Linda Ronstadt Awarded National Medal Of ArtsBy: Ann Casano - July 29, 2014
Female rock and roll legend Linda Ronstadt was unable to make her induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last April due to Parkinson’s disease. However, with the assistance of a military aide who brought Ronstadt into the East Room of the White House by wheelchair, she was able to personally receive the highest US arts prize, the National Medal of Arts.
Ronstadt, who is often referred to as “The First Lady of Rock,” was able to walk to the stage to receive her award from President Barack Obama on Monday. The 68-year-old is considered a pioneer for female rock musicians. Obama spoke of the importance of the ceremony, “The arts and humanities aren’t just there to be consumed when we have a moment … we need them.” He also admitted to having a little crush on Ronstadt when he was younger.
The White House stated that Ronstadt “defied expectations to conquer American radio waves and help pave the way for generations of women artists.”
Ronstadt is an 11-time Grammy Award winner. She also spanned many different music genres, some of her songs were considered country, some were thought to be standard rock, while others were geared towards a folk sound. A few of her greatest hits include: It’s So Easy, Different Drum, You’re No Good, Blue Bayou, and When Will I Be Loved. The singer-songwriter has also worked with several brand name rock and roll stars including James Taylor, Neil Young, Glenn Fry, Don Henley, and Emmylou Harris.
Eleven others were honored with the National Medal of Arts on Monday: novelist, poet and playwright Julia Alvarez; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Joan Harris, an arts patron; the dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones; the music theater composer John Kander; Jeffrey Katzenberg, the director and CEO of DreamWorks; the novelist Maxine Hong Kingston; the documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles; the architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams and the visual artist James Turrell.
What’s your favorite Linda Ronstadt song?
Image via Wikimedia Commons