It’s been 56 years since her debut album, and for the first time Canadian folk legend Joni Mitchell performed at the Grammy Awards.
The 80-year-old icon took the stage at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles to sing her 1966 hit Both Sides Now.
She was introduced to the stage by collaborator and friend Brandi Carlile, who called Mitchell the “matriarch of imagination.”
“Whether we know it or not, any one of us out here who ever dreamed of becoming a truly self-revealing singer-songwriter did it standing on the shoulders of one, Joni Mitchell,” Carlile, 42, said.
“Joni is one of the most influential and emotionally generous creators in human history,” she continued. “She redefined the very purpose of a song to reflect the contents of a person’s soul and before she took this leap, the popular song was observational. It was brilliant and influential, of course, but the exhilarating risk that we all now take by turning ourselves inside out for all the world to see started as far as I can tell with Joni Mitchell doing it first.”
Get the latest National news.
Sent to your email, every day.
Holding a walking stick adorned with a silver animal head and sitting in a gilded gold and cream armchair, Mitchell was flanked by a group of fellow folk musicians — including Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the pop act Lucius — as her backup chamber orchestra and singers.
Since recovering from a 2015 brain aneurysm, Mitchell has increased her public appearances. She accepted Kennedy Center Honors and, in 2022, a Best Historical Album Grammy.
Mitchell won her 10th Grammy Award on Sunday in a pre-broadcast ceremony that also handed trophies to Canadian folk singer Allison Russell and conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
Walking slowly with a cane as she was escorted to the microphone by Carlile, Mitchell took the stage as the audience rose to its feet to watch her claim Best Folk Album for Joni Mitchell Live at Newport, which captured her return to performing two years ago.
“I don’t know what to say about this,” Mitchell said, smiling during the pre-broadcast ceremony, draped in a flowy, all-black ensemble with a black beret, her long blond hair in two braids.
“We had so much fun at that concert. And I think you can feel it on the record. You know, it’s a very joyous record because of the people that I played with and the spirit of the occasion was very high.”
Mitchell won Best Folk Album over artists Dom Flemons, the Milk Carton Kids, Nickel Creek, Old Crow Medicine Show, Paul Simon and Rufus Wainwright.
Check out Global News’ coverage of the Grammys with our winners list, as well as all the best and boldest red carpet fashions.
— With files from The Canadian Press
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.