Joni Mitchell Health Rumors Are False, Says Longtime Friend

Get well soon, Joni.

Though word is spreading that the folk/jazz singer-songwriter is in coma, Joni Mitchell's representative, Leslie Morris, says otherwise on

"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," says Morris, a longtime friend who is with Mitchell in the hospital.

Media agencies have been citing a particular document as proof that Mitchell is unconscious, though that document is simply to allow Morris to make decisions on her friend's behalf in the absence of 24-hour doctor care.

"As we all know," Morris continues, "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, and details on her illness have not been revealed.

Mitchell reportedly took up folk singing for fun and to earn money for cigarettes, movies and dances while she attended art school.

teaching herself how to play guitar by reading a Pete Seeger instruction book. After high school, she went to the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, where she began playing folk music. She wrote her first song, “Day by Day,” in 1964 while she was en route to a folk festival in Toronto. She moved to Toronto a year later, where she got caught up in the city’s flourishing club scene. In 1965, she married folksinger Chuck Mitchell. The following year, they moved to Detroit. They wound up getting divorced shortly after that move, but she kept his last name.

Mitchell began building a big reputation on the Detroit folk scene, and her songs were discovered, performed and recorded by such established folk musicians as Tom Rush, Ian and Sylvia, Judy Collins (whose version of “Both Sides Now” went to Number Eight in 1968), Dave Van Ronk and Buffy Saint-Marie. British folk-rockers Fairport Convention cut some of her earliest material, as well.

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She taught herself to play guitar using a Pete Seeger song book in the early sixties and she was signed to

Mitchell was signed to Reprise Records in 1967, and her first album, Joni Mitchell, appeared a year later. - See more at:

Reprise Records in 1967. Her first album, Joni Mitchell, appeared a year later.

She has earned copious accolades during her near-50-year career, including a commemorative postage stamp in her native Canada and the C.C. (Companion of the Order of Canada) in 2002 for her services to music. She is ranked #5 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock 'n' Roll and she was voted the 60th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.

Though she was invited, she missed out on playing Woodstock as her manager had scored her a spot on The Dick Cavett Show and he thought with the bad traffic she would not make it in time for her national television debut. Soon after she wrote "Woodstock" which became a hit for Crosby Stills Nash & Young, who did appear at the festival.

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were inspired by her song, "California" when they wrote "Going to California." They are huge fans of Mitchell's and often when they performed the song live, Plant would say Joni after the lyric: "To find the queen without a king they say she plays guitar and cries and sings."

You may add your well wishes for her at the website