Joni Mitchell Receives Honorary Doctorate From Berklee College Of Music

Joni Mitchell to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Joni Mitchell was presented with an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.

Mitchell received this award MaddocksBrown Foundation’s Linda and Russell Brown as part of an event which was held in Santa Monica.

The folk legend was described by Berklee president Erica Muhl as “a force for change in the industry, blazing the trail for women in music with an unwavering commitment to achieving the status rightfully due her as one of the world’s great musical artists”. 

Accepting the honour, Joni Mitchell called the event “beautiful” and added that she was thrilled to have her “good friends here with me”.

“Well, luckily I’m too old to get a swelled head! It’s a beautiful event. Words can’t describe it. I’ve got my good friends here with me”, Mitchell said.

“I wish my parents were alive. My mother in particular would be really proud of this because she wanted me to go to college. I went to art school and I quit after a year. She thinks of me as a quitter. So to see this achievement would be really impressive to her. I wish I could share it with her”.  

Elsewhere, the founder and director of Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice Terri Lynne Carrington also paid homage to Joni Mitchell.

“I am thrilled that we are finally able to honour Joni Mitchell. Her career and social principles stand for the values our institute pursues—imagination, freedom, equity, and identity. I can think of no one more deserving”, Carrington said.

The ceremony itself also included a number of musical tributes to Mitchell.

Folk music legend Joni Mitchell also received a lifetime achievement at last year’s Kennedy Center Honors. 

Mitchell was included in the honour’s list alongside Bette Midler, Saturday Night Live supremo Lorne Michaels, Motown Records Founder Berry Gordy and singer Justino Diaz.