Linda Ronstadt Says Parkinson's Makes Her 'Feel Like a Big Demanding Baby'

The singer tells Rachael Ray she can't sing at all but still has a lot of music in her life

Photo: Lou Rocco/ABC/Getty; Eugene Gologursky/Wireimage

Linda Ronstadt, the 11-time Grammy-winning recording artist who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, says that her “painful” disease has not only forced her to stop singing but also now requires her to have assistance with daily activities.

“It is painful … I can’t sing at all,” the singer, 67, admits tells Rachael Ray on her show airing Friday. “Things that require a lot of coordination with your hands, like brushing your teeth or washing your hair … It’s hard to ask other people to do things for me. I feel like a big demanding baby.”

The silky smooth songstress, whose book Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir was released Sept. 17, tells Ray and co-host Regis Philbin that music is still a large part of her life and that there are a number of current artists she greatly admires.

Amy Winehouse was the one that got away,” Ronstadt says. “And there’s a wonderful young singer named Duffy. I love Adele … I love Alicia Keys, who has become the quintessential American beauty. And Janelle Monée. She’s got the old moves, the Apollo Theatre moves. She knows how to look sexy, but she demands respect for her body and she demands respect as a woman.”

The one thing Ronstadt doesn’t respect? Reality singing competitions.

“I don’t think that competition is for art. I think it’s for horse races,” Ronstadt says. “Just like with pit bulls, they pit these singers against each other. I’ve never watched American Idol in my whole life. When I go to heaven, I’m going to say, ‘I didn’t watch American Idol.’ They’ll say, ‘Come on in.’ “

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