Sara Bareilles salutes Joni Mitchell, credits her music for guiding her through “a very low point” in life


Sara Bareilles saluted Joni Mitchell, who was awarded the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, on Tuesday night. 

Mitchell was honored during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Sharing a photo of her posing with the hitmaker and friends, Bareilles opened up about how Mitchell’s music helped her through a critical moment in her life.

“I can’t tell you how precious this night was. It represents what I love about the power of legacy,” she wrote in part. “Beloved teachers and their students who some day may become teachers to new students and on and on…the ripples [seen] and unseen.”

Sara continued, “Joni is singular. She has shaped most every artist I know in some way.” As for how the legendary singer touched her life, Sara explained, “At a very low point in my 20s I was introduced to her records and I found the Earth again. I learned that intimate offerings of truth can save someone- and sometimes that person is you.”

“She is cheeky and irreverent and wise and funny and doesn’t suffer fools and has ushered through more truth to this plane of existence than most,” she said of Mitchell.

Sara also thanked singer Brandi Carlile for inviting her to the event and helping her meet her idol. 

The two-hour event was recorded and is scheduled to air March 31 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.

The Gershwin Prize has been handed out since 2007. Lionel Richie received the award last year. Previous honorees include Billy JoelPaul McCartneyCarole King and Stevie Wonder.

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