With roots in the Los Angeles country and folk-rock scenes, Linda Ronstadt was one of the most popular interpretive singers of the '70s, earning a string of platinum-selling albums and Top 40 singles. Ronstadt began her professional career with the Los Angeles folk-rock group the Stone Poneys. Shortly after their first hit "Different Drum," the group disbanded and Ronstadt went solo. She found her voice with her 1971 eponymous third album.Read more Featuring a group of session musicians that would later form the Eagles, the album was laidback country-rock, built around songs by singer/songwriters like Jackson Browne and Eric Anderson. Don't Cry Now (1973) followed the same formula to greater success, yet she perfected it with 1974's Heart Like a Wheel. Thanks to hit covers of "You're No Good," "When Will I Be Loved," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," the record made her a star. Prisoner in Disguise (1975) and Hasten Down the Wind (1976) were nearly as successful, while she rocked a little harder on 1977's Simple Dreams. She tentatively experimented with New Wave on Living in the U.S.A (1978) and Mad Love (1980). Ronstadt's popularity declined in the early '80s, as 1982's Get Closer failed to go platinum. Afterward, she starred in Broadway and movie productions of Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, which led to a collaboration with Nelson Riddle, who arranged and conducted her 1983 collection of pop standards, What's New. While it received lukewarm reviews, it was a hit, leading to two more albums with Riddle. Ronstadt returned to contemporary pop in 1986, having a number two single with "Somewhere Out There," a duet with James Ingram, followed by the 1987 Trio album with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. That same year, Ronstadt recorded Canciones de mi Padre, a set of traditional Mexican songs. Two years later, she recorded Cry Like a Rainstorm -- Howl Like the Wind -- her first contemporary pop album since 1982's Get Closer.Throughout the '90s, she alternated between adult contemporary and Mexican albums, with the latter earning greater acclaim than the former. Read less
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