Trisha Yearwood Soars in Linda Ronstadt Tribute at 2019 Kennedy Center Honors
Trisha Yearwood was among the performers who hit the stage at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. which aired Sunday (Dec. 15). Yearwood was on hand to share a soaring musical tribute to country and rock pioneer Linda Ronstadt.
Yearwood honored Ronstadt with covers of two of her biggest songs, "You're No Good" and "I Don't Know Much." R&B legend Aaron Neville, who won a Grammy in 1990 for his duet with Ronstadt on the latter song, joined her for that performance.
Prior to Yearwood's appearance, Emmylou Harris took the stage to give a brief speech lauding her friend and musical peer. "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 as part of a band called the Fallen Angels.
"There we would meet for the first time and begin a friendship and a collaboration lasting almost five decades. It has been one of the great joys of my life to sing with Linda, but even more to have her fierce, unfaltering friendship. And it is a joy to stand before her now, before all of you, before the world, and say, 'Linda, my sister, my dear companion, thank you, and congratulations on your Kennedy Center Honor.'"
Yearwood then strode on stage dressed in a sparkling black pantsuit to give a roaring "You're No Good," followed by Neville entering to usher in a tender duet with the country superstar. The pair's very different vocal styles blended magically, with the key line "I don't know much, but I know I love you, and that may be all there is to know," hitting a particularly resounding note with the audience.
Carrie Underwood also performed in tribute to Ronstadt during the ceremony, offering up her versions of "Blue Bayou" and "When Will I Be Loved." She praised 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."
73-year-old Ronstadt made headlines when she ripped into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to his face for his "enabling" of President Donald Trump during a State Department dinner for the 2019 honorees, who also included Michael Tilson Thomas, Earth, Wind & Fire and Sesame Street.
The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors aired Sunday (Dec. 15) on CBS.
See Carrie Underwood + Others at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors