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Linda Ronstadt: 1946—: Singer

Returned To Roots

Ronstadt returned to pop music in 1989 with Cry Like a Rainstorm—Howl Like the Wind,and her reentry into the mainstream was loudly applauded. In his Audio review, Hector La Torre noted, "The more you listen to Cry Like a Rainstorm, the more you realize that of greater importance than Ronstadt's return to pop/rock is the enormous musical development that has taken place in this woman." La Torre applauded Ronstadt's astonishing vocal development during her 40 years in the business.

After taking time to develop her Spanish-language albums and produce for David Lindley, Jimmy Webb, and Neville, Ronstadt returned to her folk- and country-rock sound with Winter Light and Feels Like Home. In 1999 she released Dedicated to the One I Love, which covers old popular tunes such as "Be My Baby" and "In My Room," but this time reinterprets them as children's lullabies. The release of We Ran in 1998 features covers of John Hiatt's "When We Ran," Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind," and Bob Dylan's "Tom Thumb Blues." In 2002 Asylum released The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt, favoring Ronstadt's biggest hits from her rock-pop albums.

Although she remains active with her music, Ronstadt, now in her fifties, has slowed down her singing and recording schedule. The mother of two children by adoption, Ronstadt has never married, although she has been linked romantically to former California governor Jerry Brown and film director George Lucas, among others. Ronstadt moved back home to Tucson to raise her children among her family in relative anonymity. She has claimed she does not own a television or computer, loathes the junk-food culture, and would much rather attend the opera than listen to modern rock or pop. With few exceptions, she has preferred to fill her home with live music, and has avoided recorded or digital formats. Her pride appears to be mostly centered in the work of her later years.

Selected discography

(With the Stone Poneys) We Five Sounds, Capitol, 1967.

(With the Stone Poneys) Evergreen, Vol. 2, Capitol, 1967.

(With the Stone Poneys) The Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. 3, Capitol, 1968.

Hand SownHome Grown, Capitol, 1969.

Silk Purse, Capitol, 1970.

Linda Ronstadt, Capitol, 1971.

Don't Cry Now (Gold), Asylum, 1973.

(Compilation) Different Drum, Capitol, 1974.

Heart Like a Wheel (Platinum), Capitol, 1974.

Prisoner in Disguise (Platinum), Asylum, 1975.

Hasten Down the Wind (Platinum), Asylum, 1976.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (Platinum), Asylum, 1976.

(Compilation) Retrospective (Gold), Capitol, 1977.

Simple Dreams (Platinum), Asylum, 1977.

Living in the U.S.A. (Platinum), Asylum, 1978.

(Compilation) Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 (Platinum), Asylum, 1980.

Mad Love (Platinum), Asylum, 1980.

Get Closer (Gold), Asylum, 1982.

What's New (Platinum), Asylum, 1983.

Lush Life (Platinum), Asylum, 1984.

For Sentimental Reasons (Platinum), Asylum, 1986.

(Compilation) 'Round Midnight (Gold), Asylum, 1986.

Canciones de mi Padre (Songs of my Father) (Platinum), Asylum, 1987.

(With Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton) Trio (Platinum), Warner Brothers, 1987.

Cry Like a Rainstorm—Howl Like the Wind (Platinum), Asylum, 1989.

Mas Canciones (More Songs), Asylum, 1990.

Frenesi (Frenzy), Asylum, 1992.

Winter Light, Asylum, 1995.

Feels Like Home, Asylum, 1995.

Dedicated to the One I Love, Elektra, 1996.

We Ran, Elektra, 1998.

(With Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton) Trio 2 (Gold), Asylum, 1999.

(With Emmylou Harris) Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions, Asylum, 1999.

A Merry Little Christmas, Elektra, 2000.

(Compilation) The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt, Rhino, 2002.



Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Gale, 1996.

Pareles, Jon, and Patricia Romanowski, eds., The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll, Rolling Stone/Summit Books, 1983.

Slonimsky, Nicolas, and Laura Kuhn, eds., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Schirmer, 2001.


Audio, January 1990.

Billboard, December 4, 1993; August 21, 1999, p. 11.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, November 7, 2002.

New Statesman, April 19, 1999, p. 39.

New Strait Times, March 27, 2002.

Popular Music and Society, Summer 1997, pp. 152-54.

Rolling Stone, January 16, 1975; March 27, 1975; October 19, 1978, pp. 50-59; July 13, 1995, p. 40. Stereo Review, May 1980.

U.S. Weekly, December 18-25, 2000, pp. 72-74.


"Linda Ronstadt," Rolling Stone, http://www.rollingstone.com (March 27, 2003).

Linda Ronstadt Homepage, http://www.ronstadt-linda.com (March 27, 2003).

—Kari Bethel

Additional topics

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