Joni Mitchell Breaks Down in Tears as she Tells the Story Behind Her Father’s Love Song

The race for tickets begins: Joni Mitchell will perform first headlining show in decades

The American SongBook: Where it all began

The American SongBook: Where it all began

Joni Mitchell performing just after midnight on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2019 in Los Angeles. The pianist has announced that a concert commemorating the 80th anniversary of the birth of her father, Woody Guthrie, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

(AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File). FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2018, file photo, singer Joni Mitchell performs during the The Hollywood Bowl ‘Live in Concert’ special event in Hollywood. Mitchell plans to close the Hollywood Bowl for one week in late October to allow for a celebration of her 80th birthday. Mitchell announced the news during an interview on the red carpet Sunday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Los Angeles (AP) — At a loss for words, singer Joni Mitchell began to cry as she told the story behind her life’s greatest love song, “Woody Guthrie.”

The tears came as her family embraced and cheered for her on the red carpet Sunday at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as she performed “Both Sides Now” for the second time in two months. Mitchell broke down in tears during a performance of the song that was broadcast on CBS after the singer received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime artistic achievement from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Mitchell’s story is as complex as she is on stage, singing her dad’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in an unapologetic rendition of the folk-rock protest song in remembrance of her father, who as Woody Guthrie was one of the country’s most influential white folk singers, and one of the most prominent figures in the civil rights movement in the 1950s.

Mitchell’s voice could not have been sweeter, and the audience rose to its feet several times in song to celebrate Mitchell’s musical legacy, as well as her father’s legacy.

“This is so

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