111 Facts About Joni Mitchell


Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell is a Canadian-American musician, producer, and painter.


Joni Mitchell has received many accolades, including ten Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.


Joni Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in Saskatoon and throughout western Canada, before moving on to the nightclubs of Toronto.


Joni Mitchell moved to the United States and began touring in 1965.


Joni Mitchell began exploring more jazz-influenced ideas on 1974's Court and Spark, which featured the radio hits "Help Me" and "Free Man in Paris" and became her best-selling album.


Joni Mitchell later turned to pop and electronic music and engaged in political protest.


Joni Mitchell was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in 2002.


Joni Mitchell produced or co-produced most of her albums and designed most of her own album covers, describing herself as a "painter derailed by circumstance".


Joni Mitchell would give occasional interviews and make appearances to speak on various causes over the next two decades, though the rupture of a brain aneurysm in 2015 led to a long period of recovery and therapy.


Joni Mitchell returned to public appearances in 2021, accepting several awards in person, including a Kennedy Center Honor in 2021.


Joni Mitchell performed live for the first time in 9 years, with an unannounced appearance at the June 2022 Newport Folk Festival, and was scheduled to perform a headline show on June 10,2023.


Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7,1943, in Fort Macleod, Alberta, the daughter of Myrtle Marguerite and William Andrew Anderson.


Joni Mitchell's mother was a teacher, while her father was a Royal Canadian Air Force flight lieutenant who instructed new pilots at RCAF Station Fort Macleod.


Joni Mitchell later moved with her parents to various bases in western Canada.


Joni Mitchell later sang about her small-town upbringing in several of her songs, including "Song for Sharon".


Joni Mitchell contracted polio at age nine and was hospitalized for weeks.


Joni Mitchell started smoking that year, but denies that smoking has affected her voice.


Joni Mitchell moved with her family to Saskatoon, which she considers her hometown, at age 11.


Joni Mitchell focused on her creative talent and considered a singing or dancing career for the first time.


Joni Mitchell dropped out of school in grade 12 and hung out downtown with a rowdy set until she decided that she was getting too close to the criminal world.


Joni Mitchell wanted to play the guitar, but as her mother disapproved of country music's hillbilly associations, she initially settled for the ukulele.


Joni Mitchell started singing with her friends at bonfires around Waskesiu Lake, northwest of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.


Joni Mitchell widened her repertoire to include her favourite performers, such as Edith Piaf and Miles Davis, at age 18.


Joni Mitchell's first paid performance was on October 31,1962, at a Saskatoon club that featured folk and jazz performers.


Joni Mitchell felt disillusioned about the high priority given to technical skill over free-class creativity there, and felt out of step with the trend toward pure abstraction and the tendency to move into commercial art.


Joni Mitchell dropped out of school after a year at age 20, a decision that greatly displeased her parents, who remembered the Great Depression and valued education highly.


Joni Mitchell continued to play gigs as a folk musician on weekends at her college and at a local hotel.


Joni Mitchell sang at hootenannies and made appearances on local TV and radio shows in Calgary.


Joni Mitchell left western Canada for the first time in her life, heading east for Ontario.


Joni Mitchell wrote her first song, "Day After Day", on the three-day train ride.


Joni Mitchell stopped at the Mariposa Folk Festival to see Buffy Sainte-Marie, a Saskatchewan-born Cree folk singer who had inspired her.


Joni Mitchell found her best traditional material was already other singers' property.


Joni Mitchell discovered that she was pregnant by her Calgary ex-boyfriend Brad MacMath in late 1964.


The existence of Joni Mitchell's daughter was not publicly known until 1993, when a roommate from Joni Mitchell's art school days in the 1960s sold the story of the adoption to a tabloid magazine.


Joni Mitchell left Canada for the first time in late April 1965.


Joni Mitchell travelled with Chuck Mitchell to the US, where they began playing music together.


Joni Mitchell began playing and composing songs in alternative guitar tunings taught to her by a fellow musician, Eric Andersen, in Detroit.


Joni Mitchell played venues up and down the East Coast, including Philadelphia, Boston, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Joni Mitchell performed frequently in coffeehouses and folk clubs and, by this time creating her own material, became well known for her unique songwriting and her innovative guitar style.


Joni Mitchell took "Urge for Going" to the popular folk artist Judy Collins, but she was not interested in the song at the time, so Rush recorded it himself.


