Joni Mitchell is having quite the year. After a resurgence with her 1971 album Blue and being named a Kennedy Center Honoree, the 77-year-old singer-songwriter has been named the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year.
The announcement was made Wednesday, Aug. 25. The legendary singer-songwriter will receive the honor at the annual gala in January 2022. "I’m honored to be chosen as person of the year by this great charity,” Mitchell said in a statement. “I look forward to being part of this gala that will help MusiCares continue their inspired work in providing a support system for those in need.”
Mitchell will receive her Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 5, about seven weeks before the MusiCares event. Twenty of the 31 Person of the Year honorees have also been selected as Kennedy Center honorees, but this will be the first time an artist will receive both prestigious awards within weeks of each other. Stevie Wonder was the last record holder, as he received the two awards about nine months apart in 1999.
Mitchell will be the first Person of the Year honoree since Aerosmith two years ago, and the first individual honoree since Dolly Parton three years ago. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2021 honor was replaced with a fundraiser.
Mitchell also sets another proud record: she's the second Canadian to receive the honor. Neil Young, the 2010 Person of the Year, was the first.
Artists associated with the singer-songwriter boom of the early '70s have been especially well-represented by MusiCares - with Young, David Crosby, James Taylor, and Carole King among the previous honorees.
"We are so excited to bring together an amazing line-up of artists to celebrate the musical legacy of Joni Mitchell," Laura Segura, executive director of MusiCares, said in a statement. "She is being honored not only for her iconic music and lyrics, but for her trailblazing spirit and the inspiration she's brought to so many artists."
The gala will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, two nights before the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. All money received will go towards MusiCares programs and services that assist the music community. The ceremony includes a reception and silent auction, followed by a dinner and concert featuring other artists paying tribute to the honoree - and, often, a performance by the Person of the Year. However, a performance from Mitchell is unlikely since she suffered a stroke in 2015, so attendees can likely expect a star-studded lineup of tributes.
A statement stresses: “The safety of our honorees, guests, performers, and staff is our first priority. The event will follow all necessary COVID-19 precautions, safety guidelines and requirements set forth by health officials.” Tables will be available for purchase here on Sept. 8 at 10am PT, with individual tickets then going on sale on Oct. 6 at 10am PT.
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Article Image: Joni Mitchell petting Bill Clinton's dog Buddy in the Oval Office in 1998. (White House Photograph Office and Sharon Farmer, Clinton Digital Library [Available through Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons.)