It’s turning out to be an extra special year for Linda Ronstadt…
President Barack Obama awarded the 68-year-old Mexican American singer-songwriter the National Medal of Arts at a special ceremony on Monday at the White House.
During the ceremony, Obama, who hung the medal around Ronstadt’s neck, revealed, “I had a little crush on her back in the day.”
The honor was a particularly special moment for Ronstadt, who didn’t make it to her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April since Parkinson’s disease limits her ability to travel. The same month her album Heart Like a Wheel was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
A military aide brought her into the East Room by wheelchair, but she walked to the stage to receive her award as a citation was read honoring her “one-of-a-kind voice” that paved the way for generations of women artists.
Eleven other recipients were awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts, as the nation’s highest award given to artists and their patrons, including DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and Dominican-American writer Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies.
Ten were awarded the National Humanities Medal, which honors those in fields including history, literature, languages and philosophy.
During her illustrious career, Ronstadt has earned 11 Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award. She’s also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award.