Joni Mitchell Awarded The 2023 Gershwin Prize For Popular Song
Joni Mitchell is this year’s winner of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress.
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The award will be presented during a concert held in Washington DC on 1 March and scheduled to be broadcast nationally on PBS in the United States. There is no word yet on whether Mitchell, who returned to the stage at last year’s Newport Folk Festival and has scheduled a show in Washington state this June, will perform in the concert.
“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,” Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, said in a statement reported by NPR. “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.”
“This is a very prestigious award,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Thank you for honoring me.”
Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize, which is named after Ira and George Gershwin, include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Willie Nelson.
Amid a resurgence of recognition and her slow return to public life, Mitchell is planning a live album of the Newport Folk Festival set, which was her first in 22 years. Since a 2015 brain aneurysm, she has had to learn how to speak and walk again, and has been playing private “Joni Jams” to aid her recovery, according to her friend Brandi Carlile, who is organising a June show at Washington state’s Gorge Amphitheatre.
The pair chose the 27,000-capacity Gorge, which Carlile noted is “one of the most beautiful venues in the world.” Brandi will play the first night, 9 June and Joni and the Joni Jam — line-up to be announced — will headline the second night (10 June).