Do You Know Why Linda Ronstadt Was Banned From a Vegas Casino?

Regarding controversial artists, Linda Ronstadt isn’t the first person one would think of. The golden-voiced singer is beloved worldwide…well, everywhere except Vegas. In 2004, Ronstadt got the boot from a Sin City casino due to some commentary about a 9/11 documentary. Given that national tragedy was still firmly on the minds of all Americans, Ronstadt’s comments weren’t taken lightly.

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Ronstadt was booked to play at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in ’04. While performing a cover of “Desperado,” she dedicated the Eagles song to Michael Moore–the director of an Iraq war documentary that insinuates that President Bush exploited 9/11 for his own agenda. It’s certainly a controversial talking point.

Half of the audience left the casino in response. “People walked out in the middle of the song,” Tyri Squyres, director of public relations for the Aladdin, once told Rolling Stone. “Someone threw a cocktail at a poster and people were writing on her posters. We asked her to leave at that point. People paid money to see a show, not a political forum.”

While she certainly isn’t the only musician to comment on 9/11 and the resulting war in the early ’00s, the moment was enough to get her banned from the casino.

“The Aladdin Resort and Casino does not condone the comments made by Linda Ronstadt at her performance at the hotel Saturday, July 17th,” the hotel’s statement continued. “Ms. Ronstadt was hired to entertain the guests of the Aladdin, not to espouse her political views. Following her performance she was escorted out of the hotel and immediately checked out of her room. And she will not be welcomed back.”

There is something to be said for using the platform of fame to shed light on issues one believes in. But, given the political tension around that time, it was certainly a gamble for Ronstadt.

What do you think? Was Ronstadt unfairly judged for her comments? Or was the outrage justified?

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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