Linda Ronstadt’s Surprising Views on ‘American Idol’

Sep 18, 2013  •  Post A Comment

You may not be as surprised as we were, but a comment by Emmy winner and 11-time Grammy winner Linda Ronstadt about "American Idol" caught us by surprise. The quote comes from the singer’s upcoming appearance on "Rachael Ray," set for this Friday, Sept. 20.

Ronstadt’s appearance includes a discussion of her recent revelation that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But when the talk turned to "Idol," Ronstadt said: "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.’”

Commenting on TV singing competitions in general, the singer of "You’re No Good," "Blue Bayou," "When Will I Be Loved" and a string of other hits offers a broader perspective, saying: “I don’t think that competition is for art, I think it’s for horse races … they do, just like with pit bulls, they pit these singers against each other and they try to undermine each other and I think that’s terrible; it’s win at whatever price. … To me, I think it’s just a bad … I think it’s stupid.”

Asked about her Parkinson’s, Ronstadt says the disease causes "a lot of just inconvenience because you can’t do the things that you used to be able to do. … I can’t sing at all. 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, because I’m used to doing stuff and I feel like a big demanding baby."

Ronstadt won an Emmy in 1989 for her "Canciones de Mi Padre" concert on PBS’s "Great Performances."

linda-ronstadt-1970s.pngLinda Ronstadt back in The Day


  1. She is spot on…

  2. WRONG. What do you think happens in LA, NYC and Nashville? Singers are competing for deals. Only we don’t see it. Just a few executives do. And lots of times they’re just wrong. I have a number of connections in Nashville, and I can tell you a lot of people get record deals that we never hear of more than a couple of times, if at all. Meanwhile, there are a LOT of talented people stocking shelves, waiting tables and driving trucks that never get a shot. With these shows, ANYBODY can walk in off the street and have a reasonable shot. Sure, the vast majority of people who show to these open calls don’t make it, but let’s face it: the vast majority aren’t good enough to win anyway. People who look like Susan Boyle have a shot on these shows, whereas if they had tried to get a foot in the door any other way, no one would have given them any notice at all. Ronstadt was born both talented AND pretty, so she had it a lot easier than most people. I think she’s forgotten.

  3. Linda was also born into a wealthy and prominent Arizona family. She had the backing (and probably the contacts) to pursue her dream without worrying about having to support herself in the process.Success is a lot easier to achieve when you are not only talented, but beautiful and well off.
    “ME” in the above comment is 100% correct about these shows throwing open the doors to anyone.They are the only venue that does not require an insider to “discover” you or to just “bring you in”

  4. You guys are confusing the music business with music art. She is absolutely correct. Music as a business lacks soul. I have won music awards before. I don’t even know where they are. They are meaningless. She knows what she’s talking about.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)