Carrie Underwood Tributes Linda Ronstadt at 2019 Kennedy Center Honors
Underwood hit the stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 8 to honor Ronstadt's contributions to popular music by performing two of her biggest hits, "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved."
Prior to Underwood's performance, Ronstadt's legendary accomplishments were detailed by yet another legend, the Eagles' Don Henley: "The first time I heard Linda Ronstadt sing, it was like everything stopped," he detailed. "Soon after we met, I was hired to play drums with her on the road, and my roommate on that tour was her guitar player [late fellow Eagles bandmate] Glenn Frey.
"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."
Garbed n a sparkling silvery-blue gown, Underwood then took the stage to belt out first "Blue Bayou" and then "When Will I Be Loved," with her delivery earning a clap-along from the audience and several dazzling smiles from Rondstadt herself.
Underwood also lauded Ronstadt on the red carpet before the ceremony, saying, "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." (Quotes via CNN).
"She was a chameleon," Underwood added. "She loved music and she sang so many different kinds and genres. She wanted to sing country music, rock music, she would sing Spanish. She is just somebody I think the rest of us should all be more like."
Trisha Yearwood was also on hand to honor Ronstadt in song.
Ronstadt, 73, made headlines when she chided Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his "enabling" of President Donald Trump during a State Department dinner for the 2019 honorees.
The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors aired Sunday (Dec. 15) on CBS. Michael Tilson Thomas, Earth, Wind & Fire and Sesame Street were also among the 2019 honorees.
See Carrie Underwood + Others at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors