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Frey hails Ronstadt for kickstarting Eagles

Eagles man wishes absent singer could have been inducted into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with his band in the 1980s

Glenn Frey last night thanked Linda Ronstadt for being instrumental in helping the Eagles get their start in music.

He was inducting her into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in the Barclays Centre, Brooklyn – and although her Parkinson's disease meant she was unable to attend, he stated her contribution to rock music was indelible.

Frey said: "in the spring of 1971, she hired me and a singing drummer named Don Henley to play in her back-up band. From the first rehearsal, I felt we were working on a style of music none of us had ever heard before. Two years later, people called it 'country rock.'

"While touring with Linda that summer, Don and I told her that we wanted to start our own band – and she, more than anyone else, helped us put together the Eagles. Later, she gave our career a big shot in the arm by recording our song Desperado."

Describing Ronstadt as a "shining example and true inspiration" Frey continued: "Linda recorded 31 albums. She sold over 100 million records and had a career that spanned five decades. And through it all, she remains nothing but authentic.

"Linda lives in a place where art trumps commerce, where self-exploration trumps self-exploitation, where hard work and integrity trump fame and failure. She never wanted to be a star –she just wanted to make good music.

"She is one of the greatest voices of all-time, and she shared her voice with beauty, grace and love."

Ronstadt's music was celebrated by an all-star band led by Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Emmy Lou Harris and Carrie Underwood. She was inducted alongside Kiss, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, the E Street Band and Hall and Oates.

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