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Linda Ronstadt: 1946—: Singer

Moved Into New Territories

Ronstadt's 1982 release of Get Closer signaled the closing days of her place at center stage of the pop rock scene. Although still successful, it was her first album in nearly ten years that did not go platinum. Ronstadt's solution to her waning pop popularity was to switch genres completely. She moved from Los Angeles to New York and spent 1980 on stage as Mabel in a Broadway production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, and then appeared in the film version in 1983. In 1981 she began a working relationship with arranger-composer Nelson Riddle and his 46-piece orchestra. What's New, which sold more than two million copies, included traditional pop standards such as "I've Got a Crush on You" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Lush Life and For Sentimental Reasons again paired Ronstadt with Riddle. She appeared on stage again in 1984 in a small-scale production of La Bohéme.

The single "Somewhere Out There," a duet with Aaron Neville that was featured in the animated children's movie An American Tail, put Ronstadt briefly back in the mainstream pop audience. When Riddle's untimely death ended their collaboration, Ronstadt once again switched musical directions, releasing her first Spanish-language album, Canciones de mi Padre ("Songs of my Father"). Created as a tribute to her Mexican heritage and her father's love of mariachi music, Ronstadt sings both corridos (story songs) and rancheras (folk dances). She released two more Spanish-language albums: Mas Canciones ("More Songs") in 1990, and Frenesi (Frenzy), a tribute to Afro-Cuban jazz. In 1987 Ronstadt collaborated with Harris and Parton to produce Trio, a much-anticipated album that the three had been trying to put together for several years. The three came back together in 1999 to release Trio II. Ronstadt again partnered with Harris in 1999 on the country-based Western Wall—The Tucson Sessions, a rough-cut recording completed mostly in Ronstadt's living room at her Tucson home.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyLinda Ronstadt: 1946—: Singer Biography - Began Performing With Family, Abandoned By Group, Began Solo Career, Released Gold And Platinum Albums