Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer and songwriter Joan Baez has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Woodie Guthrie Prize.  A longtime folk singer, Baez has long been an activist for a number of causes including protesting the Vietnam War and fighting for Civil Rights.  The Woody Guthrie Prize goes to artists who speak out for those who are less fortunate.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing laws, Baez will be honoured at a virtual ceremony on August 16 as a part of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.  Tickets for the event are a pay-what-you-can and are available at

Baez spoke on how she has followed in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie via a statement saying, “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.”  She added, “Thank you, Woody, and I will gladly accept the Woody Guthrie prize.”

Baez joins a number of other former recipients including John Mellancamp, Norman Lear, Chuck D, Mavis Staples, Pete Seeger, and Kris Kristofferson.

The New York native has released a total of 67 albums in her long career as a Folk singer.  Her accomplishments include eight Grammy Awards and two Grammy and one Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards


feature photo credit: By Stilfehler – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,