Why Linda Ronstadt Fans Were Worried She Passed Away

Retired singer Linda Ronstadt trended on Twitter Sunday after reports of her comments to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about President Donald Trump at the Kennedy Center Honors State Department dinner on Saturday leaked. Ronstadt reportedly called out Pompeo for "enabling" Trump. Before people saw that was the reason why she was trending, some feared the 73-year-old died.

On Saturday night, Pompeo introduced Ronstandt to the audience by wondering when he would be loved, a reference to her song "When Will I Be Loved." Ronstandt reportedly replied, "Maybe when you stop enabling Donald Trump."

Sam Greisman, the son of fellow Kennedy Center Honors recipient Sally Field, first tweeted about the incident.

"At the State Dept. dinner for the Kennedy Center honorees Mike Pompeo wondered aloud when he would be 'loved,'" Greisman tweeted. "Then Linda Ronstadt got up to get laurels, looked the f—er right in the eye and said 'maybe when you stop enabling Donald Trump.' Icon."

A source at the event confirmed Ronstandt's comments to Billboard.

The dinner happened the night before Sunday's 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors gala. Aside from Ronstadt and Field, the other honorees are Earth, Wind and Fire, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the beloved children's series Sesame Street. As they have since Trump became president, both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will skip the event, which will air on PBS Dec. 15.

Ronstadt has not performed live since 2009 and retired in 2011. She can no longer sing after she was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy. Ronstadt still makes public appearances though, and released her autobiography Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir in September 2013. She was the subject of the 2019 documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

The "You're No Good" singer has been critical of Trump before. In a September interview with The New Yorker, she mentioned Trump would "like to be a dictator."

"There’s a real conspiracy of international fascism that wants to defeat democracy," she said at the time. "They want all the power for themselves, and I think that suits Donald Trump right now. He’d like to be a dictator."


Ronstadt is a 10-time Grammy winner whose hits include "You're No Good," "Love Is A Rose," "When Will I Be Loved," "Heat Wave," "Back in the U.S.A." and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me."

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