Neil Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor….who has 38 songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts…..as Diamond has sold more than 100 million records worldwide….making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time….who has had ten # 1 singles to include….“Cracklin’ Rosie”, “Song Sung Blue”, “Longfellow Serenade”, “I’ve Been This Way Before”, “If You Know What I Mean”, “Desiree”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “America”, “Yesterday’s Songs” and “Heartlight”.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984…..and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Additionally, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000….and in 2011 was an honoree at the Kennedy Center. In 2018, Diamond received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Joni Mitchell (born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter….who drew from folk, pop, rock and jazz with songs that often reflected social and environmental ideals….as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment and joy…..as she has received many accolades including nine Grammy Awards…..then Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever” and All Music has stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”.
Some of her original songs like “Urge for Going”, “Chelsea Morning”, “Both Sides, Now” and “The Circle Game” were covered by other folk singers….which opened the door to her signing with Reprise Records….after which she recorded her debut album, Song to a Seagull, in 1968….then while settling in Southern California, Mitchell was popular with songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock“, helped define an era and a generation. Her 1971 album Blue is often cited as one of the best albums of all time….as it was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, the highest entry by a female artist. In 2000, The New York Times chose Blue as one of the 25 albums that represented “turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music”. In 2017, NPR ranked Blue # 1 on a list of Greatest Albums Made By Women.
Joni Mitchell is the sole producer credited on most of her albums….including all her work in the 1970’s…..when as a blunt critic of the music industry, she quit touring and released her 17th, and reportedly last, album of original songs in 2007. With roots in visual art, Mitchell has designed most of her own album covers. She describes herself as a “painter derailed by circumstance”.