Joni Mitchell

Singer / Songwriter

Born: 7 November 1943
Birthplace: McLeod, Alberta, Canada
Best known as: Singer of "The Circle Game" and "Free Man in Paris"

Name at birth: Roberta Joan Anderson

Joni Mitchell's lilting anthem "Both Sides Now" was a top-10 hit for folk singer Judy Collins in the 1960s. Mitchell was herself an aspiring folk-pop singer, and in 1970 she had her own hit single with "Big Yellow Taxi." Later singles like 1972's "You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio," established her as a complex and highly-regarded musician, beloved for her poetically personal lyrics and go-your-own-way attitude. Mitchell's albums include Ladies of the Canyon (1970, including the classic "The Circle Game"), Court and Spark (1974, including the single "Free Man in Paris"), Blue (1971), Mingus (1979) and Wild Things Run Fast (1982). She has been cited as an important influence on artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos. Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and was given a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 2002.

Extra credit: Mitchell's tune "Woodstock" has been covered many times, most famously by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young... She is an accomplished artist who has done the cover art for many of her own albums; she also did the colorful sketch on the front of CSNY's 1974 album So Far... Former "first daughter" Chelsea Clinton was reportedly named for Mitchell's tune "Chelsea Morning."

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