Joan Baez Photography

Joan Baez

Folk singer/songwriter Joan Baez had her fair share of hits from the 1960s onward, but much more important than chart placement were her themes of protest and social justice. Long before it was in style, this multi-instrumentalist rallied against war, became a civil rights activist and introduced environmental issues to the mainstream.

In 1969, she became a fixture of the Woodstock Festival and a pivotal force in the anti-Vietnam War and counterculture movements. She also became a master interpreter, recording songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, in addition to penning her own classics like “Diamonds & Rust.”

Baez continued her artistry and activism well into the 2010s, earning an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award for her many decades of human rights activism. She was also the first recipient of the Amnesty International Joan Baez Award—named in her honor. Musically speaking, she’s rubbed off on everyone from Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris to Alison Krauss and Ani DiFranco.

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