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Joni Mitchell performance, award among highlights at Grammys Print-ready version

Joni Mitchell spent her elementary and high school years in Saskatoon before gaining worldwide adoration and acclaim.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix
February 5, 2024

Joni Mitchell (left) and Brandi Carlile perform on stage during the 66th annual Grammy Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO BY KEVIN WINTER /Getty Images

In a stunning return to the spotlight, Joni Mitchell's first performance at the Grammy Awards provided an emotional highlight to the music showcase.

Mitchell, who spent her elementary and high school years in Saskatoon before gaining worldwide adoration, won her 10th Grammy Award and performed one of her most iconic hits during the Grammy ceremony on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Surrounded by musical friends including Brandi Carlile, the 80-year-old Mitchell sat in an easy chair that resembled a throne, tapping her cane as she sang "Both Sides Now." Her voice, which she had to recover after a brain aneurysm in 2015, brought a richness and perspective to the song that could only be hinted at in the original. Mitchell was visibly moved by the audience's reception, smiling and laughing after she finished.

In a career that has spanned seven decades, it was the first time she has performed at the Grammy Awards.

"Whether we know it or not, any one of us out here who ever dreamed of becoming a truly self-revealing singer-songwriter did it standing on the shoulders of one Joni Mitchell," Carlile said.

Mitchell also received the Grammy for best folk album, for "Joni Mitchell at Newport (Live)."

"We had so much fun at that concert, and I think that you can feel it on the record," Mitchell said when accepting the award.

"It's a very joyous record because of the people that I played with and the spirit of the occasion was very high."

Mitchell is considered one of the greatest singer-songwriters of her time; her most famous works include "Both Sides Now," "Chelsea Morning," "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Free Man in Paris."

Her Grammy win on Sunday came nearly 60 years after her first Grammy, which she won for her album "Clouds" in 1969. That album featured "Both Sides Now" and "Chelsea Morning."

In 2002, Mitchell received the Grammy for lifetime achievement.

Mitchell attended Queen Elizabeth elementary school and Aden Bowman high school in Saskatoon before becoming a world-renowned singer, songwriter, artist and activist. Early on, she went from Saskatoon to Calgary, Toronto, Detroit, New York and eventually California, where she secured a record deal in 1967.

She has also been honoured with the Governor-General's Lifetime Artistic Achievement award in 1996 and an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Mitchell has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and McGill University.

In 2018, at the same time she was honoured at the U of S, two plaques were dedicated to Mitchell in Saskatoon. One was in front of Broadway Theatre, near the former Louis Riel Coffee House (now Calories) where she played some of her earliest professional performances. The other was downtown at River Landing to celebrate the naming of the Joni Mitchell Promenade along the river.

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Added to Library on February 7, 2024. (505)


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