The legendary singer took the stage for the first time at the Grammys and swayed everyone's hearts with her performance.
The Grammys this year lived up to its expectations of being called the "music's biggest night." The highlight of the occasion was soulful singing by the 80-year-old singer-songwriter legend Joni Mitchell, who took the stage for the first time at the awards show. She performed the 1996 classic ballad, "Both Sides, Now," reports Time Magazine.
Brandi Carlile, who produced the album with Mitchell, introduced the singer as "one of the most influential and emotionally generous creators in human history," according to Comicsands. Carlile said, "She redefined the very purpose of a song to reflect the contents of a person's soul. Before she took this leap, the popular song was observational…But the exhilarating risk that we all now take by turning ourselves inside out for all the world to see started, as far as I can tell, with Joni Mitchell doing it first. She's like the first person to strip down at a skinny dipping party, to take that awkward terrifying leap — before everyone else joyfully follows," per Variety.
She also spoke about the many things that Mitchell faced and overcame, which included poverty, polio and a brain aneurysm. She went on to say, "Joni just turned 80, my friends! But we all know she's timeless. If we are so lucky that history remembers any of us, one thing I know for sure is that it will remember that we lived in the time of Joni Mitchell. Today, she just won the Grammy for Best Folk Album…Please welcome the matriarch of imagination, a true renaissance woman, my hero and yours, Joni Mitchell."
Mitchell was joined by Carlile, Jacob Collier, Allison Russell, SistaStrings, Lucius and Blake Mills for her performance. The song first began playing on a piano through darkness and then Mitchell appeared, spotlit and facing backstage in a Victorian chair. She looked glorious in her black velvet matching set consisting of a coat, top and pants embroidered with gold celestial motifs and her iconic berets and braids, per The Independent. As she started to sing the first few lines, her chair revolved around until she faced the audience. The performance was met with applause and a standing ovation, with many viewers becoming emotional.
It was sublime. I sobbed from beginning to end. Joni is a lifeline, a storyteller and a mystic 🔥💜🪶 Her music will remain floating in the ether for all time.— Dorian Hazel (@TheDorianHazel) February 5, 2024
@MrErnestOwens wrote on Twitter, “Joni Mitchell at 80 getting a well-deserved standing ovation for performance is everything. The way this room is embracing the legends tonight is touching.” @Klowgren posted, “I’ve rewatched it three times, and all I do is weep; knowing now that she overcame an aneurysm is truly incredible; got strong to perform at the Grammys — Joni Mitchell is amazing and a treasure.” @Jkitsco shared, “How positively wonderful to see the esteemed Joni Mitchell, 80 years young, performing her legendary song BOTH SIDES NOW at the Grammy's. Bravo Joni. Bravo!!!”
Following the performance, Trevor Noah handed Mitchell her 10th Grammy for this year's "Best Folk Album" for her 2023 album "Joni Mitchell at Newport." It was assumed by many that Mitchell had retired from public performances after she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in 2015. However, she made two public concert appearances last year. Mitchell started winning Grammys in 1969, the first she won Best Folk Performance for "Clouds." In 2022, she won Best Historical Album for the "Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963–1967)." Her only win in one of the top four general categories happened at the 50th annual Grammys. She was one of the multiple winners of the album, "River: The Joni Letters."