Thursday 13 December 2018

Joni Mitchell 'expected to make a full recovery'


Joni Mitchell waves to the crowd during her 70th birthday tribute concert as part of the Luminato Festival at Massey Hall in Toronto
Joni Mitchell waves to the crowd during her 70th birthday tribute concert as part of the Luminato Festival at Massey Hall in Toronto
Joni MItchell

Singer Joni Mitchell is alert and is expected to make a full recovery, according to her website, despite a friend's court filing that the Grammy winner is unconscious and unable to care for herself.

The 71-year-old has been in hospital since March 31 for undisclosed reasons. Her long-time friend Leslie Morris yesterday filed a petition to become Mitchell's guardian.

Within hours, Mitchell's official website stated that "she comprehends, she's alert and she has her full senses" and said a full recovery was expected.

Morris' court filing was accompanied by a doctor's declaration stating that Mitchell would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months, but it included no additional details on her condition or prognosis.

Dr Paul Vespa checked a box signed on Saturday indicating that Mitchell was unable to participate in her medical care.

"At this time [Mitchell] remains unconscious and unable to make any responses, and is, therefore, unable to provide for any of her personal needs," states Morris' filing, which was signed by her on Sunday and by her lawyer on Monday.

Morris sought a court order because Mitchell does not have any family who can serve as her guardian and assist with her care and medical decisions. Her filing does not seek any control over Mitchell's finances.

Mitchell's website states Morris' filing seeks to get authority to make decisions for the singer once she leaves the hospital and is not under the 24-hour care of a doctor.


"Contrary to rumours circulating on the internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital - but she comprehends, she's alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected."

"The document obtained by a certain media outlet gives her long-time friend Leslie Morris the authority - in the absence of 24-hour doctor care - to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital."

Mitchell has received eight Grammy awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 2002. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

She started as a street musician in her native Canada before moving to California, where she became part of the folk scene in the late 1960s.

Her second album, Clouds, was a breakthrough with such songs as Both Sides Now and Chelsea Morning, winning Mitchell the Grammy for best folk performance.

Her 1970 album, Ladies Of The Canyon, featured the hit single Big Yellow Taxi and the era-defining Woodstock. The following year, she released Blue, which ranks 30th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of '500 Greatest Albums of All Time'.

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