TORONTO - The spotlight was shining on Canada's Joni Mitchell Saturday evening.
Singers, songwriters, producers and composers from every musical genre shared cocktails and memories at a downtown Toronto hotel while paying tribute to the Canuck songstress and her unique career.
Measha Brueggergosman, a classical soprano singer who grew up listening to Mitchell's music, says she is a "multifaceted artist' who deserves to be honoured for her unique talents.
"She taught me to value poetry in music,' Brueggergosman said.
"She taught me the importance of text, that words above all else are important. She is such an amazing poet in addition to writing unbelievable songs.'
Colin MacDonald, lead singer and guitarist for Canadian rock band The Trews, describes Mitchell as "brilliant, very ahead of her time and progessive' and says her creativity puts her in a class of her very own.
"(She's) completely original, completely heartfelt and that's almost an impossible bridge to get over as a songwriter,' MacDonald said.
"It's one thing to push the form ahead, it's another thing to keep it so that people could still really relate to it -- and she seems to be able to do that perfectly.
Stephan Moccio, who writes songs for Celine Dion, Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, says Canada is lucky to have an artist so willing to embrace any and all types of music.
"She's nurturing, brave, and very giving to have given back to us her sort of song and her honest body of work.'
On Sunday, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame will recognize Mitchell as one of Canada's most successful songwriters, after swooning audiences with forays into folk, pop, rock and jazz for over 40 years.
Singer/songwriter James Taylor, jazz innovator Herbie Hancock, country singer Corb Lund and funk legend Chaka Khan are among those set to honour the reclusive artist and five of her songs.
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