Joni Mitchell Named 2021 Kennedy Center Honoree

Other 2021 honorees include Bette Midler, Lorne Michaels, and more

joni mitchell kennedy center honoree 2021
Joni Mitchell circa 1968, photo via Facebook/Baron Wolman

    Joni Mitchell will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. 

    Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the annual accolade recognizes lifetime performing arts achievements in American culture. Along with Mitchell, this year’s class of honorees includes actress Bette Midler, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, and opera singer Justino Díaz. 

    The Kennedy Center honorees are chosen on the recommendation of a committee that includes officials and past award recipients. Mitchell and her peers will formally receive their honors during an in-person ceremony held at the Kennedy Center on December 5th, which will later air on CBS.

    Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, BB King, Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, and Paul McCartney are just a few examples of musicians who have received the Kennedy Center Honor, meaning Mitchell is rightfully in exceptional company.


    Mitchell’s honor coincides with the 50th anniversary of her landmark album Blue earlier this year. To celebrate the milestone, she recently shared a digital-only EP of demos and outtakes from the Blue sessions, as well as an expansive box set titled The Reprise Albums.

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