Birthday: November 7, 1943
Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Roberta Joan Mitchell, Joni Anderson
Born in: Fort Macleod
Famous as: Singer
Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females
Spouse/Ex-: Chuck Mitchell (m. 1965–1967), Larry Klein (m. 1982–1994)
father: Bill Anderson
mother: Myrtle Anderson
children: Kelly Dale Anderson
education: Alberta College of Art and Design, Aden Bowman Collegiate
Joni Mitchell is a famed Canadian singer and songwriter best known for hits such as ‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘Big Yellow Taxi.’ She has been named by ‘Rolling Stone’ as one of the best songwriters ever. She is also regarded as one of the most significant and influential female artists of the late 20th century. She began her career singing in nightclubs in her hometown and eventually started touring. Soon, she released her debut album ‘Song to a Seagull’. She started gaining more attention after the release of her album ‘Blue’. Peaking at the 15th position on the US Billboard 200, the album was a commercial success. It is often considered by critics as one of the best albums ever. National Public Radio chose it as the best album ever made by a woman. She proceeded to release several other albums over the next few years, such as ‘Court and Spark’, ‘Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter’, and ‘Dog eat Dog’. She has won nine Grammy Awards in different categories in her career so far. Mitchell has been an influence on several well-known artistes such as Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding, Mikael Akerfeld, as well as Madonna.
Childhood & Early Life
Joni Mitchell was born as Roberta Joan Anderson on 7th November 1943 in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada. Her father William Andrew Anderson was from a Norwegian family, with possibly some Sami ancestry as well. Her mother, Myrtle Marguerite, was of Scottish and Irish ancestry. Her father was a flight lieutenant in the Canadian Air Force while her mother worked as a teacher.
From an early age, Mitchell seemed to be more into athletics than academics. She also developed an interest in literature and started playing the piano as well. She performed poorly in academics and was a freethinking soul. One of her teachers encouraged her to write poetry. She later included a dedication to him on her first album.
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Joni Mitchell started performing shortly after she learnt to play the guitar. Her unique style was quite appreciated by the folk-music loving audiences. She soon moved to the US, and after a few years, she released her first album ‘Song to a Seagull’ (also known as Joni Mitchell). It was produced by David Crosby. It was followed by her second and third albums ‘Clouds’ and ‘Ladies of the Canyon’, released in 1969 and 1970 respectively.
Mitchell came to popularity after the release of her fourth studio album ‘Blue’. The album was a success commercially, peaking at the 15th position on the US Billboard 200 and at the 9th position on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart. The album was appreciated by critics as well, and is considered as one of the best albums ever made. The album has been named on several lists, such as Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Her fifth album ‘For the Roses’ found average success. Her sixth album, ‘Court and Sparks’, was a huge success. Released in 1974, the album peaked at the 1st position on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart, and at the 2nd position on the US Billboard 200. It earned four nominations for the Grammy Awards, out of which it won one.
Over the next few decades, she released several other albums though they didn’t perform very well commercially. These include ‘Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter’ (1977), ‘Mingus’ (1979), ‘Dog Eat Dog’ (1985), ‘Night Ride Home’ (1991), ‘Taming the Tiger’ (1998) and ‘Both Sides Now’ (2000).
In 2007, she released the album ‘Shine,’ which, so far, has been the last album of her career. The album was a commercial success, peaking at the 14th position on the US Billboard 200. It also entered the charts in various other countries such as the UK, Norway, and France.
‘Blue’, Joni Mitchell’s fourth studio album, is undoubtedly the most significant work in her career so far. The album was a commercial success, and peaked at the 9th position on the Canadian RPM Albums chart and at 15th position on the US Billboard 200. With tracks such as ‘Little Green’, ‘This Flight Tonight’ and ‘River’, the album has been appreciated by critics and is considered to be one of the greatest albums ever made.
The album ‘Blue’ has also been named in several lists including ‘Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Albums of all time’, where it stands at the 30th position, as well as the National Public Radio’s ‘150 Greatest Albums Made by Women’, where it stands at the first position. In January 2000, it was chosen by the ‘New York Times’ as one of the 25 albums that have represented a turning point in the music of the 20th century.
'Turbulent Indigo,’ which was released in 1994, is another one of her significant works. The album included songs such as ‘Sunday Sunday’, ‘Turbulent Indigo’ and ‘Borderline’. Though the album didn’t do very well commercially, it won two Grammy Awards for ‘Best Pop Album’ and ‘Best Album Packaging’.
Awards & Achievements
Joni Mitchell’s home country Canada has bestowed many honors upon her. In 1981, she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She has also received the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
In 2000, she received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Other honors received by her include an honorary doctorate in music from the McGill University and being inducted in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
She has earned sixteen nominations for the Grammy Awards, out of which she won nine in various categories such as ‘Best Folk Performance’ for her second album ‘Clouds’, and ‘Best Pop Album’ and ‘Best Album Package’ for her album ‘Turbulent Indigo’. In 2002, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
She received Billboard’s Century Award in 1995 and the Polar Music Prize the following year. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though she chose not to attend the ceremony.
She was ranked at the 42nd position on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Singers’ list in 2008. She also stood ninth on their list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015.
While studying at college, Joni Mitchell got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. Since the girl’s father refused to marry her, she had to give up the baby for adoption. The girl was named Kilauren Gibb by her adoptive parents. After many years, Mitchell was eventually reunited with her biological daughter.
Joni married Chuck Mitchell in 1965. The couple divorced after just two years. She later married Larry Klein in 1982. He was a bassist who worked with her on her albums ‘Wild Things Run Fast’ as well as ‘Turbulent Indigo’. They divorced in 1994.
She suffers from Morgellons syndrome as well as a brain aneurysm.
She kindled controversy in 2010 when she remarked that popular singer Bob Dylan, with whom she had worked before, was a plagiarist and a fake.