After waiting for 56 years since her debut album in 1968, titled “Song to a Seagull,” the legendary folk artist Joni Mitchell finally graced the Grammy stage at the 2024 ceremony. At the age of 80, Mitchell, nominated for Best Folk Album for “Joni Mitchell at Newport [Live]” from 2023, delivered a historic performance, enchanting the audience with her rendition of the 1969 hit “Both Sides, Now.”
This moment not only marked a musical milestone but also served as a form of restorative justice for the iconic artist. Despite winning nine Grammys across various categories, Mitchell had never secured any of the prestigious Big 4 awards—Album, Record, and Song of the Year, along with Best New Artist. The significance of Mitchell’s performance was heightened in the twilight of her illustrious career.
Facing adversity after a brain aneurysm in 2015, Mitchell underwent a remarkable comeback, relearning the guitar and reclaiming her musical prowess. In 2022, she shared the challenges of recovery, stating, “It’s amazing what an aneurysm knocks out — how to get out of a chair. You don’t know how to get out of bed. You have to learn all these things by rote again.”
Despite these hurdles, Mitchell headlined her first show in over two decades last summer in Washington state. In October, she collaborated with Brandi Carlile and Annie Lennox at Carlile’s Hollywood Bowl show in Los Angeles. Recently, Mitchell announced another concert scheduled for October 2024.
This Grammy performance not only marked a long-overdue acknowledgment for Joni Mitchell but also celebrated her resilience, musical genius, and enduring impact on the industry.