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Judy Collins

About Judy Collins

Judith Marjorie Collins (1 May 1939 -) is an American singer and songwriter best known for her clear soprano voice, imaginative song interpretations and for her social activism. She was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up in Denver, Colorado. She studied classical piano as a child, but turned to the guitar and folk music in her teens through the influence of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

Collins enjoyed success in folk music from the mid 60s through the 70s, then slowly moved to a more eclectic mix of traditional folk, contem-porary, show tunes and pop. Her discography spans some three dozen albums, with the latest released in 2016.

Collins has also been active in politics and social issues. She actively supported the Youth International Party (the Yippies), founded by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. She went to Chicago to support the party’s demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Hoffman, Rubin, and several others were arrested for their protest activities. Collins and writer Norman Mailer, Reverend Jesse Jackson, fellow folk singer Arlo Guthrie testified in support of the so-called Chicago Seven during their trial. Collins is also active in children’s issues. She became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, and has traveled to Vietnam, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Macedonia in support of their fundraising efforts and their campaign to abolish landmines.

Collins had a famous love affair with Steven Stills in the late 60s, but she struggled with alcohol and drug addictions at the time, and that relationship foundered. She and Stills are friends today, and she says she’ll always be grateful to him for writing “Suite: Judy Blues Eyes”.

Collins has won numerous awards, including two Grammys and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.