Joni Mitchell to make full recovery, representative says

NEW YORK - Folk legend Joni Mitchell is expected to make a full recovery from a brain aneurysm and - contrary to an account - is speaking, a representative said yesterday.

David Crosby, another major figure in folk rock who was long close to Mitchell, said in an interview released last Friday that she was no longer speaking and it was unclear when she would get better.

Mitchell's conservator Leslie Morris confirmed that the 71-year-old Canadian singer suffered an aneurysm but said that other details were "mostly speculative."

"The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well," Morris said in a statement on Mitchell's website.

"She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies.

"She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected," she wrote.

Crosby, who briefly dated Mitchell in the 1960s, told a webcast forum of The Huffington Post that Mitchell "took a terrible hit" and that "to my knowledge, she is not speaking yet."

Mitchell, one of the defining singer-songwriters of the Baby Boomer generation, was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on March 31 and rumours have since crept up repeatedly about the state of her health.

Mitchell - known for her distinctively rich contralto voice and open-tuned guitar - sang hits that included Big Yellow Taxi, Both Sides, Now and Woodstock. She has also been active in political causes including the environment and the Native American rights movement.