Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who broke gender barriers to define an era in the 1960s and 1970s, sang on stage for the first time in years on Friday in a musical tribute to her life from artists across genres and generations .
Musicians including John Legend, Cyndi Lauper, Beck, Mickey Guyton and Brandi Carlile performed favorites from Mitchell’s catalog at the annual MusiCares pre-Grammys fundraiser, held in Las Vegas this year.
After three hours of heartfelt speeches and performances, Mitchell took the stage in an MGM Grand ballroom, visibly overwhelmed.
“It was such an exciting musical evening for me to hear my music played so well by everyone who was on stage,” she said.
“I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to say that I was honored. That’s obvious.”
Mitchell then wowed the crowd by joining several artists to sing along on “The Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi.” Towards the end of the second song, the group calmed down to let them finish alone with the iconic lyrics “…and put up a parking lot”.
The Canadian-born musician, 78, has kept a low profile since she worked to recover from a brain aneurysm in 2015 that left her unable to speak or walk. On Friday, she walked with a stick, which she tapped to the music.
MusiCares, the non-profit arm of The Recording Academy, raises funds to help musicians struggling with health and other issues. The group said they recognized Mitchell as Person of the Year for her creative work, philanthropy and resilience.
Mitchell, whose multidimensional lyrics about conflict resonated with audiences, is considered one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the Woodstock era.
Mitchell broke into a male-dominated industry, selling millions of albums, including Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, and Blue.
Lauper recalled listening to Mitchell’s music when she was 15. “I had never heard anyone sing so deeply about what it’s like to be a young woman navigating this world,” Lauper said.
Porter, who sang a slow, soulful version of “Both Sides, Now,” called Mitchell “a movement all its own.”
Ahead of the event, Mitchell told Reuters on the red carpet it was “a remarkable time” for her after “Blue” hit #1 on the iTunes chart last year, 50 years after its release.
“Both Sides, Now” was also featured in a moving scene in the Oscar-winning “CODA,” sung by star Emilia Jones.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Mitchell said. “This generation seems to understand my work better than my own generation.”
Joni Mitchell takes the stage at All-Star Pre-Grammys Tribute – SABC News
Source link Joni Mitchell takes the stage at All-Star Pre-Grammys Tribute – SABC News