Linda Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is a versatile singer who rose to popularity in the late 1960s as a member of the folk-rock trio, Stone Poneys. She launched a solo career in 1969 and was initially seen as a country singer, but it took until 1973-74 for her to break through as a solo artist with major hits such as "Desperado" and "You're No Good" which saw her cross over into pop and rock and roll.
According to Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller, in 1974 during the early planning stages of what would become SNL (and prior to Lorne Michaels coming on board), Linda Ronstadt was among those being considered as an ongoing co-host for the series, with one proposal seeing her paired with Steve Martin.
Her first SNL appearance, on March 19, 1977, was a cameo as a member of Gilda Radner's backing group the "Rhondettes" performing the song "Goodbye, Saccharin." She later returned several times as a musical guest, with the first being May 19, 1979 when she performed two duets with Phoebe Snow of songs she never recorded herself. In 1980, Ronstadt branched out into other realms of music, receiving a Tony nomination for appearing in a revival of the light opera, The Pirates of Penzance. In a change of pace for SNL, Ronstadt and the cast of Pirates were the musical guests on December 20, 1980.
Later in the 1980s, Ronstadt continued to change her musical style, recording a trilogy of albums of big band-era standards with Nelson Riddle and a further trilogy of Spanish-language albums, as well as a popular collaboration with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris called "Trio".
Ronstadt continued to perform and record in various genres of music until 2011 when the onset of what was later diagnosed as Parkinson's disease forced her to retire.