Published on December 5th, 2011 in: Dancing Ourselves Into The Tomb, Feminism, Issues, Music |
By David Speranza
She’s not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She’s shockingly absent from Rolling Stone‘s list of Top 100 Singers. And yet in the 1970s she went where no woman had gone before, a female superstar in a male realm, clearing the way for the generations of pop, rock, and country superstars to come. She was featured on six Rolling Stone covers, the covers of Time and Newsweek, and received such appellations as “queen of rock,” “first lady of rock,” “rock’s superwoman,” and “top female pop singer of the decade.”
She was the first artist since the Beatles—and the first woman ever—to have two Top Five singles at the same time. Her string of multi-platinum albums and unprecedented (for a woman) arena rock shows made her the highest-paid female musician of the decade. Critical approval included a satchel-ful of Grammys, multiple Vocalist of the Year awards, and a date singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Game Three of the 1978 World Series. Her voice was a technically perfect yet heartfelt instrument capable of expressing a multitude of emotions in an intimidating array of styles. Where female rockers were concerned, there was Linda Ronstadt—and there was everyone else.