Joan Chandos Baez (born January 9, 1941, in Staten Island, New York) is a folk singer and songwriter known for her highly individual vocal style. Many of her songs are topical songs and deal with social issues. She is perhaps best known for her hit "Diamonds & Rust" and her covers of Phil Ochs's "There but for Fortune" and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (a top-five single on the United States charts in 1971), and to a lesser extent, "Farewell, Angelina" and "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word" — along with "Joe Hill", "Sweet Sir Galahad" and "We Shall Overcome" (three of the songs she performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival). She remains known for her long relationship with Bob Dylan and her lifelong passion for activism, notably in the areas of nonviolence, civil and human rights and, more recently, the environment. Baez has performed publicly for over 50 years, released over 30 albums and recorded songs in at least eight languages. She is considered a folk singer although her music has strayed from folk considerably after the 1960s, encompassing everything from rock and pop to country and gospel. Although a songwriter herself, especially in the mid-1970s, Baez is most often regarded as an interpreter of other people's work, covering songs by The Beatles, Jackson Browne, Dylan, Woody Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many other artists. In more recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of diverse songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant. She has a three-octave vocal range and a distinctively rapid vibrato.
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