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Linda Ronstadt streams soar after ‘The Last of Us,’ evoking Kate Bush and ‘Stranger Things’

Linda Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” appeared not once but three times in Sunday’s episode of “The Last of Us.” And fans of HBO’s newest hit were clearly moved by Ronstadt’s song, as streams of her ballad have ballooned since the episode premiered.

Between 11 p.m. ET and midnight on Sunday, Spotify streams of “Long, Long Time” increased 4,900% compared to the week prior, the platform reported this week. CNN has reached out to Spotify to confirm the number of streams before and after “The Last of Us” aired. In the meantime, the song is already appearing in TikToks from weepy viewers who loved the episode.

The song was performed by actors Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman in a pivotal sequence in the third episode of “The Last of Us” in which their characters meet by chance, take turns playing Ronstadt’s song at very different tempos on an antique piano and share a kiss (and, eventually, almost 20 years of their lives). The episode closes with Ronstadt’s rendition of the song played on a cassette tape.

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