Joni Mitchell biography
Joni Mitchell was born on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada. In 1968, she recorded her first, self-titled album. Other highly successful albums followed. Mitchell won her first Grammy Award (best folk performance) for her 1969 album, Clouds. She has won seven more Grammy Awards since then, in several different categories, including traditional pop, pop music and lifetime achievement.
Early Music Career
Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada. At the age of 9, Mitchell contracted polio, and it was during her recovery in the hospital that she began performing and singing to patients. After teaching herself how to play the guitar, she went off to art college and quickly emerged as one of the leading folk performers of the late 1960s and '70s.
At the beginning of her career, Mitchell's compositions were highly original and personal in their lyrical imagery. It was this style that first attracted attention among folk-music audiences in Toronto while she was still in her teens. She moved to the United States in the mid-1960s, and in 1968, she recorded her first album, Joni Mitchell, produced by David Crosby.
Other highly successful albums followed. Joni Mitchell won her first Grammy Award (best folk performance) in 1969, for her sophomore album, Clouds. Her third album, Ladies of the Canyon, was a mainstream success for the folk singer, becoming her first gold album, which included the hits "The Circle Game" and "Big Yellow Taxi." It was during this time she was already starting to experiment with pop and rock genres.
Her album Court and Spark (1974) signaled her foray into jazz and jazz fusion and was lauded by critics; it ended up becoming her most commercially successful project to date and was nominated for four Grammy Awards, of which Mitchell won for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist(s).
Over the past four decades, Mitchell has garnered several Grammys in various categories, including traditional pop, pop music and lifetime achievement. Her other notable successful recordings include Blue (1971), The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975), the highly experimental Hejira (1976) and Turbulent Indigo (1994).
Mitchell wasn’t the only one making hits with the songs she wrote. Other musicians have recorded successful covers of her songs, including Judy Collins; the Counting Crows; and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Mitchell's later albums include Taming the Tiger (1998), Both Sides Now (2000) and the compilation albums Dreamland (2004) and Songs of a Prairie Girl (2005). In addition to her own extensive body of work, she has been an enormous influence on several other artists with her unique guitar styling and expressive lyrics.
Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
Retirement & Health Issues
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2002, Mitchell announced she was retiring due to her frustration with the music industry, referring to it as a "cesspool." However, she didn't adhere to her statement, as she became busier than ever with the release of various compilations consisting of her earlier works.
In 2007 she released Shine, her first album of new songs in almost a decade. Politically charged and environmentally conscious, the album was a Billboard success and was Mitchell's nineteenth and final studio album.
Besides claiming her voice has faltered from complications due to polio and a compressed larynx, Mitchell has recently had to deal with bigger health issues. She is currently being treated for Morgellons syndrome, a controversial illness where sufferers believe their bodies are infested with parasites although there is no indication that they are.
No longer touring or giving concerts, Mitchell now invests her time advocating for victims of Morgellons syndrome, speaking on environmental issues and creating visual art.