July 28th, 2014
04:52 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama admits boyhood crush on Linda Ronstadt

Washington (CNN) – During an awards ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama whispered in the ear of superstar musician Linda Ronstadt that he once had a crush on her.

The President admitted to the crowd afterwards that, "I told Linda Ronstadt I had a crush on her back in the day " Ronstadt joined Obama on stage, along with 11 other recipients of the 2013 National Medal of Arts.

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No word from the singer of such hits as "You're no good,"  "Desperado," "It's so easy," and "Blue Bayou," on what she said back to the President.

Obama also thanked NPR Radio talk show host Diane Rehm, another Medal of Arts winner, for interviewing him when he was a struggling writer, and long before he was President.

"I've been personally touched by all sorts of these folks. " Adding, "I know all of you have been touched similarly by all of these amazing people. We are very grateful to you."

The National Endowment of the Arts, which manages the awards, says "The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the federal government. It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States."

Mr. Obama says all of the honorees have brought the world, "Moments of understanding or awe or joy or sorrow, they add texture to our lives. They are not incidental to the American experience, they are central to it. They are essential to it. So we not only congratulate you this afternoon, we thank you for an extraordinary lifetime of achievement."

The White House released this list of all of 2013's honorees:

Julia Alvarez, novelist, poet, and essayist, for her extraordinary storytelling. In poetry and in prose, Ms. Alvarez explores themes of identity, family, and cultural divides. She illustrates the complexity of navigating two worlds and reveals the human capacity for strength in the face of oppression.

Brooklyn Academy of Music, presenter, for innovative contributions to the performing and visual arts. For over 150 years, BAM has showcased the works of both established visionaries and emerging artists who take risks and push boundaries.

Joan Harris, arts patron, for supporting creative expression in Chicago and across our country. Her decades of leadership and generosity have enriched our cultural life and helped countless artists, dancers, singers, and musicians bring their talents to center stage.

Bill T. Jones, dancer and choreographer, for his contributions as a dancer and choreographer. Renowned for provocative performances that blend an eclectic mix of modern and traditional dance, Mr. Jones creates works that challenge us to confront tough subjects and inspire us to greater heights.

John Kander, musical theater composer, for his contributions as a composer. For more than half a century, Mr. Kander has enlivened Broadway, television, and film through songs that evoke romanticism and wonder and capture moral dilemmas that persist across generations.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, director and CEO of DreamWorks, for lighting up our screens and opening our hearts through animation and cinema. Mr. Katzenberg has embraced new technology to develop the art of storytelling and transform the way we experience film.

Maxine Hong Kingston, writer, for her contributions as a writer. Her novels and non-fiction have examined how the past influences our present, and her voice has strengthened our understanding of Asian American identity, helping shape our national conversation about culture, gender, and race.

Albert Maysles, documentary filmmaker, for rethinking and remaking documentary film in America. One of the pioneers of direct cinema, he has offered authentic depictions of people and communities across the globe for nearly 60 years. By capturing raw emotions and representations, his work reflects the unfiltered truths of our shared humanity.

Linda Ronstadt, musician, for her one-of-a-kind voice and her decades of remarkable music. Drawing from a broad range of influences, Ms. Ronstadt defied expectations to conquer American radio waves and help pave the way for generations of women artists.

Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, architects (receiving individual medals), for their contributions to architecture and arts education. Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions.

James Turrell, visual artist, recognized for his groundbreaking visual art. Capturing the powers of light and space, Mr. Turrell builds experiences that force us to question reality, challenging our perceptions not only of art, but also of the world around us.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. seaboard

    Linda Ronstadt was a tom boy her whole life growing up in AZ and admittedly liked girls more than boys. This explains a lot about Mr Crush as maybe he saw her as a trannie since he was a known gender bender crazy about Lou Reed the original out of the closet singer. When will he come out?

    July 29, 2014 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  2. Jane Martin

    You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, baby you're no goooooooood!" LOVE her!

    July 29, 2014 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  3. Karl Hungus

    As boyhood crushes go, you could do a lot worse,. She was absolutely gorgeous back in the day, with one of the most beautiful voices you could ever hope to hear.

    July 29, 2014 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  4. Marie MD

    Guys loved her. She was a cutie pie. Her voice is incredible and she had a lot of good songs.

    July 29, 2014 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  5. pogostick

    I had a crush on her, Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) and Michelle Phillips (Mamas and Papas); so did a million other guys.

    July 29, 2014 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  6. its the gop for me

    M&M, you sound disappointed, find yourself another guy.

    July 29, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  7. JOhnny Poopstain

    Funny, I would have thought he would have had a big crush on JOSEPH STALIN

    July 29, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. Bob Zanis

    His crush must have been before her mcdonalds diet.

    July 29, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  9. sifto77

    Silly comments by liberals supporting obama..maybe he can be a movie star and let someone else run the country..thats all we want..no hate involved..we just need competent , serious leadership.

    July 29, 2014 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  10. Robert

    Obama a struggling author? You mean Bill Ayers while Obama was planning his career as Failure of The United States

    July 29, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  11. Pathetic

    People burning in Israel. Failed healthcare at both the VA and a national level. The poor getting poorer with the only solution being small handouts to hold them down instead of lifting them up. A complete failure at our southern border specifically due to lack of leadership. Our President adopted home town in ruins with black killing each other daily that's to Rahm Emmanuel.

    And the loyal followers are interested in a article about a crush this inept man had when he was young.

    And here is a kicker. I am not Republican and I voted for Obama (admittedly in 2008 only – before I realized he is a fraud).

    July 29, 2014 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  12. Brian Macker

    I was expecting it to be Karl Marx.

    July 29, 2014 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  13. andrew lim

    Absolutely not news worthy. Waste of everyones resource!

    July 29, 2014 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  14. Will

    Ok, so "Obama admits boyhood crush" is a CNN headline. So typical. The world is in turmoil. We have the most disastrous leader in US history an this is a CNN headline. No wonder no one respects CNN.

    July 29, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  15. Realist

    I would have thought his crush would have been on Vladimir Lenin or Chairman Mao. You know,l someone more socialist......

    July 29, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  16. Jon

    This is news why? Who really cares about this?

    July 29, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  17. agalag

    Good for Obama! She has a thing for Democrats anyway. She and Jerry Brown were once hot and heavy. Bet Michelle is pissed.

    July 29, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    She was good to listen to driving down the highway on a long trip.

    July 29, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  19. Lily

    Wow, cutie pie Linda certainly hasn't aged well. Reminds me of Stevie Nicks, so hot in the day but not so much anymore.

    July 29, 2014 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  20. George

    Just when you think that cnn would produce real news, excuse me I have to throw up again, they have this as a story. Now it is offical obammy and democrats are unamerican.

    July 29, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  21. agnostic and proud

    Did anyone else notice the President was referred to as Mr. Obama? I have never seen a sitting president referred to as Mr. I find it disrespectful something Faux News would do.

    July 29, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. JJR

    Linda, not Reggie. Strange.

    July 29, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  23. Dave

    This is what qualifies as news at CNN? No wonder the Democrats are so clueless.

    July 29, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  24. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    George says:
    July 29, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am
    Just when you think that cnn would produce real news, excuse me I have to throw up again, they have this as a story. Now it is offical obammy and democrats are unamerican.

    I guarantee you won't see this type of feel good story over at Faux Noise. Btw, how exactly does this make President Obama and the Democrats UnAmerican?

    July 29, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. Boo

    George – don't like what you're reading? Go elsewhere and stop whining.

    July 29, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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