She was born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada. She played a variety of instruments when she was young, but her primary interest was painting. In 1965, she was married for a short time to the folk singer Chuck Mitchell, which is where she got her last name.
Mitchell is a very honored artist: She is a member of the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Billboard gave her their Century Award in 1995, and in 2002, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
She smoked cigarettes since the age of nine, when she took up the habit with other girls in her church choir.
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