Joni Mitchell Wins Grammy for Best Historical Album, Honored by Brandi Carlile, Jon Batiste and Allison Russell

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Legendary songwriter Joni Mitchell won a Grammy Award for Best Historical Album on Sunday night (April 3) at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

The singer was on hand to accept the award, which came just a few days after being honored by some of the biggest names in music.

“Thank you! Much thanks to the Academy for this nomination and for this win,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t expect this. I’d like to thank my dream team that help me put it together. The folks at Rhino, Patrick and Dorian, Lisa, and to Marcy, who’s my assistant in all of this and she keeps me on schedule, thanks very much. And to Sultoon here, who is my physical therapist and who is my angel. And to Cameron Crowe, who wrote the liner notes on this project and is also a dear friend. And to Frank, my manager, thank you, Frank, for all your assistance in this thing. And everybody at Rhino who made the package so beautiful. Thank you.”

Just a few days before the awards ceremony, a great number of big name stars came out for one of their own.

On Friday night (April 1), some of the biggest names in music, from Brandi Carlile to Jon Batiste to John Legend and Allison Russell, honored Mitchell, one of the greatest living songwriters of all time. The festivities were part of the annual MusiCares fundraising dinner.

“That was such an exciting musical evening for me, to hear my music performed so well by everybody that was on stage,” said Mitchell of the night. “I could retire now and just let other people do it.”

In addition to those listed above, others who paid tribute include Yola, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, Leon Bridges, Black Pumas, Chloe Bailey, St. Vincent, Violet Grohl (Dave’s daughter) and Pentatonix.

Ahead of the event, Mitchell’s official Twitter account previewed the night, writing, “As we head into the annual @MusiCares Person of the Year benefit honoring Joni tomorrow, April 1, here’s a throwback from the first time Joni won a Grammy in 1970 with Best Folk Performance for her album ‘Clouds.’”

Prior to the tribute, Mitchell told Variety that she didn’t know who would be on hand, saying, “They won’t let me know who’s gonna perform what yet. They’ve kept me completely in the dark.”

Carlile, who trailed Mitchell on the red carpet for the evening, confirmed, saying:, “She doesn’t know anything,” although “She’s been trying to get it out of me.”

Carlile, who recently performed Mitchell’s songs for a sold-out Carnegie Hall, was an important part in finalizing who would perform.

“The list of people I didn’t come up with. But when they came up with the list of people, I was really excited at who was chosen,” Carlile said. “And I got to be a really active part of helping these artists find their Joni song, the one that their soul sort of drew them to during the arc of a many-decades long career — everything from that first couple of albums all the way to ‘Shine.’ And helping the band arrangements and leaning in with our MD Mike Elizondo was absolutely amazing, and talking with Jon about curating medleys and beautiful background vocals and chamber orchestras. I loved working with Jon — he’s a true abstract, a true avant-garde and an absolute genius. He’s our generation’s Herbie Hancock. … It’s been such a musical journey for me. And I think it’ll change me actually as an artist, having seen the arc of this event.”

Check out some of the performances from the night below.

Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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