Everyone who has seen episode three of The Last of Us has been absolutely weepy about the romance at its center. “Long Long Time”—named after Linda Ronstadt’s 1970 hit, which plays a key part in the story—sent the internet into collective hysterics over its tender old men surviving during the apocalypse. But while the song is suddenly everywhere in the wake of the show, the singer will not be receiving any additional profits from its renewed popularity.
While Spotify tweeted that streams of “Long, Long Time” had jumped up an incredible 4,900%, the truth is that songwriter Gary White will be the one getting that royalty check. Ronstadt’s not mad though, telling Billboard, “I still love the song and I’m very glad that Gary will get a windfall.”
Unlike Kate Bush—who experienced a similar resurgence after Stranger Things used her song “Running Up That Hill” repeatedly throughout its most recent season—Ronstadt doesn’t own any of the rights to the song, having sold off almost her entire recorded-music catalog in 2021; she retired from performing in 2011 due to health reasons. At any rate, Ronstadt has never owned the master for “Long, Long Time,” because of her Capitol Records contract, Ronstadt’s manager explained to Billboard.
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