Carrie Underwood Stuns With Linda Ronstadt Hits at 2019 Kennedy Center Honors [WATCH]
Carrie Underwood stunned the crowd at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors with her renditions of two Linda Ronstadt hits. During the event, which honored Ronstadt, actor Sally Field and others, Underwood belted out Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved" in tribute to the music legend.
"One of the things I always admired about her is her ability to do whatever she wants. She always broke the rules and sang music that she felt like was true to her," Underwood said of Ronstadt prior to the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors (quote via CNN), which took place on Dec. 8 in Washington, DC. "She was a chameleon. She loved music and she sang so many different kinds and genres; she wanted to sing country music, rock music, she would sing [in] Spanish. She is just somebody I think the rest of us should all be more like."
The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Ronstadt also featured a performance from Trisha Yearwood and speeches from Emmylou Harris and Eagles member Don Henley. Henley and late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey played in Ronstadt's band before forming their own group.
"The first time I heard Linda Ronstadt sing, it was like everything stopped," Henley, a previous Kennedy Center honoree, recalled onstage. "Linda's curiosity about a multitude of musical styles took her from folk to country to rock to R&B, to American standards and show tunes, to operettas and Mexican corridos. And Linda owned each and every genre she explored. Music has been a part of her life since the very beginning."
Ronstadt has been unable to sing since being diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013. She rarely makes public appearances anymore, but did attend the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors -- and grabbed headlines for, on Dec. 7, expressing her displeasure with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's support of President Donald Trump, to Pompeo himself, during a State Department dinner.
In addition to Ronstadt and Field, 2019's Kennedy Center honorees are R&B/soul/funk group Earth, Wind & Fire, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the children's television series Sesame Street.
LOOK: Carrie Underwood + More at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors