The Library of Congress has awarded Joni Mitchell the 2023 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, as The New York Times notes. A tribute concert on March 1 will honor the Canadian singer-songwriter in Washington, D.C., and will air on PBS. There is no word yet on whether the elusive artist, 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. “Thank you for honoring me.”
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 organizing the June show at Washington state’s Gorge Amphitheatre.
Previous recipients of the Gershwin Prize, which is named for Ira and George Gershwin, include Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Willie Nelson.
Read Pitchfork’s recent Sunday Review of Hejira, revisit “Joni Mitchell: Her Art and Life in 33 Songs,” and, below, check out a review of the Newport Folk Festival show:
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