Record Niche Joni Mitchell story

Big Yellow Taxi singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is not in a coma, despite “rumours circulating on the internet”, a statement on her website has insisted.

The 71-year-old has been in hospital since 31 March and her friend, Leslie Morris, has now filed legal documents seeking authority over the singer’s personal affairs.

The document was accompanied by a doctor’s declaration stating that Mitchell would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months, but giving no details about what was wrong with her.

The doctor had ticked a box saying Mitchell was unable to take an active involvement 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,” the signed document said, according to the celebrity news website TMZ.

However, the singer’s website insisted the application has been misunderstood.

“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,” it said.

“As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight.

“The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply 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 no close family who can act on her behalf and the court filing would not give Morris control over her financial affairs.

The singer was taken to hospital after reportedly being found unconscious at her home.

No details were given about her illness but a statement on her website said she was expected to make a full recovery.

The Canadian-born star with a distinctive soprano voice was one of the most influential, successful and respected singers from the late ’60s and ’70s with Big Yellow Taxi and Clouds being among her most famous songs.

A two-time Grammy winner at the height of her career, she earned a third Grammy when she brought out her Turbulent Indigo album in 1995.

Mitchell has withdrawn from public performing in recent years because, she said, of the effects decades of heavy smoking on her voice.

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