Reclusive singer Joni Mitchell, 71, is 'alert and expected to make a full recovery', her representatives say, disputing friends' claims she is in a coma

  • Joni Mitchell, 71, was rushed to hospital from Bel-Air home on March 31 
  • On Tuesday morning, it was said singer is in a coma and unresponsive
  • But later in day, representatives disputed claims in an online statement
  • They said Mitchell 'is not in a coma' but is 'alert and has her full senses'
  • Added she is 'strong-willed woman' and 'expected to make full recovery'
  • The Big Yellow Taxi star is known for leading reclusive life at her LA villa
  • She had long history of health issues before her collapse four weeks ago
  • Claims she suffers from the highly-disputed illness, Morgellons disease

Legendary folk singer Joni Mitchell is 'alert' and fully responsive in hospital, her representatives have announced, disputing earlier claims that she was in a coma and unable to respond to her loved ones.

Mitchell, 71, who is known for leading a reclusive life, was said early Tuesday to be unconscious at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, four weeks after she collapsed at her Bel-Air home.

The Big Yellow Taxi singer was described as having 'no immediate prospects for getting better', despite her team telling her worried fans in early April that she was 'awake and in good spirits'.

But on Tuesday night, her representatives firmly denied the shocking claims through Mitchell's website, saying: 'Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma.

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Legendary folk singer Joni Mitchell (pictured in February) is 'alert' and fully responsive in hospital, her representatives have announced
The star is pictured at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970

'Alert': Folk singer Joni Mitchell (pictured, left, in February and, right, at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970) is 'alert' and fully responsive in hospital, her team has said, disputing earlier claims that she was in a coma

Hospital: The star was said early Tuesday be unconscious at UCLA Medical Center (above) in Los Angeles, California. However, Mitchell's representatives firmly denied the severity of her condition on her website

Hospital: The star was said early Tuesday be unconscious at UCLA Medical Center (above) in Los Angeles, California. However, Mitchell's representatives firmly denied the severity of her condition on her website

In a statement (pictured) on the site, they said: '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'

In a statement (pictured) on the site, they said: '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'

'Joni is still in the hospital - but she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected. Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight.'

They added: 'Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts. You may add your well wishes for her at the website WeLoveYouJoni.com.' The statement was 'approved by hospital sources'.

Earlier on Tuesday, TMZ reported that Mitchell's longtime friend, Leslie Morris, has filed a legal document to gain a conservatorship over Mitchell, who apparently has no relatives to fit the role.

In the paper, Morris wrote that Mitchell is 'so impaired as to be incapable of being assessed', it was reported. However, the singer-songwriter's representatives disputed the severity of her condition.

They said in the online statement that the legal document simply gives Morris 'the authority - in the absence of 24-hour doctor care - to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital'.

Morris has known Mitchell for 44 years, The latter has previously claimed that she suffers from the highly-disputed Morgellon's disease, which is characterized by crawling sensations on the skin. 

Legend: TMZ reported Mitchell's close friend, Leslie Morris, who has known her for 44 years, has filed legal documents to obtain a conservatorship over Mitchell (above), who apparently has no relatives to fit the role

Legend: TMZ reported Mitchell's close friend, Leslie Morris, who has known her for 44 years, has filed legal documents to obtain a conservatorship over Mitchell (above), who apparently has no relatives to fit the role

Scene: The folk icon was found by paramedics around 2.30pm on March 31 at her Bel-Air home (pictured)

Scene: The folk icon was found by paramedics around 2.30pm on March 31 at her Bel-Air home (pictured)

Updates: This message about Mitchell's condition was posted to her official Twitter earlier this month

Updates: This message about Mitchell's condition was posted to her official Twitter earlier this month

Positive: A later tweet said that Mitchell's progress was 'encouraging' and she was improving every day

Positive: A later tweet said that Mitchell's progress was 'encouraging' and she was improving every day

At the time of Mitchell's collapse, sources told TMZ that an unidentified person called 911 from Mitchell's Bel-Air home at around 2.30pm on March 31, stating the singer was unconscious.  

Paramedics who responded reported that Mitchell was 'alert' during the journey. It remains unclear what prompted the medical emergency, which sparked an outpouring of support from fans.

Earlier this month, Mitchell's website urged fans to: 'Light a candle and sing a song, let's all send good wishes her way.' It also described the singer as making good progress and 'improving'.

It said: 'Joni remains under observation in the hospital and is resting comfortably. We are encouraged by her progress and she continues to improve and get stronger each day.' 

Meanwhile, a message posted on Mitchell's Twitter page on April 3 - four days after her collapse - read: 'Joni is currently in intensive care in an LA area hospital but is awake and in good spirits.' 

Iconic: The Canadian-born singer (pictured in January 2001), who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, has won eight Grammys in her career and was one of the most iconic stars of her generation

Iconic: The Canadian-born singer (pictured in January 2001), who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, has won eight Grammys in her career and was one of the most iconic stars of her generation

Aimed at fans: Earlier this month, Mitchell's website urged fans to: 'Light a candle and sing a song, let's all send good wishes her way.' It also described the singer as making good progress and 'improving' (pictured)

Since then, the only tweet to have been written promotes a special jazz gala for Mitchell on May 8. 

Mitchell has been known to retreat inside her Spanish-style villa and not venture out for extended periods of time. She has lived in the Bel-Air home alone since 1974 - and enjoys her autonomy. 

'Yes, you can call me a recluse,' she told The Star in 2013. 'But I like living alone.' 

The Canadian-born singer, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, has won eight Grammys in her career and was one of the most iconic stars of her generation. 

Last year, she admitted she endured years of turmoil after being diagnosed with the rare condition Morgellons disease, which made her believe parasites were living under her skin. 

The condition is not acknowledged by Western medicine, which considers it psychological.  

Recent interview: Mitchell invited CNN into her home last year for an in-depth sit-down interview. She spoke of her career, health and being referred to as a 'recluse'. The folk icon has been smoking since she was nine

Recent interview: Mitchell invited CNN into her home last year for an in-depth sit-down interview. She spoke of her career, health and being referred to as a 'recluse'. The folk icon has been smoking since she was nine

In her memoir, Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Mitchell revealed: 'At the height of my illness I could not even wear clothing. 

'All the time it felt like I was being eaten alive by parasites living under my skin. I couldn't leave my house for several years. 

'Sometimes it got so bad I couldn't walk and I'd have to crawl across the floor. My legs would cramp up, just like I was having a polio spasm.'

Mitchell is known to have a history of health issues, having also overcome polio and scarlet fever.  

The singer, who gave up singing in 2010 because 'six decades of heavy smoking have finally robbed me of my voice,' also previously revealed she suffered from insomnia and acute paranoia. 

She has been smoking since she was nine. 

 

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