Joni Mitchell is widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and musicians of all time. Joni sold millions of albums over the course of her career. She has published seventeen original albums, won nine Grammy Awards, and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame over her 40-year career. She is widely regarded as one of the most important and famous female musicians of the twentieth century.
She is the lone producer on each of her albums, which is incredible. Mitchell is a painter as well as a musician, and she designed all of her album covers.
Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on November 7th, 1943. Her mother worked as a schoolteacher and was of Scottish and Irish origin. Her father was a Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant who worked as a flying instructor at RCAF Station Fort Macleod when she was a child, and his family was Norwegian.
She began working as a grocer after WWII ended, and the family spent several years moving around the sparsely populated Saskatchewan region. She acquired the polio virus when she was nine years old and spent many weeks in the hospital; she also started smoking cigarettes at that age. Her family moved to Saskatoon when she was eleven years old.
Mitchell was always interested in music, singing, and painting as a child. She would perform for other patients in the hospital during her polio bout. She struggled in school but thrived in her poetry and creative writing classes. She went to Aden Bowman Collegiate for high school and then to the Saskatoon Technical Collegiate Institute to pursue art and painting after graduation.
Breakthrough and Early Career:
Mitchell worked as a singer and performer for The Depression Coffee House while in college, and she also sang on local television and radio stations. She decided to pursue folk singing as a career in Ontario when she was twenty years old, and for the first time in her life, she left rural Western Canada. She began performing folk music for local gatherings, bars, and other less formal places once she arrived in Ontario.
She became pregnant in 1964, and her lover abandoned her. She gave the newborn girl up for adoption in 1965 because she couldn’t afford to support her.
Tom Rush, a folk singer, had met Mitchell and been handed one of her compositions, “Urge for Going,” which he recorded himself playing in the late 1960s. When other musicians heard him sing it, the song became popular in folk circles. She signed with Reprise Records in the spring of 1968 and released her debut album, “Song to a Seagull.”
It debuted at no. 189 on the Billboard 200 album list, but received positive reviews from critics. In 1969, she released her next album, “Clouds,” and the following year, she received a Grammy for Best Folk Performance. The album did better than her debut, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard album list, while her third album, “Ladies of the Canyon,” was certified platinum after reaching number 27 on the chart. “Blue,” her following album, was a financial triumph, and it regularly appears on lists of the best albums of all time.
Mitchell went on tour after the album’s release and went on to produce two more critically acclaimed albums, “For the Roses” and “Court and Spark.” She garnered four Grammy nominations for the latter work, with one win in 1975. Her musical approach had changed away from pure folk and toward more experimental, jazz-inspired sounds during this time.
“The Hissing of Summer Lawns,” “Hejira,” and “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter” were her final albums of the 1970s, and she teamed with jazz artist Charles Mingus on the 1979 album “Mingus.” While her recordings in the 1970s were commercially and critically successful, her musical turn to jazz perplexed her admirers, and the albums were not as popular as her prior efforts.
Eighties and Nineties:
With her 1982 album “Wild Things Run Fast,” which reached number 25 on the Billboard charts, she reverted to her folk and pop roots, but her 1985 album “Dog Eat Dog” only did moderately well. With her Grammy-winning album “Turbulent Indigo,” released in 1994, she was able to reach a wider audience. Mitchell’s record introduced him to a new generation of musicians.
Her record label authorized her to release an album of her lesser-known songs called “Misses” once she agreed to make a greatest hits album named “Hits.” “Hits” debuted at no. 161 in the United States, but it did significantly better in the United Kingdom, peaking at no. 6 there. Mitchell’s final album of new and original songs, “Taming the Tiger,” was released in 1998. To meet contractual obligations, she released “Both Sides Now” in 2000 and “Travelogue” in 2003. Her previous tracks were reworked on both albums. Her following albums would be collections of her earlier work.
From 1965 until 1967, she was married to fellow folk performer Chuck Mitchell. She married Larry Klein, a bassist and sound engineer, in 1987, and the couple separated twelve years later. In 1990, she signed a deal with Random House to publish her autobiography, and while she had previously indicated that it would be at least four volumes, she disclosed in 2015 that she was instead recording it orally.
In 1981, she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and in 2000, she was honored with a star on the Walk of Fame in Canada. She was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002, the country’s highest civilian honor. In 2002, she was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her cerebral aneurysm ruptured in 2015, necessitating rigorous physical rehabilitation and daily treatments.
She’s also revealed that she suffers from Morgellons syndrome, a poorly understood skin disorder that produces ulcers. She has made fewer public appearances as a result of her medical concerns, focusing instead on her archival releases, which feature records from her personal vault. She was the first woman to earn the Les Paul Award, which she received in 2020.
Commercial Real Estate:
Joni’s principal abode has been a beautiful house in Bel Air, California, for many years. If this mansion were to be put on the market, it would most certainly fetch $15 to $20 million.
Catalog of Songs:
Joni owns 100% of her Master Recordings and publication income thanks to her bargaining skills and the fact that she self-produced every single one of her albums. Joni Mitchell obtains a near-majority of the royalties when an artist like Counting Crows, Amy Grant, or Vanessa Carlton performs a Joni Mitchell song like “Big Yellow Taxi.”
Joni Mitchell has a net worth of $100 million and is a great singer and songwriter.