Lauren Daigle, Beck, Chaka Khan, Sara Bareilles, Angélique Kidjo, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Stephen Stills, St. Vincent and Allison Russell have been added to the lineup of performers at the MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Joni Mitchell on Friday, April 1. The event will be held at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
They join previously announced performers Herbie Hancock, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, Mickey Guyton, Jon Batiste, Pentatonix and Black Pumas. Graham Nash, who was in the first slate of performers announced on Dec. 16, will perform remotely.
The event was originally set for Jan. 29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. When the Grammy Awards were postponed from Jan. 31 to April 3 and moved from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the MusiCares Person of the Year gala, a Grammy Week fixture since 1991, moved with it.
As previously announced, Carlile and Batiste will serve as artistic directors, a first for the Person of the Year concert. Mike Elizondo, who co-produced one of this year’s biggest hits, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto, will serve as music director.
Three of the scheduled performers — Khan, Nash and Carlile — performed at “Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration,” which was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in November 2018.
Hancock and Carlile also performed when Mitchell received the Kennedy Center Honors in December. Hancock backed Brittany Howard on her performance of “Both Sides Now.” Carlile sang “River,” as she did at a Carnegie Hall concert where she sang Mitchell’s 1971 masterwork Blue in its entirety.
Nash, who lived with Mitchell from 1968-70, wrote the 1970 song “Our House” about their cozy home life.
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, Neil Young , James Taylor and Carole King among the previous honorees.
Mitchell, an eight-time Grammy winner, has a good chance of winning her ninth Grammy on April 3. Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol 1: The Early Years (1963-1967) is vying for best historical album. Mitchell and Patrick Milligan are nominated as compilation producers.
Mitchell is the first Person of the Year honoree who was also a current year’s nominee since Bruce Springsteen, who was nominated for three Grammys when he was the honoree nine years ago. Should Mitchell win, she would be the first Person of the Year honoree to also win a Grammy that same year since Paul McCartney, who won best historical album 10 years ago for a deluxe edition of Band on the Run.
Mitchell received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2002, five years after she was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I’m honored to be chosen as person of the year by this great charity,” Mitchell said in a statement in August, when she was announced as the honoree. “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.”
“We’re excited to honor Joni together, in-person, as a music community and can’t wait to bring this great event to Las Vegas,” Laura Segura, executive director of MusiCares, said in a statement. “We will be celebrating with a purpose, toasting one of music’s greatest songwriters and musicians, while raising vital funds to address the critical health and social service needs of the music community.”
“MusiCares’ amazing work providing aid to music professionals is crucial to the well-being of our community,” Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, added.
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.
The event is being 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.
Fans can also look forward to MusiCares: Music on a Mission Presented by Gibson, a virtual concert celebrating both the power of music and Mitchell as the Person of the Year honoree. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 30 at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET, the event will give fans a taste of Grammy Week with never-before-seen virtual performances. Tickets are on sale now for $25. MusiCares says that “every dollar from tickets purchased will be distributed to those in the music community in need.” Visit https://bit.ly/MusiconaMission for more information and for tickets.