Joan Baez is being heralded in a big way…
The 79-year-old half-Mexican American singer-songwriter has been named this year’s recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize, in recognition of her “groundbreaking career and impact on humanitarian causes.”
Baez, a legendary folk singer, activist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, is the first Latina/o artist to win the award.
She’ll be inducted on Saturday, August 16 during a virtual edition of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
The prize was established in 2014 and is given each year to an artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate and serving as a positive force for social change.
Baez “has consistently been on the front lines in the fight for social justice, peace, and equality,” comments Woody Guthrie Center director Deana McCloud in a statement.
Baez joins previous recipients of the award John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, Pete Seeger and last year’s winner, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D.
“It has been my mission to use my music as a voice for those who cannot be heard or have been silenced by fear and powerlessness,” Baez said.
Baez’s 25th and final studio album Whistle Down The Wind, her first new LP in nearly a decade, arrived in early 2018.
A New York native, Baez was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2017.