UPDATE 2: A rep for Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times that while the singer remains hospitalized as of Wednesday, she is “doing fine.”
UPDATE: A note on Mitchell’s website confirmed that the singer was found unconscious, but “regained consciousness on the ambulance ride” to a local hospital. “She is currently in intensive care undergoing tests and is awake and in good spirits,” read the note. “Light a candle and sing a song, let’s all send good wishes her way.”
CBC News producer Leslie Stojsic tweeted that her sources told her Mitchell was in the hospital because of a “minor medical emergency.” “I’m told now she’s resting in hospital and is among friends – a good sign,” she wrote.
TMZ reported that emergency responders answered a 911 call at her home to assist an unconscious female at around 2:30 p.m. local time. The site’s sources said the 71-year-old was alert on the way to the hospital, where she was placed in intensive care. Although TMZ offered no insight on what caused the emergency, it reported that its sources said the situation appeared to be “quite serious.”
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed to Rolling Stone that paramedics were sent to Mitchell’s home and transferred an individual to a local area hospital, though they could not confirm that Mitchell was the patient. A spokesperson for Mitchell was not immediately able to comment on the singer’s condition.
Over the years, the folk legend has reported suffering a variety of illnesses. Most recently, she told New York in February that she was still battling a condition called Morgellons for the past eight years. A 2013 Toronto Star profile of Mitchell reported that the illness weakens the immune system.
In the New York article, the singer described it as “fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm.” The magazine also said that throughout her life, she had polio, scarlet fever, dengue and abscessed ovaries.
Mitchell described her Morgellons symptoms in a Daily Mail article last September, saying, “There’s a lot of lethargy with my illness. I’m fatigued.” She also said the medications she took to treat it caused what the interviewer described as “brain fog.”
“Morgellons is constantly morphing,” Mitchell said in the interview. “There are times when it’s directly attacking the nervous system, as if you’re being bitten by fleas and lice. It’s all in the tissue and it’s not a hallucination. It was eating me alive, sucking the juices out. I’ve been sick all my life.”
The singer has mostly retired from performing live, embarking on her last major tour in 2000. Other than a three-song set in L.A. in 2002, she held her most recent performances in June 2013, when she played short sets at a pair of tribute shows to her at Toronto’s Massey Hall. The concerts were held in honor of her birthday, despite the fact she was born in November.
At those gigs, Mitchell told the audience she was feeling “kind of out of it” because of unspecified health issues, according to WENN (via JoniMitchell.com). “Tonight I must say I feel greatly honored,” she said during her performance. “I wasn’t sure if I could sing tonight. I’m still not sure, but I’m going to try.” The audience sang “Happy Birthday” to her at the show.
Mitchell’s last album, Shine, came out in 2007. Last year, she put out the box set Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, a Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced.