Joni Mitchell is among the notable names to be recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors at the end of 2021.
“I’m grateful to the Kennedy Center for bestowing this honor on my work and I look forward to being a part of this prestigious celebration of the arts,” the 77-year-old singer/songwriter said in a statement. “I wish my mother and father were alive to see this. It’s a long way from Saskatoon.”
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The honor comes at the perfect time, with a multi-part celebration of Joni's career well underway. This summer saw the release of The Reprise Albums (1968-1971), a box set featuring new remastered versions of her first four studio albums including the seminal Blue. In October, the second box in her official Joni Mitchell Archives series will feature hours of unreleased studio and live material from the same period.
Other honorees this year include Bette Midler, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and opera singer Justino Díaz. The black tie ceremony will take place Dec. 5, 2021 in Washington, D.C., with a two-hour presentation of highlights to air on CBS at a later date. (2020's honorees, including musicians Garth Brooks, Joan Baez and Midori and actors Debbie Allen and Dick Van Dyke, were celebrated at an event that took place in June 2021, after the COVID-19 vaccine was able to be more widely administered.)