Joni Mitchell as a musical artist, has been restlessly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk styling into pop, jazz, avant-garde, and even world music, presaging the multicultural experimentation of the 1980s and 1990s by over a decade. Fiercely independent, her work steadfastly resisted the whims of both mainstream audiences and the male-dominated recording industry. While Mitchell's records never sold in the same numbers enjoyed by contemporaries, none experimented so recklessly with their artistic identities or so bravely explored territory outside of the accepted confines of pop music, resulting in a creative legacy which paved the way for performers in a broad range of genres to cover her songs.
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