Joni Mitchell took the stage at the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4 to perform the track "Both Sides, Now." The appearance -- Mitchell's first ever Grammys performance -- came after she won the Best Folk Album Award earlier in the night.
The song, written by Mitchell and originally recorded by Judy Collins, was recorded by Mitchell on her 1969 album Clouds. It's since become one of the artist's most iconic tracks.
Mitchell was seated in a yellow armchair during her performance. She was joined by an ensemble that included singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who also introduced Mitchell.
"Joni just turned 80 my friends, but we all know she's timeless," Carlile said before Mitchell's first ever Grammys performance.
The younger musician commended Mitchell for her resilience and willingness to wear her heart on her sleeve. "The exhilarating risk that we all now take by turning ourselves inside out for the world to see started with Joni," Carlile said. "In some ways, she didn't have a choice but to take these leaps. She was too preoccupied with basic survival."
Carlile noted that Mitchell struggled with poverty, polio and a debilitating brain aneurysm at different points in her life.
"She's learned to walk three times," she added.
Just a few years ago, Mitchell was long presumed to have retired from live performance: she had only made a few sporadic live appearances after her final tour in 2000, and after suffering a traumatic brain aneurysm in 2015, it seemed unlikely that we would see ever her onstage again.
However, 2022 changed all that, when Mitchell made a surprise appearance with Carlile at the Newport Folk Festival. Mitchell and Carlile followed that up in 2023 with a full-scale, three-hour concert at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington, while Mitchell also made appearances at the Library of Congress and at the Gershwin Prize ceremony in her honor in Washington D.C. Just last week, Mitchell announced plans to deliver a headlining set at the Hollywood Bowl next fall.
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One of the most beloved singer-songwriters of the 20th century, Mitchell has now won 10 Grammys, as well as a 2002 Lifetime Achievement honor and a MusiCares Person of the Year tribute. She won her first Grammy for Best Folk Performance for 1969’s Clouds, and boasts an Album of the Year trophy thanks to Herbie Hancock’s 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters, which features her songs, as well as a brief vocal contribution. She earned an Album of the Year nomination for her 1974 opus Court and Spark, though her consensus masterwork, 1971’s Blue — now widely considered one of the greatest albums of all time — went entirely unnoticed by the Grammys.
Killer Mike was also a triple winner in the afternoon, with the Atlanta hip-hop veteran picking up statuettes for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song. He was later led out of the venue in handcuffs.