Celebrated folk singer Judy Collins has reunited with Crosby Stills and Nash legend and former beau, Stephen Stills, to create the album Stills & Collins, Forbes reported. The ’60’s folk icons first met in 1967, during a high point in the young Collins’ career.
The two quickly fell into a tumultuous love affair that was immortalized in the Crosby, Stills & Nash‘s 1969 classic, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” off their first self-titled album. Despite ending their relationship prior to the release of the hit, they have remained friends, and are set to release their first album together on Sept. 22, the American Blues Scene reported. The famed musicians are currently on a cross-country tour promoting the album, which kicked off July 26 in Highland Park, Illinois, and ends Nov. 4, in Santa Rosa, California.
Stills — known for his rough-hewed folk rock voice and punchy guitar playing — rose to stardom for his ’60’s anthem protest song, “For What It’s Worth” (1967) by Buffalo Springfield and “Woodstock” (written by Joni Mitchell and performed by Crosby Stills Nash & Young in 1970). The 72-year-old is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ranked #28 in Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Stills was credited as being the architect in the politically active folk rock supergroup — Crosby Stills and Nash (CSN). The group was also known as CSNY when Canadian singer Neil Young (who wrote “Ohio” in response to the Kent State shootings in 1970) would perform with the band. CSNY played at the famed 1969 Woodstock festival.
The upcoming album — released by Wildflower / Cleopatra Records — chronicles over 50 years of history and features reworked versions of popular and pivotal songs from their respective careers — such as “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” from Collins’ 1968 album (which Stills played on) and “So Begins the Task” from Stills’ 1972 album with Manassas. The album will also have covers of popular folk songs like Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” and “Everybody Knows,” by Leonard Cohen.
“Everybody Knows” has particular meaning for Collins — who helped catapult the late Canadian singer’s career by recording songs such as “Suzanne” and “Birds on a Wire,” the Rolling Stone reported. Collins, known for her sweet, lilting voice, was also involved in social activism and recorded several songs written by protest-songwriters (Pete Seeger, Dylan and Phil Ochs) from the era.
The 78-year-old folk singer is an active user of social media, and has been sharing images from the tour and studio recordings with Stills on Facebook and Instagram.
“I’m kicking off my Instagram profile with this lovely picture of me and Stephen Stills in the recording studio! We’ll be going on a tour this summer and we will release an album this September. Hope you’re as excited as me!” the “Both Sides Now” singer wrote for a June Facebook post.
“Thank you for your beautiful music, Numa Edema! Safe travels back to Norway,” she wrote for another Facebook post with Stills and Norway souls singer, Edema, who performed with the duo earlier this month.
In addition to the album release, Collins also had a new memoir published earlier this year about her personal struggles with food addiction in her book, Cravings: How I Conquered Food.
“For 11 years, I would be throwing up almost every day,” she said. “I was at one of the high points of my career, but the devil had found me where I lived and was going to keep coming at me until the despair threatened to drive me to complete the act I had rehearsed at 14.”
She added, “The bulimia came to a screaming halt because I got to a healthy place with food that had nothing to do with diets.” Collins also talked about her sugar addiction that began when she was 4 years old and kicked off after decades of restricting her meals and trying new diets, eventually developing into an 11-year struggle with bulimia.
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“I was 31, and my eating disorder was taking over my life and everything natural was shutting down, including my period — resulting in the osteoporosis that I now have to deal with — while I ate and threw up and wept in remorse.”
After several rounds of rehab, Collins was able to slowly take control of her addictions — first the alcohol, then the eating disorder at age 42. Collins also told PEOPLE about how her father — who struggled with alcohol addiction — as well as genetics, played a role in her addictions.
“I would say it’s a DNA thing, I think it’s in your genes. It’s like people who use drugs and who drink,” Collins said. “And pretty soon, by age 20 or whatever, you have a real addiction going on.”
Collins, who has since maintained her sobriety — even through her son Clark’s suicide in 1992 at age 33 — said it took time because she avoided talking about her eating disorder, partially because of the stigma surrounding food addictions.
“I asked for help all the time, but I didn’t ask the right questions. But I never really discussed my food issues until I got abstinence. I didn’t talk about them in a public manner. Our understanding of mental health is very thin,” she said. Writing this memoir was a particular triumph for Collins, who said she is now on the “other side of this monster.”
“I had the best time writing this book because I’m on the other side of this monster,” Collins told PEOPLE.
Helping people deal with their addictions is part of her goal with Cravings.
She has also authored other books, including Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival, and Strength and Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My life in Music