May God watch over music icon Linda Ronstadt

She is referred to as the “First Lady of Rock” and was a trailblazing singer-songwriter whose unmistakable mezzo-soprano voice could be heard on tunes that reached the top of the charts, such as the ’70s blockbusters “You’re No Good” and “Blue Bayou.”

However, Linda Ronstadt no longer sings at all, at least not in a way that her admirers can hear.

The 76-year-old claimed to be able to sing in her head during a recent interview with TODAY’s Maria Shriver.

After years of vocal difficulties, Ronstadt received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in 2013. She eventually discovered that she actually had progressive supranuclear palsy, a condition that resembles Parkinson’s disease.

The rare ailment, which is brought on by the degeneration of brain cells that regulate thinking, movement, and coordination, is described by the Mayo Clinic as having many of the same symptoms as Parkinson’s disease and dementia. And with time, such symptoms get worse.

Ronstadt’s illness prevented her from singing out loud, leaving her with nothing except the music in her head.

She described singing in her brain as being “not quite the same.”

Particularly considering that when it comes to the music only she can hear, she doesn’t always choose the melody.

According to Ronstadt, “sometimes, I choose the music, and sometimes, my brain chooses the song.”

She is even more irritated by the fact that these are frequent tunes she would never choose for herself.

She said, “My brain picks the worst music.” It simply plays loudly in my head, sounding like pretty subpar Christmas carols.

Ronstadt, whose records have sold more than 100 million copies over her career, recalls a time when she could still sing but found it difficult to get a record company’s attention. She made the decision to release a Spanish-language album in the 1980s as a way to pay homage to her Mexican roots.

“He pleaded with me not to do this. What’s left of your career will be destroyed, she recalled. “And I, I just wasn’t able to hear him. I got the impression that Mexicans were being invisible in this culture and that we were being sidelined. They are undetectable. It is anticipated that they will be in the kitchen washing dishes, preparing meals for you, or cleaning your home. They don’t, however, appear to have another context.

Her first of several Spanish-language albums, “Canciones de Mi Padre,” a collection of traditional Mariachi music, was released in 1987.

In 2021, the album was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame induction.