Joni Mitchell Honoured with Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by Library of Congress

Past recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney

Photo via Newport Folk Festival on YouTube

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jan 12, 2023

Joni Mitchell will soon add another distinguished accolade to her sprawling mantel. The Canadian icon has been selected by the US Library of Congress as the latest recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, with an all-star tribute concert to take place in Washington, D.C., on March 1.

The lifetime achievement award was established in 2007, and has gone on to honour the careers of legends exclusively — Carole King, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Lionel Richie, Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks among them. Named for the incomparable songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin, its recipients are selected in consultation with a board of songwriters, scholars and music specialists.

"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 in a statement. "Joni Mitchell's music has so many artists and music lovers all singing her tunes. We are honoured to present the Gershwin Prize to this musical genius."

Mitchell added in a press release, "This is a very prestigious award. Thank you for honouring me."

She will receive the award at the tribute concert, although there's no word yet on whether the elusive singer-songwriter will attend. Either way, it's set to air on PBS stations on March 31.

However, Mitchell did attend the Grammys last year after she sent out shockwaves during a surprise set at the Newport Folk Festival, her first full-length public performance since 2000, which is slated for release as a live album. She was also in attendance at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony in late 2021, where she offered a rare health update.

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