Joni Mitchell "Not in a Coma," Despite TMZ Report

10:55 AM EDT 5/1/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Joni Mitchell, 71, the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famer singer-songwriter, is NOT unconscious in a hospital, unable to respond to anyone, with no immediate prospects for getting better, as is being reported by TMZ. In fact, she is "alert and... has her full senses" and is "not in a coma," according to her own official website.

The full statement from the Canadian music icon's site reads: "Contrary to rumors 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 simply gives her longtime friend Leslie Morris the authority - in the absence of 24-hour doctor care - to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital. As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts."

Mitchell has been hospitalized since March 31 after she was found unconscious inside her home in Los Angeles. She was taken to and remains at the UCLA Medical Center. According to TMZ, Morris, her close friend of 44 years, has filed a legal petition on April 28 to obtain a conservatorship over the singer, reportedly accompanied by a doctor's declaration stating that Mitchell would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months. Morris reportedly says that Joni has no close relatives who could assume the role. Attachment 5.c(1) of the petition in part reads: "At (t)his time she remains unconscious and unable to make any responses, and is therefore unable to provide for any of her personal needs." According to TMZ, the documents also say she's "so impaired as to be incapable of being assessed." 

Asked about the discrepancy between statements about Mitchell's health on her website and in the legal filing shown by TMZ, her publicist, Alisse Kingsley, told CNN that "the website" was accurate.

Mitchell, has had a long history of health problems, including surviving polio and scarlet fever as a child. She also suffers from a non-medically recognized disease called "Morgellons Syndrome," a condition that causes people to experience a crawling and biting sensation to the skin. She has been an unapologetic smoker since age nine.

A winner of eight Grammy awards, Mitchell is best known for her hits Big Yellow Taxi, CloudsHelp Me, Court and Spark, Turbulent Indigo, Sex Kills, The Sire of Sorrow, Both Sides Now, Chelsea Morning,  Woodstock and You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio. She received Billboard's Century Award in 1995 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, with the citation describing her as "one of the most important female recording artists of the rock era... a powerful influence on all artists who embrace diversity, imagination and integrity."

Mitchell's work has had an influence on many other artists, including Prince, Elvis Costello, George Michael, Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Morissey, Seal, Beck, Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Madonna, Taylor Swift, among others. 

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