Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt is being recognized Sunday (Dec. 15) at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors. It is a rare public appearance for the singer, who retired in 2009 after Parkinson’s Disease started robbing her of her ability to sing.
Since then, Ronstadt has lived a relatively quiet life as a single mom to Mary and Carlos, her children that she adopted in 1990 and 1994, respectively. Despite several high-profile relationships in the 1970s and 1980s — then-California Gov. Jerry Brown, actor Jim Carrey, director George Lucas — Ronstadt never got married. Here’s why.
Linda Always Thought She Was Too Young
In a recent profile with the New York Times, Ronstadt says she identifies with the subject of her 1967 song “Different Drum,” which is about a woman who cannot be tamed by a man.
“That’s me! I thought I was too young for marriage or anything resembling it,” says Ronstadt. “And I continued to feel that way until I had children of my own. Having children makes you grow up.”
But she does admit that she wishes she could have had a handbook for how to raise kids, telling the Honolulu Advertiser in 2006, “I wish I were better at being a single parent. They don’t have a handbook on how to do it; it would be nice if you could follow the book and have guaranteed results, in developing, creating and maintaining a relationship without mistakes.”
She’s Also Too Headstrong
Ronstadt also says in the same New York Times interview that she “didn’t need somebody else’s opinion about how to raise [her] children.”
“It’s hard enough being with my own opinion,” she says.
Echoing that sentiment to the Washington Post, Ronstadt says, “I have no talent for [marriage]. Not a shred. I don’t like to compromise. If I want a pink sofa and somebody doesn’t want a pink sofa, I’m not going to go for that. I want the pink sofa.”
The Washington Post reveals that Ronstadt did get that pink sofa — it is sitting in her living room, though it has a white slipcover over top.
Linda Thinks People Change Too Much to Stay Married
In a 1974 interview with Crawdaddy magazine, Ronstadt outlined several reasons why marriages, especially ones based in show business, can never work.
“Relationships are almost impossible. First of all, you have the possibilities of new ones waved in your face every three seconds … And second of all, you’re not around long enough. And also the people you come in contact with are other musicians and everybody’s real competitive.”
She adds, “Relationships just don’t seem to pan out for very long, you know? I mean, I really understand now about Hollywood marriages. I just didn’t understand for the longest time. ‘Why can’t people just get married and stay married? I mean you love somebody and you just stay married.’ It’s just not that way. You’re subjected to so much new information all the time that you just change all the time.”
She also says that it’s just too hard to find someone who checks all the boxes.
“I mean, you meet one guy … he’s real kind but isn’t inspired musically, and then you meet somebody else that’s just so inspired musically that he just takes your breath away, but he’s such a moron, such a maniac that you can’t get along with him,” said Ronstadt at the time, “And then after that, it’s the problem of finding someone that can stand you!”
The 2019 Kennedy Center Honors air Sunday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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