Linda Ronstadt

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Linda Ronstadt in 1978

Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is an American popular music and country music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award, and many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the United States and internationally. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On July 28, 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.


  • The thing I’ve always thought about music is that it’s not competitive, it’s cooperative. I thought that was a really good example. We chose the songs because all three of us loved them so much we were afraid we’d get sick if we didn’t record them. Then we’d choose the arrangement by who was going to sing lead, by who sounded best…
  • …I was singing on the sort of the flat, lower part of my voice. I didn't have all the color and the breath and the sort of airy halo that comes. There's a lot of different textures that you can dial in and out on an unconscious level when you're singing. And you just bring in these colors and textures, and they all express emotion in some way or another. And I didn't have that with me. I was - I thought of myself as a painter that was painting with a limited palette, so I thought, well, I got some darks and lights here. And I've got some maybe some umber, you know? And I can put that in, and I just have to make a really strong drawing, make the image as bold as I can. And that's what I was trying to do with this song.
  • It's always like that when you record: You always think that you can do a better [job]. You know, the whole thing with recording is you have to know when to turn off the tape machine and just stop recording because you want to keep fixing, fixing, fixing, you know? In those days, we didn't fix anything.
  • The culture supports serial monogamy, and I think I had plenty of that, and I think I was reasonably monogamous in a serial way. But I'm not a good compromiser. I think I don't have the knack for that kind of compromise. I admire people's marriages, and I think it's a wonderful thing to have, but I don't think it's the only way to live…
  • There is a lot of German and French influence there…The music uses accordions and German-style brass bands, reinterpreted in a Mexican style. I like to say that Mexicans took German and French music and made it sexy.
  • I get especially angry when I see how people are treated when they come up here looking for work, especially the farm workers…I challenge any prep school white boy to spend an hour picking strawberries in the full sun where you’re bent over and somebody sprays pesticide on you. And without them, we can’t eat.

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