Joni Mitchell is this year’s recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today.
“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,” said Hayden in a press statement. “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 reply. “Thank you for honoring me.”
“Since the lifetime achievement award was established in 2007, it has gone exclusively to A-list celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie,” writes Neda Ulaby on NPR Music. “Mitchell is the third woman to be recognized, after Carole King in 2013 and Gloria Estefan (in tandem with her husband Emilio) in 2019.”
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is considered the nation’s highest award for influence, impact, and achievement in popular music. Established in 2007, the prize honors living musicians whose contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin. In addition to the artists named above, previous recipients also include Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, and Tony Bennett.
Mitchell will receive the prize and be honored with a tribute concert this coming March 1 in Washington, D.C. No performers have yet been announced. The event will then air on PBS stations nationwide on March 31 (check local listings for broadcast times).
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