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Country stars salute Linda Ronstadt for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Video by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Videos

Country stars salute Linda Ronstadt for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Apr 2, 2014

Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris will be among the artists paying tribute to country-rock pioneer Linda Ronstadt during her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week. Glenn Frey, who was part of the singer's backing band before he and Don Henley left to form the Eagles, will also be on hand, along with Stevie Nicks and Bonnie Raitt.

Ronstadt will be absent from the ceremony, however. The 67-year-old, who went public with her battle with Parkinson's disease last year, tells Billboard, "It's very hard for me to travel. I can't travel very easily. I have to save traveling for things I really have to do. I have to spend a certain amount of time visiting my family, and I have to spend a little bit of time doing things that are professional. But I just can't travel casually. It's too hard."

The artist, whose career was not limited to rock, pop or country, but encompassed several genres, adds that she won't really miss the festivities, during which Kiss and Nirvana will also be inducted.

"I haven't given it one thought, I have to say," she notes. "It wasn't anything I ever thought about. I never thought of myself as a rock 'n' roll singer; I sang it, [but] it's just one of the things I sang. I sang a lot of different stuff. I didn't go the last two times I was nominated for a Grammy, either. I don't have anything against it; you just don't do things for those reasons. If you're working for prizes, you're in trouble. There's nothing wrong with it. I don't mind it. It's just not anything I ever gave a thought to."

A new release, "Duets," out April 8, will coincide with the Hall induction. The collection on Rhino Records includes 15 collaborations, among them Emmylou, Dolly Parton, Aaron Neville, Bette Midler and more, and also includes a previously unreleased track, "Pretty Bird," with bluegrass musician Laurie Lewis.

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.