Wishing a very happy birthday to Joni Mitchell, who turns 75 today. The Canadian singer/songwriter is among the most respected and influential artists of her time, responsible for such acclaimed albums as 1970’s Ladies of the Canyon, 1971’s Blue, 1974’s Court and Spark, and 1976’s Hejira.
Mitchell began her career as a folk artist, and later delved into rock and jazz. Her 1979 collaborative album with Charles Mingus was the renowned jazz bassist’s final project. Joni’s highest-charting single was “Help Me,” which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Among her many other well-known tunes are “Big Yellow Taxi,” “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio,” “Carey” and “Free Man in Paris.”
Many artists have covered Mitchell’s songs, among the most famous being Judy Collins‘ version “Both Sides Now,” a #8 hit in 1968, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s rendition of “Woodstock,” which peaked at #11 in 1970.
Over the years, Mitchell has amassed eight Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
During the 2000s, Joni withdrew from the music business and focused more on her other main artistic passion: painting. Her most recent studio album, Shine, was released in 2007. In 2014, Mitchell released Love Has Many Faces, a multi-disc compilation of her songs that she curated for an abandoned ballet project. In March 2015, Joni suffered a brain aneurysm from which she apparently has made a partial recovery.
In honor of Mitchell’s 75th birthday, a two-day series of events dubbed JONI 75 has been scheduled for yesterday and today in Los Angeles. Among the lineup of performers are Graham Nash, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Chaka Khan, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Seal and Diana Krall.
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