LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) – The 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit gala honoring Joni Mitchell took place Friday (April 1st) at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas, a lead-in to the Grammy Awards airing Sunday (April 4th). Mitchell smiled and cheered on her fellow artists throughout the night and took to the stage for the first time in many years in celebration.
The benefit gala included a reception and silent auction, followed by a dinner and tribute concert honoring Mitchell’s impact on the music industry and the inspiration she has provided to her peers over the years. “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,” said Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. “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.”
John Legend took to the piano while singing Mitchell’s 1971 song “River” Jon Batiste, who leads in Grammy nominations, also played the piano while performing a medley of “Shine,” “Bad Dreams,” and “Down To You,” the ageless Cyndi Lauper showcased her keyboard skills covering Mitchell’s “The Magdalene Laundries.”
Other notable performers honoring Mitchell at the gala included acapella group Pentatonix singing “Raised on Robbery” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” British artist Yola with 1966’s song “Urge for Going,” Beck covered “The Jungle Line,” Dave Grohl‘s daughter Violet sang “Help Me,” Brandi Carlile, who has referred to Mitchell as he “idol” to numerous media outlets throughout the years, rocked the house with “Woodstock.”
After nearly three hours of tributes, Mitchell herself took to the stage, seemingly star-struck. “It’s a very special evening. I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to say I was honored. That’s obvious,” she said. “Everything was splendid. That was such an exciting musical evening for me,” she said as she accepted her award. “To hear my music performed so well by everybody who was on stage.” Mitchell then joined several of the evening’s performers to sing along to two songs, “The Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi.”
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The Canadian-born Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015 that left her unable to sing, speak or walk. During the MusiCares event, she walked with a cane and could be seen tapping it along with the music. Mitchell will also be present at the Grammy Awards, presenting alongside Questlove.