Joni Mitchell tells Elton John what fans have hoped for: A new album might be coming, even if she can’t say for sure when it will be released.
She’s not being vague. “Next time, I will say more than now,” the 69-year-old singer says in an interview with Elton’s publicist. “I’m really in the process of recording, and it’s not for sure when it’s coming.”
Despite being out of the public eye for almost 50 years, Mitchell’s music has never been more relevant than now.
A new generation of listeners — mostly millennials and others born between the years 1977 and 1998 — have been inspired by her work, listening to her album New Grass Revival in the early 2000s. More than 60 percent of the album’s 1.6 million units were sold before it became available on streaming services.
That number has grown to more than 80 percent now: Last year, Nielsen Music reported the album had over 15.4 million unit sales — with downloads accounting for almost 35 percent of the total.
Even in these numbers, which show growth in the album’s popularity, Mitchell’s story hasn’t stayed the same over the years.
“People talk about being a legend,” she says, referring to the singer’s reputation as the King of Pop. “I mean, I’ve spent so many years telling my fans that I’m a legend. They’re my fans, so I’m a legend for them. Then you spend all your time not being a legend. [The album] is a legend because it’s an art project, but it’s not the end of my life, and it’s not the end of my story.”
In this new era, Mitchell is a much-loved storyteller, not a one-hit wonder.
Though she’s never been a superstar, she’s not the “fancy one,” either. She’s