Legendary American folk singer Joan Baez may soon head into retirement — but not before making her final exit farewell.
Singer Neil Young will induct Baez into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday, April 7, in Brooklyn, New York.
Baez made her first public performance at the Newport Folk Festival at age 19 back in 1959. Most recently, she’s been working on her last album, “Fare Thee Well,” which is set to come out next year.
The 76-year-old Baez resides in Woodside, California.
“A lot of young people don’t recognize me, so they’re scratching their heads,” Baez told Rolling Stone this year. “I don’t say, ‘Ask your parents.’ I say, ‘Go Google me.'”
Baez recently did an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle about her retirement.
Although she plans to essentially retire her singing career, in the Chronicle piece she said, "She will still show up when duty calls."
"Especially with [President] Trump in office, there's going to be so much to do," said Baez. "I go back and forth because he's such a buffoon and you think, this can't happen. Then I read a bunch of Hitler quotes, and they just fit him like a glove. I need to be available for that kind of thing."
The outspokenly liberal Baez is known for her political stunts — like showing up last month and playing at the San Francisco Women's March.
"[Donald Trump] doesn't care about anything but himself and money and power," Baez insisted to Rolling Stone. "We're in for a bumpy ride, which has already started."
Aidin Vaziri of the Chronicle wrote of her: "Baez, who made the cover of Time magazine only four years into her career, not only was instrumental in introducing the world to [Bob] Dylan but also served as a leading voice in the civil rights movement, marching on Washington alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and appearing at countless rallies as part of the anti-Vietnam War movement."
Not all has been political with Baez's public life. In August 2015, she famously danced to "Shake It Off" onstage at Taylor Swift's "1989 World Tour" stop in Santa Clara, California.
Over the past few years, Baez has considered retiring from her singing career.
"It’s so difficult to sing and make it sound like anything I want to hear," Baez told the Chronicle. "I can do it in the lower range, yeah, but it's still not easy. Holding the voice up — it's not just the vocal cord, it takes the whole body to do it. It takes a lot of effort."
"Watch, I’ll quit singing and get fat," she said.
Baez's head-in-the-clouds politics aside, her comments about her voice are a reality many singers don't accept later in life. Despite phony farewell tours and a fan base that becomes less and less enthralled by live performances, many musicians try to power through their lost voices and abilities. Baez is, at the very least, accepting an unfortunate reality than can come with being a singer.
Last Modified: April 4, 2017, 2:24 pm