Joni Mitchell accompanied him back to Los Angeles, where he set about introducing her and her music to his friends.


Joni Mitchell had a close business association with David Geffen.


The covers of both LPs, including a self-portrait on Clouds, were designed and painted by Joni Mitchell, a blending of her painting and music that she continued throughout her career.


Joni Mitchell's sound was already beginning to expand beyond the confines of acoustic folk music and toward pop and rock, with more overdubs, percussion, and backing vocals, and for the first time, many songs composed on piano, which became a hallmark of Joni Mitchell's style in her most popular era.


Joni Mitchell made a decision to stop touring for a year and just write and paint, yet she was still voted "Top Female Performer" for 1970 by Melody Maker, a leading UK pop music magazine.


Joni Mitchell decided to return to the live stage after the great success of Blue, and she presented new songs on tour which appeared on her next album, her fifth, For the Roses.


Joni Mitchell followed with the single, "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio", which peaked at No 25 in the Billboard charts in February 1973.


Court and Spark, released in January 1974, saw Joni Mitchell begin the flirtation with jazz and jazz fusion that marked her experimental period ahead.


In January 1975, Court and Spark received four nominations for Grammy Awards, including Grammy Award for Album of the Year, for which Joni Mitchell was the only woman nominated.


Joni Mitchell won only the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals.


Joni Mitchell went into the studio in early 1975 to record acoustic demos of some songs that she had written since the Court and Spark tour.


In January 1976, Joni Mitchell received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the album The Hissing of Summer Lawns, though the 1976 Grammy for that category went to Linda Ronstadt.


In early 1976, Joni Mitchell traveled with friends who were driving cross country to Maine.


In mid-1977, Joni Mitchell began work on new recordings that became her first double studio album.


Close to completing her contract with Asylum Records, Joni Mitchell felt that this album could be looser in feel than any album she had done in the past.


Joni Mitchell invited Pastorius back, and he brought with him fellow members of jazz fusion pioneers Weather Report, including drummer Don Alias and saxophonist Wayne Shorter.


Joni Mitchell revived "Jericho", written years earlier but never recorded in a studio setting.


The cover of the album would later create occasional controversy: Joni Mitchell was featured on the cover in blackface disguise, wearing a curly afro wig, a white suit and vest, and dark sunglasses.


Joni Mitchell began a collaboration with Mingus, who died before the project was completed in 1979.


Joni Mitchell finished the tracks, and the resulting album, Mingus, was released in June 1979, though it was poorly received in the press.


In early 1983, Joni Mitchell began a world tour, visiting Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia and then going back to the United States.


Joni Mitchell continued experimenting with synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers for the recordings of her next album, 1988's Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm.


Joni Mitchell performed the song "Goodbye Blue Sky" and was one of the performers on the concert's final song "The Tide Is Turning" along with Waters, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Van Morrison and Paul Carrack.


Joni Mitchell delivered the final mixes for the new album to Geffen just before Christmas, after trying nearly a hundred different sequences for the songs.


In 1996, Joni Mitchell agreed to release a greatest Hits collection, despite initial concerns that such a release would damage sales of her catalog.


Joni Mitchell included on Hits, for the first time on an album, her first recording, a version of "Urge for Going" which preceded Song to a Seagull but was previously released only as a B-side.


Two years later, Joni Mitchell released her final set of "original" new work before nearly a decade of other pursuits, 1998's Taming the Tiger.


Joni Mitchell promoted Tiger with a return to regular concert appearances, including a co-headlining tour with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.


The singer's next two albums featured no new songs and, Joni Mitchell has said, were recorded to "fulfill contractual obligations", but on both she attempted to make use of her new vocal range in interpreting familiar material.


Joni Mitchell stated at the time that Travelogue would be her final album.


Joni Mitchell expressed her dislike of the record industry's dominance and her desire to control her own destiny, possibly by releasing her own music over the Internet.


The concert, which featured a tribute to Joni Mitchell, was attended by Queen Elizabeth II.


In February 2007, Joni Mitchell returned to Calgary and served as an advisor for the Alberta Ballet Company premiere of "The Fiddle and the Drum", a dance choreographed by Jean Grand-Maitre to both new and old songs.


Joni Mitchell worked with the French-Canadian TV director Mario Rouleau, well known for work in art and dance for television, such as Cirque du Soleil.


Joni Mitchell filmed portions of the rehearsals for a documentary that she was working on.


