Ronstadt Back to Vegas?

Venue's prospective new owner shows support for singer

July 22, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Linda Ronstadt's ban from the Aladdin Casino and Resort could last all of a month if Planet Hollywood's plan to buy the venue goes through in September. Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl defended Ronstadt in a statement released Wednesday.

"We respect artists' creativity and support their rights to express themselves," he said. "We were very sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances of this past Saturday night and want to make it clear that Planet Hollywood has never, in our thirteen-year history, restricted any artists' right to free speech and we will continue with that policy once we take ownership."

Ronstadt's dedication of "Desperado" to filmmaker Michael Moore caused many of the 4,500 attendees at her Saturday show in Las Vegas to boo and walk out of the venue, with some audience members leaving in unruly fashion. Aladdin president Bill Timmins had Ronstadt removed from the hotel and Monday told the Associated Press, "As long as I'm here, she's not going to play."

Ronstadt has continued to make the dedication to Moore in subsequent shows in San Diego and Los Angeles, and Moore in turn defended Ronstadt in an open letter to Timmins, offering to join the singer on stage for a rendition of "America the Beautiful" if the venue has her back.

Earl said he would like to take Moore up on the offer when the deal goes through.

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