Entertainment

Joni Mitchell to be 1st Canadian recipient of prestigious Gershwin prize

A little over a year after being celebrated at the Kennedy Center, Joni Mitchell will return to Washington for another lifetime achievement honour: the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Singer-songwriter to be honoured March 1 at tribute concert

A smiling woman wears blonde pigtails and a red beret.
Joni Mitchell arrives at the Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022. Mitchell will be honoured with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/The Associated Press)

A little over a year after being celebrated at the Kennedy Center, Joni Mitchell will return to Washington for another lifetime achievement honour: the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Mitchell, 79, is widely regarded as among the greatest singer-songwriters of her time, with her best-known works including Chelsea Morning, Big Yellow Taxi and Free Man in Paris.

The prize honours artists who have made exceptional contributions to popular music in the spirit of the sibling songwriting team George and Ira Gershwin.

"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," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement released Thursday. "Joni Mitchell's music has so many artists and music lovers all singing her tunes."

Mitchell, who was born in Fort Macleod, Alta., will be the first Canadian to receive the prize since its establishment in 2007. Previous winners include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carole King.

She will be honoured March 1 at a tribute concert airing March 31 on PBS stations.

"This is a very prestigious award," Mitchell said in the statement. "Thank you for honouring me."

Mitchell was also honoured as the MusiCares person of the year before last year's Grammy Awards. After nearly two decades away, she returned to the stage in July for the 2022 Newport Folk Festival and plans to perform again this coming June.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated that Mitchell's return to the stage was in August. In fact, it was in July for the 2022 Newport Folk Festival.
    Jan 12, 2023 11:20 AM ET

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