Rocker Linda Ronstadt has been nominated for inclusion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making her the sole Latin musician among those nominated for one of rock music’s highest distinctions.
Ronstadt is one of several high-profile nominees that include chart-toppers KISS, LL Cool J and Nirvana.
Additional nominees on the list of 16 potential honorees include The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Chic, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, The Meters, N.W.A., The Replacements, Link Wray, Cat Stevens, YES and The Zombies.
Ronstadt, 67, is an eleven-time Grammy Award winner whose autobiography, “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir” was released in September.
The Tucson, Arizona native first began singing at just 14 years old as part of a trio with her sister Suzy and brother Peter. And while Ronstadt would eventually sell out concerts from coast to coast, she began developing her vocal style at local charreadas, a type of Mexican rodeo, near her childhood home in Arizona. And the practice paid off as by the mid-1970s, Ronstadt had become one of the most popular rock singers of the decade.
While Ronstadt – who recorded more than 30 albums, all in English – was a hit among mainstream audiences, she did release a Spanish-language album in 1987 titled “Canciones De Mi Padre.” That album – comprised of traditional Mexican songs of her youth – remains one of the best-selling non-English albums of all time.
”When I was growing up, my father used to play the records of Lola Beltran, the great Mexican singer, who has always been the greatest influence on my singing,” Ronstadt told the NY Times in 1998. “Although this project is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s also been the most rewarding. Like most other performers I’ve always suffered from stage fright. But singing with a mariachi band, for the first time in my life I’m not intimidated, because I’m singing like myself. I feel completely happy and at home.”
Ronstadt – who reached superstardom years before rockers like Carlos Santana and Juanes popularized the concept of rock en español – wrote about her Mexican heritage extensively in “Simple Dreams.”
“I deeply miss those times when the border was a permeable line and the two cultures mixed in a natural and agreeable fashion,” Ronstadt wrote in ‘Simple Dreams.” “Lately, the border seems more like the Berlin Wall, and functions mainly to separate families and interfere wild wildlife migration.”
The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony take place in New York in April 2014. Venue and ticket information has yet to be announced, but the ceremony will be broadcast on HBO in May 2014.