Joni Mitchell's birthday is today. It's hard to over-state her acclaim or impact: AllMusic.com said, "When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century," and Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever." Her music has had a direct impact on the careers of a legion of musicians from Madonna to Herbie Hancock to Led Zeppelin to John Mayer to Prince to punkers SNFU who have this tune about a fan for whom impact has a more literal meaning.
From the album "Blue," her tune River -- with it's neo-"Jingle Bells opening-- is a Christmas song that's become a standard. As per Wikipedia <<"River" has been one of the most popular songs covered in recent years, with versions by... James Taylor (recorded for television in 2000, and for CD release in 2004), Allison Crowe (2004), Rachael Yamagata (2004), Aimee Mann (2005), and Sarah McLachlan (2006).>>
A remarkable cover done live by Dianne Reeves slows it down, opens it up, and peppers it with jazz.
She paints too.