Joan Chandos Baez (; born January 9, 1941) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 60 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. Although generally regarded as a folk singer, her music has diversified since the counterculture era of the 1960s, and encompasses genres such as folk rock, pop, country, and gospel music.
Although a songwriter herself, Baez generally interprets other composers work, having recorded songs by Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Violeta Parra, the Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many others. On her past several albums, she has found success interpreting songs of more recent songwriters, including Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Steve Earle, Natalie Merchant and Joe Henry.
She began her recording career in 1960 and achieved immediate success. Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert all achieved gold record status.Songs of acclaim include Diamonds & Rust and covers of Phil Ochss There but for Fortune and The Bands The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. She is also known for Farewell, Angelina, Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word, Forever Young, Heres to You, Joe Hill, Sweet Sir Galahad and We Shall Overcome. She was one of the first major artists to record the songs of Bob Dylan in the early 1960s; Baez was already an internationally celebrated artist and did much to popularize his early songwriting efforts. Baez also performed fourteen songs at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism in the fields of nonviolence, civil rights, human rights and the environment.Baez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, 2017.