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Joni Mitchell | Source: Getty Images
Joni Mitchell | Source: Getty Images

Kelly Dale Anderson Is Joni Mitchell's Daughter Who Grew up as Kilauren Gibb

Sep 18, 2023
09:15 P.M.

Kelly Dale Anderson is the only child of legendary singer Joni Mitchell. The mother-and-daughter duo were separated shortly after her birth, only to reunite several years later.

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Canadian-American music star Joni Mitchell became a parent for the first time at a young age. Her circumstances and fear of judgment led her to make an unfavorable decision.

Mitchell's child, Kelly Dale Anderson, is all grown up now and lives her life under a different identity since her birth decades ago. Despite being separated from her mom so early in life, she managed to find her years later.

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Years before, she had been living a privileged life as a child, all thanks to a couple who took good care of her and provided a life her mother could not have dreamed of for her.

Although she is her birth mother's only child, Anderson gained new siblings through the years. In addition, she also became a mother, making Mitchell a grandmother.

Kelly Dale Anderson's Mom Gave Her up for Adoption

Mitchell, once known as Roberta Anderson, fell pregnant with her daughter Kelly Dale Anderson as a twenty-year-old student. However, she could not keep her baby and explained why during an April 1997 interview:

"The main thing at the time was to conceal it. The scandal was so intense. A daughter could do nothing more disgraceful. It ruined you in a social sense. You have no idea what the stigma was. It was like you murdered somebody."

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The Grammy Award winner's parents did not know about her pregnancy either – so could not ask them for assistance. Her father worked as a grocery store manager, and her mother was a teacher.

Meanwhile, the father of the unborn baby, a fellow student named Brad McMath, was not ready to take full responsibility either. Although Mitchell did not want to take the adoption route, she had to face the reality that she was also unprepared to be a parent.

The songwriter eventually gave birth to her daughter Anderson on February 19, 1956. She spent ten days with her at the hospital because of birth complications and got to hold and name her.

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Following pressure to give her newborn away, Mitchell ended up opting to give up Anderson for adoption under Dickensian circumstances. The "Both Sides Now" hitmaker revealed why she eventually went through with the process during a September 2004 interview:

"I lost my daughter at 21. I had to give her up because I was broke, no place to take her, no money to take her. That was very traumatic."

After signing her baby away, the Hall of Famer worried about her first child's health and even tried to look for her in the following years but with no luck. Three years later, Mitchell established her music career, which came with much media attention as people attempted to tarnish her image by selling information about her past.

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It was not until the '90s that things started to look up, thanks to her fame. Mitchell's former art school classmates revealed to the tabloids that she had given a child up for adoption.

Even though the painter admitted that she was hurt by their actions and felt they should have been more empathetic, the betrayal turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Her daughter Anderson had also been searching for her biological mother after being told by her adoptive parents that she had been adopted.

Anderson & Mitchell's Poignant Reunion

It turns out Anderson and Mitchell have as much in common as they have differences. The mother-daughter duo plays pool, and they both married musicians. Mitchell divulged in an interview that Anderson resembles her own mother. "She has my mother's stature. We've got cheekbones galore. She's got cheekbones down every part of her family."

Meanwhile, Anderson revealed once that she was certain she and her famous biological mother had crossed paths before, albeit unknowingly. The blonde-haired beauty explained that back in the '80s, they were both in Studio 54 dancing around, not knowing they were related.

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Anderson further disclosed she had resided in New York once, where her mom had an apartment. She and Mitchell officially reunited in 1997, and the delighted parent expressed at the time:

"I've had pain and joy in my life, but nothing like this. It's an unparalleled emotional feeling."

The mother of one further stated that she was indebted to Anderson's adoptive parents for raising her well. She added that she was grateful, and her "faith was well put."

Kelly Dale Anderson's New Identity & Life with Adoptive Parents

Anderson was adopted by a married couple, David and Ida Gibb, when she was only six months old. They later renamed her Kilauren Gibb, a name which goes by now.

David and Ida worked as teachers then and lived in the suburb of Don Mills in Toronto, Canada. The pair resided in a gray-brick bungalow where they raised their children.

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The house featured a basement with a rec room with wood paneling, including photos of Anderson and her brother, David Jr., hung up on the walls. He worked as an advertising executive, and unlike his sister, he was not adopted.

He and Anderson reportedly have similarities as they both have blonde hair and are tall. David Jr. played football at Upper Canada College and was once introduced to Prince Philip.

His sister Anderson also attended private schools, including The Bishop Strachan School. Growing up, she lived in a world of country clubs and tropical vacations and became a fashion model. Her international modeling career spanned 13 years.

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However, Anderson was encouraged to pursue education because her adoptive parents were academics. She attended the University of Toronto and took one-year classes at Harvard University in drama and psychology.

David and Ida only told Anderson that she was adopted when she was 27 years old and pregnant. That led to her quest to find her birth mother, which took her five years. Anderson eventually gave birth to her son, Marlin, but has since separated from his father, a Toronto-based drummer. She later welcomed a daughter.

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