Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt on the cover of her  collection The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt on the cover of her 2002 collection The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt

Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is an American singer.

Born in Tucson, Arizona to a German-Mexican father and a Dutch-English mother, Linda Ronstadt began her career in the mid 1960s singing in Los Angeles, California clubs with the folk-rock group, the Stone Poneys. She scored her first hit single in 1967, as singer for the Stone Poneys, with the song "Different Drum," written by Monkees member Michael Nesmith.

Her first solo hit single came in 1970, with the country rock crossover single, "Long Long Time." She achieved her greatest commercial success during the 1970s, with a string of platinum albums, as she branched out from the earlier country rock sound to include more conventional rock, often covering early classics from the 1950s and early 1960s.

Her breakthrough year was 1974, when she released a series of hits beginning with the single "You're No Good", followed by "When Will I Be Loved", "Heat Wave", "That'll Be the Day", and "It's So Easy". She hit #1 on the Billboard magazine charts with her 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel, and followed that up with the #1 albums Simple Dreams in 1977 and Living in the U.S.A. in 1978. In 1980 she released an album of new wave covers of such artists as Elvis Costello and The Cretones, an album which continued her streak of hits with "Hurt So Bad," "How Do I Make You," and "I Can't Let Go."

Throughout this period Ronstadt was perhaps the leading female sex symbol in rock music, reaching the peak of attention in 1976 when Rolling Stone published an alluring collection of photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz. Ronstadt later said that she had mixed and troubled feelings about this level of attention. [1] ( Ronstadt gained further general media focus when she dated Jerry Brown, then Governor of California, in the late 1970s.

In addition to pop-rock hits such as her popular version of the Roy Orbison hit, "Blue Bayou", and duets with Aaron Neville that received much critical acclaim, her long singing career has been filled with an eclectic mix of recordings, including Big Band sounds, Mexican canciones, an album of old-time country music, an album of Latin music, and an album of rock classics redone as lullabies.

After appearing in the Broadway play, in 1983 she co-starred with Kevin Kline and Angela Lansbury in The Pirates of Penzance, a motion picture based on a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

Showing her versatility yet again, in 1996 Ronstadt released Dedicated to the One I Love, an album of children's music. In a career spanning four decades, she has recorded more than forty albums, her latest a return to her roots in pop-rock ballads.

On July 18, 2004, during a performance at the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas, Ronstadt praised Michael Moore and his documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11. It was reported that some members of the audience walked out, tore down posters, threw drinks, and demanded she be removed from the stage. Initial reports were that Aladdin president Bill Timmins escorted her out of the premises without having a chance to go to her hotel suite to obtain her property, and vowed that, as long as he was running the casino, she would no longer be welcome. At the same time, it was reported that the angry shouts and boos were overpowered by cheers and people clapping. However, Ronstadt says that the media reports were inaccurate. She was not aware of anyone throwing drinks, was not escorted off the premises, and it wasn't until later that she learned Aladdin's management was angry. "I didn't know they were mad at me until we were gone, and I didn't know what they were mad at me about until about an hour later, when apparently they called up one of the people that was traveling with us and went, 'She's talking about Michael Moore, and this is a place for entertainment, not politics,'" Ronstadt said. Ronstadt had previously been quoted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she was not fond of playing in Vegas, and hoped that she would annoy them enough to not ask her back.

The Aladdin is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, however, and Robert Earl, CEO of Planet Hollywood, the corporation which will be taking controlling interest of the Aladdin when it emerges from bankruptcy protection, was quoted as saying that he would like to take Moore up on the film maker's offer to join Ronstadt on the Aladdin stage to sing "America the Beautiful".


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