This resilience would go on to be her calling card, as her career would explode in the 70's, thanks to the singer's unique gift for succeeding in many musical avenues. Releasing eight different albums in that decade alone, Linda found chart success with many different types of songs, including her most widely known hit, coming in the form of 1977's rendition of the Roy Orbison classic, "Blue Bayou."1974's "Heart Like A Wheel" album sold two million copies and produced the hits, "You're no Good," and "When Will I Be Loved." She also saw chart success with many other songs, like "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," and "Lo Siento Mi Vida," from the albums "Simple Dreams," and "Hasten Down the Wind," respectively. Her painfully beautiful and aching vocals are all at once easily recognizable and heart wrenching, attesting to her ability to resonate with many different audiences. The singer doesn't shy away from her inspiration for singing this way. They haven't invented a word for that loneliness that everybody goes through on the road," she says, adding "Music is meant to lighten your load. By singing it, you release (the sadness). And release yourself; an exercise in exorcism. You exorcise that emotion, and diminish sadness and feel joy." Her music being built off of emotion reflects the fact that she remains as passionate in the life she lives outside of the music industry, as she does on stage.
Beyond the numerous Billboard Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, ALMAs, magazine covers, sold out tours and critical acclaim, Linda remains a person, rather than just an entertainer with no substance. Her political activism is well documented, most recently in her stance against Arizona's controversial SB1070 illegal immigration law. She began a campaign against the radical law and joined the lawsuit against it on April 29, 2010. "I think that this law is a devastating blow to law enforcement in Arizona. Without the trust of the community, their job becomes next to impossible," she stated at the MALDEF conference this spring. "As an Arizona citizen and resident, coming here today I thought 'Maybe I should have to bring my passport.' The dirty little secret is that I'm probably not the one who would be pulled over because I'm light-skinned. It means that racial profiling is of course included in this, and we do not have to take this lying down, and the Mexican-Americans are not going to take this lying down. I wish that our leaders would have a little bit more wisdom so that it wouldn't be coming to things like boycotts, tremendously hurt feelings, and destroyed community relations. We're not giving good leadership in Arizona." This same passion echoes in her fights for arts funding, and equality in many different arenas. But you don't have to take my word for it; the soul searing vocals on "Canciones de Mi Padre" will prove that to you upon your first listen, and do better justice to this amazing woman than I could ever hope to do in a music column. Lowrider Magazine is proud to salute Linda Ronstadt, a true cultural hero and an inspiration for everyone, no matter your ethnic background.