Joan Chandos Baez or Joan Baez was born on 9th of January, 1941. She is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and activist. Her songs often show her interest in social issues, and they mostly are in form of protest or speaking social justice. She has performed for 6 decades of her life where she released over 30 albums. She is fluent in English and Spanish, but still managed songs in around six other languages. She is famous for her folk music style but diversified according to time. Now she sings everything from folk rock, pop, country and also gospel music.
She was born on Staten Island, New York and her move to gospel music at a young age was because of her attachment to Christianity. Her grandfather was a Reverend but then, later on, she and her family converted to Quakerism. Due to the nature of her father's work in the healthcare and with UNESCO, she had to move many times by living in towns across the U.S and other countries like Canada, Switzerland, England, Spain, France, and the Middle East.
Baez was more of a songwriter but at times she would also interpret other composer’s work, and have recorded songs by Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Woody Guthrie, The Allman Brothers Band, Violeta Parra, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and by several others. She also interprets songs of the present celebrities as well. She tasted success interpreting songs of modern era songwriters like Natalie Merchant, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, and Josh Ritter.
Her recording career began in the year 1960 and she didn’t have to take it long to make her mark as she achieved immediate success. Baez got her self-titled debut album "Joan Baez" released in the year 1960. She received critical acclaim and good response for the songs “Diamonds & Rust” released in the year 1975, The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, and her covers on Phil Ochs’s “There but for Fortune”. Baez's first 3 albums ("Joan Baez", "Joan Baez, Vol. 2", and "Joan Baez in Concert") all managed to get gold record status.
During the earlier stage of Bob Dylan’s career, Joan Baez was one of the first major artists who used to record the songs of him in the early 1960’s. As Joan Baez was already popular and was an international sensation (Queen of Folk), she put in much of her efforts to popularize Bob Dylan’s early songwriting efforts.
Baez often showed her commitment towards political and social activism with regard to various issues such as human rights, civil rights, environmental causes, etc. She even got arrested and spent time in jail for such brave actions.
In February 2007, Baez received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions over the years. Amnesty International honored her at its 50th Anniversary Annual General Meeting held in San Francisco. She got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.