Born as Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943
Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada
When Joni was 9 years old she was admitted to a children's hospital due to polio. While there, she showed her desire to perform by singing to other patients. Joni taught herself how to play the guitar
, she also played the ukulele
. In college she studied art but also pursued her love of music by performing in gigs around Alberta. She married folk singer Chuck Mitchell in 1965, the couple moved to Detroit, Michigan a year later.
Although her marriage to Chuck Mitchell was short-lived, she retained his surname as part of her stage name. Soon, her ability as a singer/songwriter began to attract attention. Artists like Tom Rush ("The Circle Game") and Judy Collins ("Both Sides Now") recorded the songs Joni wrote. Eventually in 1967, she signed under Reprise with David Crosby producing her debut record.
Selected Albums:Clouds (1969)Ladies of the Canyon (1970)Blue (1971)For the Roses (1972)Court and Spark (1974)The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)Hejira (1976)Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1977)Mingus (1979)Wild Things Run Fast (1982)Dog Eat Dog (1985)Chalk Mark in A Rainstorm (1988)Night Ride Home (1991)Turbulent Indigo (1994) - Won a Grammy for Best Pop AlbumTaming the Tiger (1998)Both Sides Now (2000)Travelogue (2002)Songs of A Prairie Girl (2005)Shine (2007)
Songs She Wrote:
Some of the hit songs Joni wrote are: “Both Sides Now," “Chelsea Morning," "Big Yellow Taxi," “Urge for Going," “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio,” “Woodstock,” “Help Me," and "Free Man in Paris."
Other Accomplishments:In 1981, Joni was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.On December 6, 1995, Joni received the Century Award at the Billboard Music Awards.On May 6, 1997, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame that same year.In 2002, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.Joni influenced many artists including Tori Amos, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Ani Difranco, Diana Krall and Led Zeppelin.
Personal Struggles/Love Life:
In 1982 Joni married bassist Larry Klein and the couple worked together on several projects including the album Dog Eat Dog. They separated before the recording of her 1994 album Turbulent Indigo. In 2002, Joni expressed her desire to retire from the music industry. This decision changed as evident in the release of several albums, the most recent of which is Shine in 2007.
Aside from being a musician and singer/songwriter, Joni is also an accomplished painter. What makes her unique, apart from her distinctive vocals and her knack for writing beautiful songs, is her openness to experimentation; and her guts to challenge the "norms" set by the entertainment industry. Joni is primarily identified as a folk musician but she also dabbled in pop, rock, jazz, electronic and acoustic music. Her 1979 album Mingus was a collaboration with jazz bassist Charles Mingus. Sadly Mingus died before it was completed, leaving Joni to finish the project on her own.