In 2009, Joni Mitchell stated she had the skin condition Morgellons and that she would leave the music industry to work toward giving more credibility to people who suffer from Morgellons.


Joni Mitchell did not explain the contention further, but several media outlets speculated that it may have related to the allegations of plagiarism surrounding some lyrics on Dylan's 2006 album Modern Times.


In March 2015, Joni Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm rupture, which required her to undergo physical therapy and take part in daily rehabilitation.


Joni Mitchell made her first public appearance following the aneurysm when she attended a Chick Corea concert in Los Angeles in August 2016.


Joni Mitchell made a few other appearances, and in November 2018 David Crosby said that she was learning to walk again.


Since 2018, Joni Mitchell has approved a number of archival projects.


On November 2,2018, Joni Mitchell released an 8-LP vinyl reissue of Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.


Joni Mitchell revisited her poetry with Morning Glory on the Vine, a collection of facsimile handwritten lyrics, poetry and artwork originally compiled in 1971 as a gift for friends and family.


On January 28,2022, Joni Mitchell demanded that Spotify remove her songs from its streaming service in solidarity with her long-time friend and fellow childhood polio survivor Neil Young, who removed his tracks from the streaming platform in protest against COVID-19 misinformation on the popular Spotify-hosted podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.


Joni Mitchell was present at the Awards show accepting the award personally.


On July 24,2022, Joni Mitchell appeared unannounced as a special guest at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, where she had first played in 1969, as part of a set billed as 'Brandi Carlile and Friends'.


In 1995, Joni Mitchell's friend Fred Walecki, proprietor of Westwood Music in Los Angeles, developed a solution to alleviate her continuing frustration with using multiple alternative tunings in live settings.


Joni Mitchell was highly innovative harmonically in her early work, incorporating modality, chromaticism, and pedal points.


On her 1968 debut album Song to a Seagull, Joni Mitchell used both quartal and quintal harmony in "The Dawntreader" and quintal harmony in "Song to a Seagull".


Joni Mitchell asserted her desire for artistic control throughout her career, and still holds the publishing rights for her music.


Whatever Joni Mitchell's stated views of feminism, what she represents more than any other performer of her era is the new prominence of women's perspectives in cultural and political life.


Joni Mitchell's work has had an influence on many other artists, including Taylor Swift, Bjork, Prince, Ellie Goulding, Harry Styles, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gabrielle Aplin, Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Marillion members Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery, their former vocalist and lyricist Fish, Paul Carrack, Haim, Lorde, and Clairo.


John Mayer makes reference to Joni Mitchell and her Blue album in his song "Queen of California", from his 2012 album Born and Raised.


The song contains the lyric "Joni Mitchell wrote Blue in a house by the sea".


Joni Mitchell has received many honours from her home country of Canada.


Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1981 and received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 1996.


Joni Mitchell received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000.


Joni Mitchell received an honorary doctorate in music from McGill University in 2004.


Joni Mitchell has received ten Grammy Awards during her career, the first in 1969 and the most recent in 2022.


Joni Mitchell received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, with the citation describing her as "one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era" and "a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination and integrity".


In 1997, Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but did not attend the ceremony.


Joni Mitchell's songs were sung by many performers, including James Taylor, Elton John, Wynonna Judd, Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Krall, and Richard Thompson.


Joni Mitchell herself ended the evening with a rendition of "Both Sides, Now" with a 70-piece orchestra.


In 2008, Joni Mitchell was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stones "100 Greatest Singers" list and in 2015 she was ranked ninth on their list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.


In 2018, Joni Mitchell was honoured by the city of Saskatoon, when two plaques were erected to commemorate her musical beginnings in Saskatoon.


One was installed by the Broadway Theatre beside the former Louis Riel Coffee House, where Joni Mitchell played her first paid gig.


In 2020, Joni Mitchell received the Les Paul Award, becoming the first woman to be so honored.


Joni Mitchell was named as MusiCares Person of the Year in 2022.


In 2021, Joni Mitchell was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Historical Album, for her Archives, Vol.


On December 4,2021, Joni Mitchell received the Kennedy Center Honor for a lifetime of achievement in the performing arts at the Medallion Ceremony, held at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC The next day, Joni Mitchell attended the show at the Kennedy Center.


On January 12,2023, Joni Mitchell was named by the Library of Congress as that year's Gershwin Prize recipient with a concert delivered on March 2 in Washington DC in honour of the award.