Spanish. Her record company freaked out. But she gathered the finest musicians in their field and recorded ‘Canciones de Mi Padre,’ the songs of my father. Upon release in 1987, it went double platinum…in a day. It sold millions of records worldwide and is the biggest-selling non-English language album in American recording history.

I wish I had the time to share with you the fascinating stories, you know, of all the talented people she’s worked with over the years. They’re all part of her music family — Linda’s always been about family.

Linda Ronstadt recorded 31 albums. She sold over 100 million records and had a career that spanned five decades. She has been a shining example and a true inspiration to every woman who ever stood in front of a microphone and sang her heart out. And through it all, she remains nothing but authentic. You see, Linda lives in a place where art trumps commerce, where self-exploration trumps self-exploitation, where hard work and integrity trump fame and failure. She never wanted to be a star, she just wanted to make good music.

Although Linda is now retired and does not travel anymore, she sends you all her very best wishes and a heartfelt “Thank you.” She is one of the greatest voices of all-time, and she shared her voice with beauty, grace and love. So on behalf of your family and your friends, your peers and music fans from all over the world, it’s my honor to say, “Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Linda Ronstadt!”

Read More: The Full Text of Glenn Frey’s Speech Inducting Linda Ronstadt into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame |


Glenn’s speech starts around 2:00min-10:00min
Performances start shortly after speech ends.



April 11, 2014-Glenn Frey minced few words when he took the stage to induct Linda Ronstadt into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight.

“It’s about time,” he said in a booming voice. “Linda’s legacy gives us so much to celebrate and contemplate.” The Eagles‘ guitarist had nothing but gushing praise for the country-rock pioneer; Frey gave Ronstadt credit for encouraging him and Don Henley to put together the Eagles, and was grateful that she covered ‘Desperado.’

But he also acknowledged her career detours and willingness to take risks — that found her making an album of Mexican mariachi music to appearing on Broadway. “Linda lives in a place where art trumps commerce,” he says. “Where hard work and integrity trump fame and failure. She never wanted to be a star — she only wanted to make good music.”

Frey did note that Ronstadt, who was unable to travel to the ceremony, sent her regards nonetheless. In the end, he said, “she is one of the great voices of all time.”

Photo: Larry Busacca, Getty Images


Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys at Minus One Coffeehouse on 6th Street Nov. 24, 1966.

Mark Godfrey/Tucson Citizen


Linda Ronstadt arrives at Tucson International Airport on Sept. 16, 1976 for a benefit concert for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Gary Gaynor/Tucson Citizen


Linda Ronstadt arrives at Tucson International Airport on Sept. 16, 1976 for a benefit concert for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Gary Gaynor/Tucson Citizen


Paying tribute to a legend: While Linda Ronstadt did not attend her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, (L-R) Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood performed onstage in her honour