Joni Mitchell Photography

Joni Mitchell

Following humble club and street-busking beginnings in Canada, singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell moved to America and began touring in 1965. Shortly thereafter, several folk artists began covering her deeply emotive, socially conscious material (such as Judy Collins’ hit rendition of “Both Sides, Now”), earning Mitchell her first record deal in 1968.

From there, Mitchell continued making a name for herself as both an artist and songwriter for others with songs such as “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock” (bolstered by a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover version) that further defined the decade. Her 1971 masterpiece Blue ranked #30 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” while 1974’s jazzy exploration Court and Spark remains her most commercially successful.

Though she retired in 2007 (and sadly, suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015), Mitchell’s musical and cultural presence is still as strong as ever. The diverse likes of Janet Jackson, Counting Crows, and Kanye West (and hundreds more) have recorded or sampled her works, while Rolling Stone magazine ranks her as “one of the greatest songwriters ever.”

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