The first lady of folk has never won an important award from the Recording Academy. So why is she even turning up for the show?
Well said Eli. However, awards for art have always been silly. Art is subjective and one person’s genius is garbage to someone else.
Some commenters are trying to turn this political. From a purely artistic point of view, I long ago realized if I stopped listening to music from artists more liberal than I, I'd be missing out on some of the greatest music ever recorded. Ted Nugent and Kid Rock can only take you so far...
BECAUSE SHE IS A FUCKING DEMOCRAT...
She has shown loyalty to the message and only supports the "right" things. That's why.
How fucking obtuse can you be?
Perhaps when Ms. Mitchell (also Neil Young) removed her catalog from Spotify recently in protest of Joe Rogan's humongous contract, and no one gave one-tenth of nano-fuck that she did so, this is another bid for relevance.
Joni is one of the all time greats, to say the least. She has always been up there in the stratosphere, for me, with the likes of Dylan and Stevie Wonder. She is America's first Lady of lyricism (by way of Canada of course), and no she most certainly doesn't need the belated recognition, but it's nice to see her receiving it anyway.
Unlike some commenters here I try to separate politics from artistic ventures. While the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell may have an overinflated sense of self, their music stands up against any other musicians and song writers. I think, like J.K. Rowling, Mitchell cries all the way to the bank when she cashes her royalty checks. I don't turn to her Blue album for a dose of political commentary. I listen to her albums because they are all so unique in their musicality. There really isn't anyone in the music realm quite like her.
I have never watched or cared about the Grammys, and I loved the Simpson bit.
But I do want to see Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs sing 'Fast Car" together!
And, as a Southerner, I am so glad Eli italicized the one word, Southern, in his fake-horrified description of Luke.
Being overlooked by this bunch isn't going to faze the woman who wrote, "If you want me I'll be in the bar." They're strictly commercial, something Joni never was.
When Joni came on stage at Newport Folk last summer people were openly weeping. As the wall of fog rolled in over the water, it felt like we were collectively transported to a private hall somewhere far away. She sang with Brandi Carlisle and others in “Joni Jams.” Her story and her recovery are both amazing. While her music was released before my time, we know enough to recognize one of the greats.
Great essay! For us lifelong Joni fans, you nailed it. She’s always been too cool to care about awards!
When an article starts with the complaint that an artist has been ignored, but then proceeds to list all the awards the artist has won (just not the ones the author thinks they should have), I cannot take the author seriously.
Awards are inherently unfair. This doesn't just happen in the music industry; it also happens in the film industry and the book industry. The Newbery Medal is a prime example: there have been numerous occasions when the medal has gone to a lesser book by an author whose previous book was really the one that deserved the medal.
But the author's complaints didn't end there--he stabbed gleefully at the tastes of readers.
There aren't many articles in TFP that I wish had a downvote button, but this is one.
I never cared for her, and STILL don't! But that is just me. Genius? Maybe, but memorable? Only to middle-aged and senior critics. After she passes from this life she will be, largely, forgotten. So why NOT trot her out onstage, with her tobacco ravaged voice, for one last hurrah?
And here I thought the first lady of folk was Joan Baez,,,oh well, I was so much older then I'm younger than that now
To think of the Beatles ever having been ignored is more than I can take this rainy Saturday morning.
I take great offense in hating on Olivia Newton John! I honestly love that song and honestly had the biggest crush on her a 9 year old boy could have. If you come to my house I'll sing it for you.
Joni's music is beautiful, I fell in love with it when I was 17 and never stopped listening until she pulled it from Spotify a few years ago. Spotify is how I listen to music so I haven't been able to listen to her since. It's sad that the free thinkers and resisters of the authority/establishment from my parents' era have now become the enforcers of government propaganda. Also, she and Neil are essentially allowing Joe Rogan to control their music distribution, since pulling it from Spotify in protest of him/of free speech so... how freewheeling is that? :/