Herbie Hancock, who presented Mitchell with the award, said, “it’s hard to imagine a world without this courageous woman’s brave songs and records.” Mitchell herself remarked that she was “truly honoured”, several musicians made their way onstage to play a few songs from her illustrious career. The repertoire included River, A Case For You, Woodstock and Free Man in Paris. Past recipients of the Les Paul Innovation Award include Jackson Browne, Joe Perry, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Peter Frampton.
Don Wilson, guitarist for The Ventures, also received the Music For Life Award, which was presented to him by fellow six-string slinger Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter. Billy Bob Thornton delivered a few words in praise of Wilson via video, calling his in-studio time with the guitarist one of the “greatest honors of [his] life.”
On the side of technical achievements, Line 6 was awarded under the Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects category for their HX Stomp, a multi-effects processor that utilises the brand’s HX Modelling Technology to emulate several varieties of amps, cabs and effects.