Joan Baez is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice.

Joan 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 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.

Joan Baez was born on Staten Island, New York, on January 9, 1941.

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.

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.

In 1956, Joan Baez first heard Martin Luther King, Jr., speak about nonviolence, civil rights and social change which brought tears to her eyes.

Several years later, the two became friends, with Baez participating in many of the Civil Rights Movement demonstrations that Dr. King helped organize.

Joan Baez was instrumental in founding the USA section of Amnesty International in the 1970s and has remained an active supporter of the organization.

Baez’s experiences regarding Vietnam’s human-rights violations ultimately led her to found her own human-rights group in the late 1970s, Humanitas International, whose focus was to target oppression wherever it occurred, criticizing right and left-wing régimes equally.

Joan Baez Quotes:

1. “Action is the antidote to despair.”

2. “Only you and I can help the sunrise each coming morning. If we don’t, it may drench itself out in sorrow.”

3. “Peace might sell, but who’s buying?”

4. “It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.”

5. “You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. But you can decide how you’re going to live now.”

6. “The only thing that’s been a worse flop than the organization of nonviolence has been the organization of violence.”

7. “because of my deep-seated opinion that war itself is a crime; that the killing of one child, the burning of one village, the dropping of one bomb sinks us into such depths of depravity that there’s no use bickering over the particulars.”

8. “God respects me when I work. He loves me when I sing.”

9. “I think music has the power to transform people, and in doing so, it has the power to transform situations – some large and some small.”

10. “I have hope in people, in individuals. Because you don’t know what’s going to rise from the ruins.”

11. “The foundation of my beliefs is the same as it was when I was 10. Non-violence.”

12. “I spend a lot of time with Buddhists. I’m not a Buddhist, but their relationship with death interests me.”

13. “As we know, forgiveness of oneself is the hardest of all the forgiveness. ”