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Joni Mitchell "truly honored" to receive Les Paul Innovation Award at 2020 TEC Awards ceremony

Written by on January 20, 2020

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMMJoni Mitchell was presented with the prestigious Les Paul Innovation Award at the 35th annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards, which took place Saturday, January 18, in Anaheim, California.

Before the legendary 76-year-old singer/songwriter received the award, attendees were shown video presentation about Mitchell’s life and career, after which jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock gave a speech saluting Joni, her artistry and her accomplishments.

As seen in fan-recorded video from the event, Hancock noted, “We need artists like Joni to wake us up, to help us to remember to be human beings. It’s hard to imagine the world without this courageous and brave woman’s songs and records.

Hancock then presented the award to Mitchell at the table where she was seated. Upon receiving the honor, Joni stood and said, “Thank you everyone, I’m truly honored. Herbie, you’re a doll.”

After the presentation, several artists took to the stage to perform some of Mitchell’s classic songs, including “The River,” “A Case of You,” “Woodstock” and “Free Man in Paris.”

The Les Paul Innovation Award, named after the late electric guitar and multi-track recording pioneer, recognizes people or institutions that have made a significant impact on the world of audio production and technology.

The ceremony also included the presentation of a number of awards honoring “outstanding achievement in audio technology and production.” Among this year’s winners were the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for Film Sound Production, and Paul McCartney‘s Freshen Up tour for Tour/Event Sound Production.

The TEC Awards ceremony is part of the popular annual music-equipment trade conference The NAMM Show. For more details about the event, visit

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