Judy Collins has never been afraid to speak her mind.
Pair that with her social activism, and she’s a force.
Decades after reaching stardom, Collins is still at the forefront of making music with a message.
Her latest single, “Dreamers,” takes a look at the another issue that has been politicized.
“I wrote the song a couple years ago,” she says. “It was inspired by the DACA problems, immigration issues. It was a surprise to me when I started singing it at shows and people would go crazy for it. It’s a moment that I couldn’t just sit back and let it happen. I had to write something. Every little thing we do can make a difference.”
This is the fire that has burned bright all her life.
The music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger pulled her away from classical music.
In 1967, Collins recorded a rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” which helped catapult her career.
Then in 1975, her version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” won song of the year at the Grammy Awards. The song was from the Broadway musical “A Little Night Music.”
A few Grammy Awards later, the 79-year-old isn’t slowing down.
She’s hitting the road with Stephen Stills, with whom she had a relationship more than 50 years ago.
The pair remain friends and decided to work together on 2017’s “Everybody Knows.”
“We’d been talking about doing a show together for a long time,” Collins says. “Finally, we thought this might be the year.”
With the idea in place, Collins and Stills began to put ideas together for songs.
Months passed, and 10 songs were ready for the album.
“Most of the songs we’re doing in the concerts now,” she says. “We have enough material to start to think about a live album at the end of the year.”
The tour will include performances of hits from both artists, including Stills’ “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” a love song written about Collins, and “Love the One You’re With.”
Hits by Collins, such as “Both Sides Now” and “Send in the Clowns,” will also be performed.
“It’s both of us on stage doing what we do best,” Collins says. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re enjoying sharing the stage.”
Collins continues to write music, as well as books.
Her latest book is “Cravings: How I Conquered Food,” which tells of her struggle with compulsive overeating and finding a solution.
“I’m always working on something,” she says. “I’m in the process of writing new songs at the moment. There will be another album. Maybe it will be another album of duets.