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Joni Mitchell, whose 75th birthday will be celebrated with two star-studded tribute concerts Nov. 6 and 7 at L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, is considered, along with Bob Dylan (whose “Tangled Up in Blue” was inspired by her album Blue), the most significant singer-songwriter of the last half-century. What the #MeToo movement is to young women today, Mitchell’s life and music were to boomer women: an emotional charting of what needed to change and what was changing, with men and women, and with women and freedom.
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Joni 75, Mitchell's tribute show, features a who's who of performers from all decades and musical genres, including James Taylor, 70, and Graham Nash, 76 (whose romances with Mitchell inspired Blue and their own songs about her); Kris Kristofferson, 82; Chaka Khan, 65; Diana Krall, 53; Emmylou Harris, 71; Seal, 55; Glen Hansard, 48; Rufus Wainwright, 45; Norah Jones, 39; Brandi Carlile, 37; and Los Lobos. Some of her oldest childhood friends from Canada will be there. It will be, says a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous, “a love-in; a celebration of her life, her art, her resilience and her courage. Joni is a warrior.” On March 31, 2015, she was found unconscious at her home after a near-fatal brain aneurysm. “She came back from the brink,” her colleague adds. Relearning to walk in her early 70s “is the hardest work she’s ever done. She’s an original and a truth seeker, even in dealing with illness.”