Joni Mitchell Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of singer, songwriter and painter Joni Mitchell.


Birth date: November 7, 1943
Birth place: Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada
    Birth name: Roberta Joan Anderson
    Father: William “Bill” Anderson, Air Force officer and grocer
    Mother: Myrtle (McKee) Anderson, teacher
    Marriages: Larry Klein, (1982-1994, divorced); Chuck Mitchell (1965-1967, divorced)
    Children: with Brad MacMath: Kelly Dale Anderson (renamed Kilauren Gibb), 1965
    Education: Attended Alberta College of Art in Calgary, 1963-1964

    Other Facts

    Taught herself to play guitar, ukulele and dulcimer.
    She is known for her difficult musical compositions, alternative guitar tunings and uncommon chord changes.
    Nominated for 16 Grammy Awards and won eight, plus received a lifetime achievement award.
    Although one of her more popular songs is called “Woodstock,” she was not present at the famous 1969 music festival.
    Her own paintings and drawings have been featured on some of her own album covers, as well as those of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
    Contracted polio at age 9.


    March 1968 – Her first album, “Song for a Seagull,” is released. The album is also known as “Joni Mitchell.”
    March 11, 1970 – Wins a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance or Recording for “Clouds.”
    March 1, 1975 – Wins a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for “Down to You.”
    1977 – Begins a collaboration with jazz musician Charlie Mingus on an interpretation of T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” Mingus dies of Lou Gehrig’s disease before the completion of the project, but Mitchell finishes the album. “Mingus” is released in 1979.
    February 28, 1996 – Wins a Grammy Award for Best Pop Album, as well as the Grammy for Best Recording Package with “Turbulent Indigo.”
    March 1997 – Mitchell and the daughter she gave up for adoption, now known as Kilauren Gibb, are reunited after 32 years apart.
    May 1997 – Is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    February 21, 2001- Wins a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Both Sides Now.”
    2002 – Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
    2007 – Composes the music for “The Fiddle and the Drum” with the Alberta Ballet.
    September 25, 2007 – Releases her last studio album, “Shine.”
    February 10, 2008 – Wins a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “One Week Last Summer” and receives another Grammy for her contribution to Herbie Hancock’s Album of the Year winner, “River: The Joni Letters.”
    April 22, 2010 – In a Los Angeles Times article, Mitchell describes suffering from a “weird, incurable disease” called Morgellons. She describes the symptoms as “fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”
    2010 – Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now,” is featured in the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
    March 31, 2015 – Mitchell is hospitalized after being found unconscious in her Los Angeles home.
    June 2015 – A conservator for Mitchell issues a statement that the musician has suffered a brain aneurysm, but is expected to make a full recovery.
    February 15, 2016 – Wins the Grammy for Best Album Notes, for “Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.”
    August 20, 2016 – Attends a Chick Corea concert in Los Angeles; it’s the first time she has been spotted in public since her brain aneurysm.
    October 10, 2017 – David Yaffe’s biography “Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell,” is released in Canada, and in the United States, one week later. The book draws on in-person interviews with Mitchell, as well as friends from her childhood and famous peers that inspired many of her most famous songs.
    November 6-7, 2018 – Artists gather to celebrate the 75th birthday of Mitchell at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles. The lineup includes Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Rufus Wainwright and Brandi Carlile.
      February 7, 2019 – “The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration” is shown in movie theaters for one night. The special includes the entire concert as well as behind-the-scenes interviews with the artists.
      October 30, 2020 – “Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967),” a collection of Mitchell’s earliest recordings, is released.




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