Watch Joni Mitchell Cover Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” At Gershwin Prize Tribute

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Watch Joni Mitchell Cover Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” At Gershwin Prize Tribute


Last year, the Library Of Congress presented Joni Mitchell with the Gershwin Prize For Popular Song at a star-studded ceremony in Washington, DC. Mitchell gave one of her increasingly frequent performances, and a team of luminaries covered her songs. This year, Joni Mitchell returned to the Gershwin Prize ceremony. This time, it was to salute this year’s winners, Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

The Gershwin Prize ceremony happened last month at Washington’s DAR Constitution Hall, and we’ve already posted Metallica’s version of “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.” The ceremony aired last night, which means we now get to see great pro footage of Joni Mitchell taking on Elton John’s 1983 standard “I’m Still Standing.” Brandi Carlile introduced Joni Mitchell, telling the crowd that “I’m Still Standing” means a lot to Mitchell, who survived a brain aneurysm ten years ago. Mitchell also got Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s blessings to change some of the lyrics so that they fit her better.

Joni Mitchell didn’t just change the lyrics of “I’m Still Standing”; she also messed around with the song’s arrangement and phrasing, giving it a loose and jazzy feel. She performed with a backing band that included Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Blake Mills, and Davey Johnstone. (Lennox and Carlile gave their own performances at the tribute, with Lennox singing “Border Song” and Carlile doing “Madman Across The Water.”) Joni Mitchell was standing when she sang the song, and she looked like she was having a great time. Elton John and Bernie Taupin were visibly delighted. Below, watch Mitchell’s cover and listen to Elton John’s original.

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