Joni Mitchell

Born in Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada, Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential musicians and songwriters of our time. Mitchell began her career as a songwriter, penning the ’60s standards “Chelsea Morning,” “The Circle Game,” and “Both Sides Now.”

In 1968, she released her debut album, Song to a Seagull, which received acclaim thanks to her extraordinary songwriting and helped Mitchell begin to establish a strong fanbase. Her 1969 sophomore album, Clouds, reached the Top 40, with her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon, including her hit tracks “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock,” becoming her first Gold-certified album.

Mitchell’s 1971 Blue is often regarded as one of the best albums of all time, with Rolling Stone listing the album at number three in their 2020 list of the ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time,’ NPR ranking it at number one in a 2017 list of ‘Greatest Albums Made by Women,’ and The New York Times citing the album as one of 25 that represented “turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music.” In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the classic album in 2021, Mitchell released a new demos and outtakes EP of Blue, featuring five unreleased recordings from the making of the original LP.

Mitchell has released a total of 19 studio albums, and the accolades she has been awarded throughout her career are equally prolific. She has received a total of nine Grammy Awards, including the 2002 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1996, she received the Polar Music Prize and the following year, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mitchell became the first woman to receive the Les Paul Award in 2020. She is set to receive a 2021 Kennedy Center Honor, recognizing her contributions to American culture, later this year. Additionally, she has been named MusiCares’ ‘Person of the Year’ for 2022, an honor dedicated to celebrating artistic achievements in the music industry and dedication to philanthropy.

Beyond her impressive formal recognitions, Mitchell is widely viewed as one of the most important songwriters and recording artists ever. She has transcended traditional music fandoms, becoming a hugely inspirational icon not only to her audiences, but also to other musicians, and acts like Prince, Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan, and many others have cited her as one of their biggest influences.