Portrait of Canadian musician Joni Mitchell wearing a loose-fitting white cotton dress, New York, November 1968. This image was from a photo shoot for the fashion magazine Vogue. Mitchell wears two rings on her hand and is in a white loose-fitting white cotton dress. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Getty Images)
“The Blue album, there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals,” Joni Mitchell told Rolling Stone in 1979. “At that period of my life, I had no persona defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world, and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy.”
The record, released June 22nd, 1971, ranks Number 30 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Albums of All Time list and it’s just a single exemplar of why Mitchell is considered one of the greatest poets in 20th-century music – a visionary talent of achingly candid lyrics, fleet guitar lines and stirringly elegant vocals.
Musicians have long cited her as an inspiration and an example of how to break boundaries in their own work. Here are 15 major artists – from Bob Dylan to Björk – who have proclaimed her influence.