Ronstadt Banned in Vegas

Singer booted from Casino after Moore dedication

July 20, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Nearly half the audience walked out of Linda Ronstadt's set with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday after the singer dedicated an encore of "Desperado" to filmmaker Michael Moore and urged the crowd to see his new film Fahrenheit 9/11.

"People walked out in the middle of the song," says Tyri Squyres, director of public relations for the Aladdin, who estimates there were 4,500 people in attendance. "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."

Aladdin president Bill Timmins, a British citizen, who Squyres pointed out is ineligible to vote in the U.S., made the decision to not only eject Ronstadt from the hotel but to ban her from future performances there.

"The Aladdin Resort and Casino does not condone the comments made by Linda Ronstadt at her performance at the hotel Saturday, July 17th," reads a statement released by the hotel. "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."

The vehement reaction to Ronstadt's comments comes as something as a surprise, as the singer had been dedicating the song to Moore each night of the tour. The singer has been outspoken about her liberal views throughout her career and had a very public relationship with then-California Governor Jerry Brown in the Seventies.

In an interview that ran in the Las Vegas Review-Journal the day before the show, Ronstadt said that the reaction to her nightly Moore dedications had been mixed. "They say the country is evenly divided, and boy is that true," she said. "One half of the audience cheers and the other half boos."

She also termed Las Vegas a "strange, weird place" and said of the Aladdin, "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back."

Calls to Ronstadt's representatives were not returned by press time.

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