The rumors have run rampant as to the iconic folk-singer, Joni Mitchell’s health situation. Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, responsible for hits such as “Both Sides Now” and “Big Yellow Taxi,” is widely considered 1960s and ’70s folk royalty. Now, reports have identified the cause for Joni’s collapse at her Los Angeles Bel Air home around 2:30 p.m. on March 31, 2014 as a brain aneurysm. She is now in a rehab facility, according to new reports from Billboard. Many are hoping that reports of her improving condition are true, yet other sources continue to report her condition as serious.
Yesterday, May 29, 2015, Hollywood showbiz reporter Roger Friedman informed readers via Showbiz411.com that Mitchell is improving from her brain aneurysm from March 31. Friedman’s mention of the aneurysm is the first announced cause of Mitchell’s admission to the hospital. Sources close to Mitchell also told Billboard the reason for her hospitalization. She is still in “very serious” condition, and is expected to be moved to a rehab facility, those sources say. The iconic singer/songwriter did not have a stroke as was reported by some sources and is not in a coma. Weeks after the unidentified health crisis put her in the hospital, Joni Mitchell, the 71-year old legendary folk singer, is now having difficulty verbally communicating but is very responsive and is reportedly showing strong signs of beginning her recovery.
Throughout this ordeal, Leslie Morris, Joni’s longtime friend for over 4 decades and the conservator of Joni’s health decisions, is not returning requests for comment, continuing to protect Mitchell’s privacy. However, Joni Mitchell’s unofficial Facebook page has posted the Showbiz411 report with the caveat that “This is not an official statement from Joni’s website,” we still take a small bit of comfort in the suggestion that Mitchell may be working her way back to health.
On March 31, Joni Mitchell was found unconscious at her Bel Air home and rushed by fire department responders to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. It was later reported that Joni Mitchell was in a coma, but refuted by her representatives as false. A Billboard report at the beginning of the month suggested that Joni’s release from the hospital was imminent and would return home. Now, according to Billboard, she has not yet returned home and is a rehab facility.
The folk singer designated Leslie Morris, her longtime friend, to have conservatorship over her medical decisions. Joni Mitchell does have one daughter; however, they are estranged, leaving Joni with no close relatives. According to the documents first filled out by Morris, Mitchell is “so impaired as to be incapable of being assessed.” That authority follows statements by attorney Alan Watenmaker about why Joni should not have that responsibility. The document simply gives her friend Leslie Morris as the authority to make care decisions for Joni once Joni leaves the hospital and in the absence of 24-hour doctor care. Leslie is trying to arrange a way that home rehab will be possible. However, the legendary singer and songwriter cannot discuss plans for her health treatment or medical care based on a court hearing, reported MSN.
Based on Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III’s ruling, Leslie is the one who will talk with Joni’s doctors and determine the best option for her friend after being released from the hospital. “I believe that it is very necessary,” agreed Joni’s attorney Rebecca Thyne in her statement to Judge Cunningham.
The darkest time of her childhood was polio. She said to Vogue writer Charles Gandee in 1995, the disease continues to haunt her. “I had polio at the age of nine. My spine was twisted up like a train wreck. I couldn’t walk. I was paralyzed. Forty years later, it comes back with a vengeance. It’s like multiple sclerosis. It means your electrical system burns out and your muscles begin to atrophy. It means impending paraplegia.”
Recently and before her March 31 hospitalization, Joni Mitchell has had to deal with many other health issues. Her voice has faltered from complications due to polio and a compressed larynx. She also spoke publicly about being treated for Morgellons Disease, a rare skin condition which she described as “this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space.” Morgellons is controversial in the medical community. Sufferers believe their bodies are infested with parasites although there is no indication that they are. As Mitchell told The Los Angeles Times in 2010, “Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral,”. She was recently spending her time advocating for victims of this syndrome, speaking on environmental issues and creating visual art.
Speaking to Billboard in 2014, Mitchell squashed rumors of following up her 2007 album Shine. “No, I’ve had a very full life,” Mitchell said. “I don’t miss much of anything. I can’t sing anymore — don’t miss it. I can’t play anymore — don’t miss it.”
This beloved icon of Folk, Jazz and Pop musician, released her first album, Joni Mitchell, (Song to a Segull)1968; her first chart single, “Big Yellow Taxi,” released in 1970 on Ladies of the Canyon; released Blue, 1971; turned increasingly to jazz-influenced work, late 1970s and finally returned to public performance after six years, 1994. In 1997, Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twelfth annual induction dinner.
Joni Mitchell received her first Grammy Award for best folk performance, Clouds in 1970, followed by two Grammy Awards (including best pop album) and received the Orville H. Gibson Award in 1995 for Turbulent Indigo. She received the highly acclaimed Billboard Century Award in 1995 and was the first female recipient of the international Polar Music Prize the following year. Her Blue and Court and Sparks are hailed as two of the greatest albums of all time. Court and Sparks along with her live album Miles of Aisles both peaked at No. 2 and were her highest-charting albums on the Billboard 200.
According to the updates on Joni’s Facebook page, she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected. Knowing Joni’s history and struggle, we are reminded that she is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight.
Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts. You may add your well wishes for her at the website WeLoveYouJoni.com.”