Joni Mitchell, the iconic singer-songwriter, made her remarkable debut at the Grammys on Sunday evening. At 80 years old, she took the stage to perform her 1966 hit, “Both Sides Now,” accompanied by a talented ensemble including Brandi Carlile, Blake Mills, Allison Russell, Lucius, Jacob Collier, and Sista Strings.
Despite being nominated an impressive 18 times and winning 10 Grammys throughout her illustrious career, this was the first time Mitchell has ever performed at the prestigious award ceremony. Her latest win came Sunday night for Best Folk Album, a well-deserved recognition of her talent and enduring impact.
In 2015, Mitchell experienced a challenging setback when she suffered a brain aneurysm that caused her to withdraw from the public eye. As she recovered, Mitchell had to relearn many basic skills, a remarkable journey she candidly shared. “I’m learning,” she said. “I’m watching videos on the internet to see where I place my fingers. It’s astonishing how much an aneurysm can affect you, even simple tasks like getting out of a chair. You have to start from scratch and relearn everything.”
Brandi Carlile, one of the many musicians inspired by Mitchell’s brilliance, played a significant role in helping her regain her musical prowess. In 2023, Carlile expressed her awe after witnessing Mitchell’s triumphant return at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington. “I’ve witnessed one of the most miraculous things I’ve ever seen,” Carlile exclaimed. “And now, you get to witness it too.”
This performance marked Mitchell’s first headlining, ticketed show in 20 years, a testament to her enduring appeal and the profound impact she continues to have on her fans. Her profound musical presence has only grown stronger with time.