Joni Mitchell is this year’s winner of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.
Joni Mitchell has been announced as this year’s winner of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the Library of Congress. Since the lifetime achievement award’s inception in 2007, it has gone to A-list celebrities, including Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Lionel Richie, and Stevie Wonder. Mitchell is the third woman to be recognized for the award, following Carole King in 2013 and Gloria Estefan (alongside her husband Emilio) in 2019.
“Joni Mitchell’s music and artistry have left a distinct impression on American culture and internationally, crossing from folk music with a distinctive voice whose songs will stay with us for the ages,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. “Joni Mitchell’s music has so many artists and music lovers all singing her tunes. We are honored to present the Gershwin Prize to this musical genius.”
“This is a very prestigious award,” said Mitchell in the Library of Congress press release. “Thank you for honoring me.”
The 79-year-old Joni Mitchell performed in public last year for the first time since she suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015. Gradually, the prolific singer-songwriter has been sliding back into the public eye. She has received a wave of recognition over the past few years, including an award at the Kennedy Center Honors, a tribute from MusiCares (a Grammy-affiliated charity), and an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.
One of the defining voices of the ’60s and ’70s, Joni Mitchell is expected to return to performing later this year. Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, referred to by Mitchell as her “ambassador,” announced last year that Joni would headline a concert at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State this June, a day after Carlile performs her own show at the venue.
Joni Mitchell will be honored with the Gershwin Prize with a tribute concert on March 1 in Washington, D.C., scheduled for national broadcast on PBS on March 31.