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Joni Mitchell

Mitchell, Joni, 1943–, Canadian songwriter, singer, guitarist, poet, and painter, b. MacLeod (now Fort Macleod), Alta., as Roberta Joan Anderson; married musician Chuck Mitchell (1965–67). She moved (1967) from Detroit to New York City, and sang on the East Coast folk circuit. She cut her first record, Joni Mitchell, in 1968, the year singer Judy Collins recorded Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." Mitchell's quirky, complex, witty, and often introspective songs, frequently marked by social or feminist concerns, resonated with the young folk-rock audience. She had successive hits with such albums as Clouds (1969; Grammy), Ladies of the Canyon (1970), Blue (1971), and Court and Spark (1974). During the late 1970s she turned to jazz experiments in The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975), Hejira (1976), Mingus (1979), and other albums. She has continued to write, record, and perform, but has never attained the huge popularity of her earlier years. Among her notable later albums are Dog Eat Dog (1985), the Grammy-winning Turbulent Indigo (1997), and Travelogue (2002).

See Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics (1997); biographies by B. Hinton (1996) and K. O'Brien (2001); Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (video documentary, 2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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