Linda Ronstadt is among this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees, but you won't see the renowned and versatile singer at the induction ceremony, which takes place April 10 in Brooklyn, New York. Ronstadt recently revealed that she's been battling Parkinson's disease, which has robbed her of her ability to sing, and she tells Billboard that she's skipping the event because her illness makes it "very hard for me to travel."
She explains, "I have to save traveling for things I really have to do. I have to spend a certain amount of time visiting my family, and I have to spend a little bit of time doing things that are professional. But I just can't travel casually. It's too hard."
Ronstadt adds that being recognized by the Rock Hall just isn't that important to her.
"I haven't given it one thought," she admits. "It wasn't anything I ever thought about. I never thought of myself as a rock' n' roll singer; I sang it, [but] it's just one of the things I sang. I sang a lot of different stuff."
The 67-year-old artist points out that she also didn't bother going to the Grammy Awards the last two times she was nominated for a trophy.
"I don't have anything against it; you just don't do things for those reasons," she maintains. "If you're working for prizes, you're in trouble."
Glenn Frey, who was a member of Linda's backing band before co-founding The Eagles, will induct Ronstadt into the Hall of Fame. She also will be the subject of a musical tribute featuring Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Carrie Underwood.
Meanwhile, a new Ronstadt compilation titled Duets will be released on April 8. The 15-track collection will feature the singer's collaboration with such stars as Harris, Don Henley, James Taylor, Dolly Parton, Aaron Neville, Bette Midler and Frank Sinatra.
"I prefer duets to anything else," Ronstadt tells Billboard. "When you sing with somebody else, if you're listening and paying attention, your voice will take on colors and tones and textures that you might not be inclined to exercise when you're just singing by yourself."
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