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Generations sing to Joni Mitchell in pre-Grammy tribute

Generations sing to Joni Mitchell in pre-Grammy tribute

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An 81-year-old jazz veteran and a 15-year-old rock singer paid first tribute to Joni Mitchell on Friday night.

The Most Diverse Artist was the variety of artists honoring Mitchell, a Canadian-to-California, folklore-turned-twisting-jazz explorer who was honored two days earlier by the Recording Academy as the 2022 Musikers’ Person of the Year . Grammy Awards.

Herbie Hancock plays a jazz piano rendition of music from Mitchell’s 1976 album “Hejira”, followed by a rocking version of 1974’s “Help Me” from Violet Grohl, teenage daughter of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, to open the tribute concert Was. In a ballroom at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.

Sitting at the front desk, Michelle singled out the teenager among several old entertainers.

“When I first heard Joni Mitchell it was 1968 and I was 15,” Cindy Lauper, now 68, said. “I had never heard anyone sing so deeply about what it’s like to be a young woman navigating this world.”

Lauper recited several of Mitchell’s lines that most influenced him, before launching into “Magdalene’s Laundry” while playing Mountain Dulcimer.

“I don’t know how to do what you do, I know I need it like food,” Meryl Streep said in a video message played for Michelle and the crowd. “Ever since we were both little girls. We didn’t know each other, but you sang me into existence. You have sung my life. ,

Seven years after a brain aneurysm that left her temporarily unable to walk or speak, 78-year-old Michelle was happy at a major public event in Las Vegas and for the first time since the pandemic began.

“The best margarita I’ve ever had at our hotel,” she told the Associated Press as she walked into the gala.

Michelle is a presenter and a nominee for Best Historical Album at Sunday’s Grammys. She says she has always found herself in genres and categories that the Grammys don’t broadcast.

“I usually win behind-the-scenes awards,” she said with a laugh.

Inside, sitting at a table with Hancock and director Cameron Crowe, Mitchell often appeared near tears as a parade of performers praised him before taking his songs.

“Not unlike people who lived in Shakespeare and Beethoven’s time, we’re living in Joni Mitchell’s time, and it shows tonight,” said Brandi Carlile, who sang a version of “Woodstock,” a quiet ballad. Before the arrival of the house band and Stephen Stills – who played with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on the most famous version of the 1970 song – joined them for an electric guitar solo.

In a fresh approach to this year’s Musketeers tribute, organizers appointed Carlyle, who is up for five Grammys on Sunday, and John Batiste, who is 11, as music directors for the cast and tough, genre. -The bowing is appointed to coordinate their approach. Songs from Michel’s five-decade career.

Carlyle told the AP, “We helped the Cowboy artists with their johnny songs to which their souls were attached.” “It’s not easy music. It’s complicated, great music that’s really hard to explain.”

Before singing “The Jungle Line”, one of those cryptic songs from 1975’s “The Hizzing of the Summer Lawn”, Beck said, “Preparing for the show, I feel like I’ve been to the Joanie School. ”

John Legend gave a surprise performance, singing and playing solo piano on Mitchell’s “River” on a spinning stage in the middle of the room, as a crowd of 2,400 were finishing their spinning sweets, an edible Grammy trophy on a turntable.

“Everyone was fantastic, it just kept getting better and better and better,” Mitchell said in a brief acceptance speech near the end of the concert. “I can just retire and let other people do it.”

But she showed that she was not done yet.

Carlyle and Batiste brought most of the night’s cast back on stage for renditions of “The Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi”.

Mitchell eventually made his way to the mic to join them, eliminating the latter’s famous baritone of the song.

“Put a parking lot,” she sang, laughing and whispering to the crowd.

The Musikaires’ Person of the Year is a career achievement award given for a combination of inspiring artistic achievements and philanthropy. The Feast of Handing it over raises funds for programs from MusicKears, a recording academy charity that provides health and wellness services to musicians in need.

Past honorees have included Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton and Aerosmith.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

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Drashti Jain