Joan Chandos Baez (/baɪz/; born January 9, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. Her contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest and social justice.
Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages.
Baez is generally regarded as a folk singer, but her music has diversified since the counterculture era of the 1960s and encompasses genres such as folk rock, pop, country, and gospel music. She began her recording career in 1960 and achieved immediate success.
Although a songwriter herself, Baez generally interprets other composers’ work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Violeta Parra, the Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, and many others.
She was one of the first major artists to record the songs of Bob Dylan in the early 1960s; Baez was already an internationally celebrated artist and did much to popularize his early songwriting efforts.Embed from Getty Images
Baez’s acclaimed songs include “Diamonds & Rust” and covers of Phil Ochs‘s “There but for Fortune” and The Band‘s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down“. She is also known for “Farewell, Angelina“, “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word“, “Forever Young“, “Here’s to You“, “Joe Hill”, “Sweet Sir Galahad” and “We Shall Overcome“.
Baez performed fourteen songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights, and the environment.Embed from Getty Images
“Joan Baez.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Baez. Accessed 10 Apr. 2022.
The full biographical documentary “How Sweet The Sound“:
the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the private life and public career of Joan Baez
Listen to her music :
American folk singer and songwriter Joan Baez, 1965. (Photo by Tony Evans/Getty Images)
In 1956, Baez first heard Martin Luther King, Jr., speak about nonviolence, civil rights and social change, in a speech that brought tears to her eyes. Several years later, the two became friends, with Baez participating in many of the Civil Rights Movement demonstrations that King helped organize.Embed from Getty Images
Martin Luther King Escorting Children
Dr. Martin Luther King is shown leading a group of black children to their newly integrated school in Grenada, Mississippi, escorted by folk singer Joan Baez and two aides, Andy Young (L) and Hosea Williams (next to Baez).Embed from Getty Images
Selma to Montgomery March
MONTGOMERY, AL – MARCH 25: Folk singers performing in front of 25,000 Selma to Montgomery civil rights marchers in front of the Alabama State House. Harry Belafonte, Leon Bibb, Joan Baez and Oscar Brand. On March 25, 1965 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Stephen Somerstein/Getty Images)Embed from Getty Images
American folk singer-songwriter Joan Baez performs on stage at the Rainbow Theatre, London, 17th December 1971. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Joan Baez supports social justice.
- She was active in civil rights marches against the Vietnam War.
- She opposed the death penalty, and spoke out against those wrongfully convicted.
- She has been an advocate for LGBT rights, and participated in the memorial for Harvey Milk.
- She supported peaceful protests of the war in Iran.
- She joined a tree sit-in with Julia “Butterfly” Hill.
On March 18, 2011, Baez was honored by Amnesty International at its 50th Anniversary Annual General Meeting in San Francisco. The tribute to Baez was the inaugural event for the Amnesty International Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights.