Some of the biggest names in music come together to pay tribute to the great Joni Mitchell as she's awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a 90-minute special premiering March 31 on APT and the PBS Video App.
“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. “Joni Mitchell’s music has so many artists and music lovers all singing her tunes. We are honored to present the Gershwin Prize to this musical genius.”
James Taylor “CALIFORNIA”
Annie Lennox “BOTH SIDES NOW”
Brandi Carlile, Angélique Kidjo, Cindi Lauper, Annie Lennox, Ledisi, Lucius “BIG YELLOW TAXI”
Marcus Mumford “CAREY”
Brandi Carlile & Lucius “SHINE”
Cindi Lauper “BLUE”
Graham Nash “A CASE OF YOU”
Angélique Kidjo “HELP ME”
Diana Krall “FOR THE ROSES”
Herbie Hancock & Ledisi “RIVER”
….and Joni Mitchell “SUMMERTIME”
While Mitchell’s early music is often categorized as “folk,” her sound draws as much from jazz, classical and rock as she crossed various musical genres. Her music often encompasses bespoke tunings and song structures that defy categorization. As a lyricist, she delves deeply into both the personal and political, unafraid to explore the raw reality of living underneath societal norms and time-worn traditions.
Mitchell redefined the role of women musicians. She oversaw all aspects of her albums, including songwriting, arrangements, performance, production and artwork.
Bestowed in recognition of the legendary songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin, the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is the nation’s highest award for influence, impact and achievement in popular music. The honoree is selected by the Librarian of Congress in consultation with a board of scholars, producers, performers, songwriters and other music specialists. Previous recipients are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Garth Brooks, and Lionel Richie.