An American Idol star will perform a tribute Friday to a superstar singer who has "been unable to sing a lick" since 2013.

Linda Rondstadt recorded at Alabama's Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1970 when she was the girlfriend of the California governor. She went on to record hits in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

In 2013, Ronstadt was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. The diagnosis was later changed to progressive supranuclear palsy. She was forced to retire as she could no longer sing.

Tristan McIntosh will perform the tribute to Ronstadt at Montgomery's MPAC on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

"Ninety-eight percent of the singing I did was private singing - it was in the shower, at the dishwasher, driving my car, singing with the radio, whatever. I can't do any of that now. I wish I could. I don't miss performing, particularly, but I miss singing." — Linda Ronstadt

MPAC's description of the tribute reads: "Time is of the essence to immerse yourself in the magic of the Linda Ronstadt tribute at MPAC, featuring American Idol Star Tristan McIntosh! Tickets are on the verge of selling out, so act fast! Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity – secure your tickets now for a night of fun!"

Tickets are available here.

"In the United States, we spend millions of dollars on sports because it promotes teamwork, discipline, and the experience of learning to make great progress in small increments. Learning to play music does all this and more." — Linda Ronstadt

The tribute singer, Tristan McIntosh, is from Nashville. She competed in American Idol season 15, which was dubbed "The Farewell." Because of the sound and power of McIntosh's voice, her friends and music pros alike suggested she sing some Linda Ronstadt songs. That was the beginning of what became a tribute performance.

Despite her retirement and disabling illness for over 10 years, there has been a revival of interest in Linda Ronstadt and her music. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was named a Kennedy Center Honoree, and CNN made a documentary chronicling her life and music.

A biopic about Ronstadt was announced last month, to be directed by David O. Russell. It will star Selena Gomez as Ronstadt.

An unofficial but much-studied online service gives details of studio recording sessions. Praguefrank's County Music Discography chronicled the Ronstadt recording sessions at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in July and August 1970:

28 July 1970 [no 18712]
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, 3614 Jackson Hwy, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, AL
Linda Ronstadt
091 75311 (SHE'S A) VERY LOVELY WOMAN 3021

28 July 1970 [no 18713]
prob.Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, 3614 Jackson Hwy, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, AL
Linda Ronstadt
092 75312 DOWN SO LOW unissued

1 August 1970 [no 19760]
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, 3614 Jackson Hwy, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, AL
Linda Ronstadt [purchased masters]
093 77746 JUDGMENT DAY unissued
094 77747 unknown title – probably rejected
095 77748 MOTHER EARTH unissued
096 77749 LOVE HAS NO PRIDE unissued
097 77750 SAD SITUATION unissued
098 77751 SO YOU CAN CLOSE YOUR EYES unissued

Notice the unissued songs. With the revival of interest in Ronstadt, some musical entrepreneurs could dig up the originals of those sessions, re-master them and issue new Ronstadt releases while she is still alive.

The politics of Linda Ronstadt has been California rather than Alabama, but her music has transcended political lines.

"Everywhere you go, there's a soundtrack. You can't really quite hear it. It's just a little out of the range of hearing." — Linda Ronstadt

Jim Zeigler is former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected]

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