Joni Mitchell will be the 2022 MusiCares person of the year, the Recording Academy’s philanthropic partner announced Wednesday (Aug. 25). The legendary singer/songwriter will receive the honor at the annual gala on Jan. 29, 2022.
“I’m honored to be chosen as person of the year by this great charity,” Mitchell said in a statement. “I look forward to being part of this gala that will help MusiCares continue their inspired work in providing a support system for those in need.”
Mitchell is also set to be feted at the annual Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 5, about seven weeks before the MusiCares event. Twenty of the 31 person of the year honorees have also been selected as Kennedy Center honorees, but this will be the first time that an artist will receive both of these prestigious awards in such quick succession. Stevie Wonder received the two awards about nine months apart in 1999 — the previous record for a quick double.
Mitchell will be the first person of the year honoree since Aerosmith two years ago. The event was put on hold last year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and replaced by the Music on a Mission fundraiser.
A wide range of artists have received the honor over the years, but artists associated with the singer/songwriter boom of the early ’70s have been especially well-represented, with David Crosby, Young, James Taylor and Carole King among the previous honorees.
Mitchell is an eight-time Grammy winner. She was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2002.
“We are so excited to bring together an amazing line-up of artists to celebrate the musical legacy of Joni Mitchell,” Laura Segura, executive director of MusiCares, said in a statement. “She is being honored not only for her iconic music and lyrics, but for her trailblazing spirit and the inspiration she’s brought to so many artists.”
The tribute will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, two nights before the 64th annual Grammy Awards. (Person of the year is usually held on a Friday night, two nights before the Sunday telecast, but this year’s telecast was bumped to Monday, Jan. 31, 2022).
The person of the year gala is one of the most prestigious events held during Grammy Week. It includes a reception and silent auction, followed by a dinner and concert featuring other artists paying tribute to the honoree — and, often, a night-capping performance by the person of the year.
Tables will be available for purchase Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. PT at musicares.org/person-year.
The event will be produced by the newly formed live event broadcast outfit Lewis & Clark, which consists of Joe Lewis, founder of the Joe Lewis Company, and R.A. Clark, president of Lion’s Heart Entertainment.
Clark received an Emmy nod seven years ago as executive producer of The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, a Grammy-branded special that was nominated for outstanding variety special. Clark is the son of the legendary Dick Clark, who received a trustees award (the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award for non-musical performers) from the Recording Academy in 1990.
A statement stresses: “The safety of our honorees, guests, performers, and staff is our first priority. The event will follow all necessary COVID-19 precautions, safety guidelines and requirements set forth by health officials.”
Since 1991, money raised from this gala has gone toward MusiCares programs and services that assist the music community. Offering preventive, emergency and recovery programs, MusiCares is a safety net supporting the health and welfare of the music community. Founded by the Recording Academy in 1989 as a U.S. based 501(c)(3) charity, MusiCares safeguards the well-being of music people through direct financial grant programs, networks of support resources, and tailored crisis relief efforts. For more information visit: musicares.org.