Ronstadt stirs flap in Las Vegas

Events at the Aladdin hotel-casino in Las Vegas last month remain unclear. Reports said singer Linda Ronstadt was escorted from the property after she praised filmmaker Michael Moore and his movie Fahrenheit 9/11 during her concert there.

Some accounts said the audience was angered by her comments and some tore down her concert posters in the theater lobby. Others say there was no disturbance, that Ronstadt was simply ejected from the hotel because of her comments.

Ronstadt and her representatives are declining all comment on the incident and refusing press interviews. The singer told the Los Angeles Times in her sole interview that she intends to continue praising Moore’s work in spite of the Aladdin incident.

“This is an election year,” she said. “I want people to get their heads out of their mashed potatoes and learn something about the issues and go and vote. I’m not telling them how to vote. I’m saying, get information about the issues.”

Ronstadt, 58, said she made only “modest” remarks and added: “They didn’t throw me out. I didn’t even know there was trouble. Those places operate like little city-states They are all powerful. And I had already said I never want to come back.”

Bill Timmins, a Brit who is current president of the Aladdin, said he denied Ronstadt access to her luxury suite and had her escorted off the property after she called Moore “a great American patriot” during a prelude to her encore.

Associated Press reported about 100 people demanded refunds for tickets to Ronstadt’s performance at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles later in the week.

The Aladdin has been sold to Planet Hollywood. CEO Robert Earl of Orlando, Fla., invited Moore and Ronstadt to appear together on the Aladdin stage to sing “America the Beautiful.”

Earl said in a statement: “We respect artists’ creativity and support their rights to express themselves. We were very sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances … and want to make it clear that Planet Hollywood has never, in our 13-year history, restricted any artist’s right to free speech and we will continue with that policy once we take ownership.”

Ronstadt has not reacted to Earl’s invitation to appear.

Source: Associated Press,

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