TV & Movies

SeeHer Story Recognizes Folk Singer and Activist Joan Baez Episode 16

Joan Baez continues to be a voice for every generation, singing about the issues and people she cares about.

The folk singer has dedicated her life to fighting for civil rights and promoting nonviolent protest, which is why SeeHer Story wants to celebrate her life in this week's episode.

Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE partnered to create the second season of SeeHer Story, a weekly digital video series produced to celebrate various female trailblazers from the past 100 years to today.

Baez took an early interest in activism and began to get involved with demonstrations with her parents in high school.

Already familiar with nonviolent action, when Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Baez to sing at the historic March on Washington in 1963, she immediately said yes.

Her work with Dr. King inspired her to take part in civil disobedience.

Baez got her start as a singer in 1959 at the Newport Folk Festival, where her voice made quite the impression — it was so pure that they nicknamed her "Madonna."

Her success at Newport led to several gold records and a brief relationship with Bob Dylan. She and Dylan had a highly public relationship and she recorded several of his songs, boosting his career.


She began writing her own songs and speaking out against the war in Vietnam in the '60s.

In 1967, Baez was arrested for barricading the doors to a California draft office.

Through it all, she never stopped singing and went on to deliver an iconic performance at Woodstock in 1969.

Now 79, Baez continues to sing about issues plaguing today's world.

“I’d like to sing a song to the heroes of our time," she said in a recent video dedicated to those helping to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

"To the healthcare providers, all of whom signed on, but never dreamed they’d be facing with what we face today," she continued, before singing Dylan's "Forever Young."

SeeHer Story will be a regular feature in PEOPLE’s print edition and the weekday morning newsletter Wake-Up Call with Katie Couric.

"SeeHer Story celebrates the important contributions of bold women from the past 100 years who have changed our country forever,” said Couric in a statement. “We hope recognizing them and telling their stories will not only give them their due but will also inspire the next generation of leaders.”

She added, “Together with Meredith and PEOPLE, I’m so excited to bring back a second season of stories of women whose names you may know — and put those whose achievements are not as well-known — front and center so we can celebrate them as well.”

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