Carrie Underwood attended the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 8 to honor the legendary Linda Ronstadt. She performed moving renditions of "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved," two songs Ronstadt scored hits with in the 1970s. Before the ceremony aired on CBS Sunday, Underwood shared an inspiring photo with Ronstadt on Instagram.
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"I was so honored to finally meet the phenomenal [Ronstadt] a true artist and versatile vocalist who excelled at performing all kinds of music," Underwood wrote. "I hope I made you proud, Linda."
Underwood included the hashtags "KC Honors," "Blue Bayou," "When Will I Be Loved" and "Inspired."
Underwood's fans also shared an admiration for Ronstadt, who is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won 10 Grammy Awards during her career.
"Love her! Have that album! Great job Carrie!" one fan wrote.
"Iconic," another fan simply wrote.
"She is one of the greatest of all times!!" another wrote. "Love you Linda."
"Two Legends!" another music fan wrote. "I’m sure it’s an honor to meet Linda Ronstadt! Her music definitely stands the test of time! Music is truly art it touches so many! Great shot!"
Before Underwood took the stage at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors, Eagles member Don Henley reminded audiences just how big Ronstadt's impact on music is.
"Soon after we met, I was hired to play drums with (Ronstadt) on the road, and my roommate on that tour was her guitar player Glenn Frey," Henley said, reports CMT. "Linda became one of the most popular, most respected female artists of the 20th century, holding her own in an industry that had been mostly run by men."
Underwood was not the only country music star to honor Ronstadt. Trisha Yearwood and Emmylou Harris also honored her legacy. Yearwood performed "You're No Good" and "Don't Know Much," while Harris recalled meeting Ronstadt for the first time.
"It was February of 1973. Linda, opening for Neil Young, had just wowed his crowd of thousands in Houston, Texas, and then made her way across the tracks to Liberty Hall, a hippie honky-tonk where I was doing two shows a night," Harris said. "It has been one of the great joys of my life to sing with Linda."
Thomas Rhett also attended the Kennedy Center Honors, but he was there to help honor Sesame Street. He had a fun conversation with Elmo before he performed "This Is My Street," which he wrote for the Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Special.
Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, actress Sally Field and another Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act, Earth, Wind & Fire, were also honored this year.
Photo credit: Gail Schulman/CBS