Joni Mitchell ‘Not in Coma’!
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is “alert and… has her full senses” and is “not in a coma”, a statement on her official website says.
The statement followed reports the 71-year-old, hospitalised last month after being found unconscious at home, was not able to care for herself.
A friend filed a petition this week to become Mitchell’s guardian, in which the singer was said to be unresponsive.
Leslie Morris has now insisted that “a full recovery is expected”.
“Contrary to rumours circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma,” Tuesday’s statement read.
“Joni is still in the hospital – but she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses.
“The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her long-time friend Leslie Morris the authority – in the absence of 24-hour doctor care – to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital.
“As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight.”
On Tuesday the TMZ website claimed the petition, filed by Morris, stated Mitchell “remains unconscious and [was] unable to make any responses”.
The petition was reportedly accompanied by a doctor’s declaration stating that the singer would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months.
Mitchell was rushed to intensive care on 31 March but was subsequently said to have regained consciousness and to be “in good spirits”.
The Canadian-born singer, known for such hits as Big Yellow Taxi and Chelsea Morning, revealed last year she had a rare skin condition that prevented her from performing.
Singer Ellie Goulding, actress Rita Wilson and the BBC’s Jeremy Vine are among those to have tweeted goodwill messages following initial reports on her allegedly comatose state.
James Taylor to Captain England!
James Taylor will captain England for the first time in the one-day international against Ireland on 8 May.
Nottinghamshire batsman Taylor, 25, stands in for regular captain Eoin Morgan, who is playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
Yorkshire bowler Tim Bresnan is recalled, with six potential ODI debutants in an initial 11-man party.
More players will be added following selection for the third Test against West Indies on Friday.
One man on the tour of the Caribbean definitely included is wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, but James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Joe Root, Ian Bell and Moeen Ali are set to be rested.
Morgan has been given permission to miss the game against the country of his birth in order to fulfil his IPL contract.
Hampshire batsman James Vince, Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings, Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory, Northants all-rounder David Willey and Surrey pair Zafar Ansari and Jason Roy, a spin-bowling all-rounder and opening batsman respectively, could make their ODI debuts.
The one-off game is England’s first limited-overs match since being eliminated at the group stage of the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia last month.
“It is a new era,” Taylor said. “Hopefully it is the start of good times ahead for English cricket.”
Taylor, who made his debut in the same fixture four years ago, was recalled to the England team on their tour of Sri Lanka in December and has played in all of their ODIs since.
In 17 matches, he has made 492 runs at an average of 35.14, with a highest score of 98 not out, made against Australia in England’s opening match of the World Cup.
“To be given the opportunity to lead your country is a huge honour,” said Taylor, who has captained Notts’ limited-overs teams and the England Lions. “It’s going to be brilliant leading an England team in a one-day international.”
Taylor has scored a combined total of 26 on his two previous games in Ireland.
Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham after scoring an unbeaten 53 on the third day of Notts’ County Championship game at Hampshire, Taylor added: “I would like to say it is a nice place for me but things have not gone so well for me in the two games I have played out there.
“Hopefully this game will be different. I know it will be special leading out the boys on that day but hopefully I can get a few runs as well and lead my side to victory.”
Ireland recalled bowler Tim Murtagh to their squad for the match at Malahide Cricket Club near Dublin, where captain William Porterfield is set to make his 200th international appearance.
Initial England squad to play Ireland: James Taylor (capt) Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Sam Billings (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Lewis Gregory, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey.
Founder of Weight Watchers, Dies!
The founder of international dieting company Weight Watchers, Jean Nidetch, has died at home in Florida, aged 91.
Nidetch turned worrying about one’s weight into a million-dollar industry.
Using calorie counting, meetings and sharing stories, she encouraged her members to be responsible, take exercise and eat lots of fish.
As a child, Jean Nidetch had been overweight and she described herself as a fat housewife when she founded the company in the early 1960s.
Within two years she had become a millionaire and today, more than 30,000 weight watchers meetings take place across the world.
Jean Evelyn Slutsky was born in Brooklyn in 1923, weighing 7lbs 3oz.
But she piled on the pounds as a child, and was dieting without success before she even reached high school.
When she attended an obesity clinic sponsored by the New York City Board of Health in 1961, she was 5ft 7in and 214lbs
But the advice she received there gave new impetus to her attempts at weight loss.
The tips included no skipping meals, more fruit and vegetables, fish five times a week, and two pieces of bread and two glasses of skimmed milk a day.
Later she would summarise the regime simply in four words: “Drop the damn fork!”
The new diet worked but Nidetch was unhappy about the lack of stories exchanged among others who were also dieting at the clinic.
So she set up her own group in the living room of her home in Queens, with six friends who had similar eating compulsions to her.
In October 1962, Nidetch reached her target weight of 142lbs and the following year she and two friends founded Weight Watchers International.
The new business first conquered New York and then the globe. For its 10th birthday, Bob Hope was on stage entertaining 16,000 people in Madison Square Garden.
Nidetch became the face of the company, travelling the world to evangelise about the company’s calorie-counting principles.
In 1978, the company was sold to Heinz for $71m and she retired to south Florida.
She says she kept her lifelong vow never to surpass 150lbs.
Happy Birthday – Bobby Vee
Pop singer who scored a #1 hit single with “Take Good Care of My Baby” in 1961. His band had to step in on The Day the Music Died and perform at the show Buddy Holly was supposed to play.
He recorded his first single, “Suzie Baby,” at age sixteen.
He has had thirty-eight Billboard Hot 100 chart hits.
He married Karen Bergen in December 1963; the couple had five children named Thomas, Jefferey, Robert, and Jennifer.
He was bandmates with Bob Dylan very early in his career.
Jack Ely Dies Aged 71…
Jack Ely, the lead singer of the Kingsmen who was best known for 1960s hit Louie Louie, has died aged 71.
His son, Sean Ely said the singer died at home in Redmond, Oregon after a long battle with an illness.
Ely’s incoherent singing on Louie Louie led the FBI to investigate the famous track on the grounds that it might be obscene.
Ely had a falling out with the band shortly after the song was recorded and later trained horses in Oregon.
“Louie Louie” was recorded in 1957 by Richard Barry, who had written it two years earlier.
The song is written from the perspective of a man who wants to sail to Jamaica to return to a girl he loves.
But it was Mr Ely’s rendition that popularised the song, which became a huge hit.
Its popularity brought it to the attention of the FBI, which worried that Mr Ely’s peculiar vocal style might be masking lyrics that broke federal obscenity laws.
The law enforcement agents reportedly concluded, in a lengthy investigative report, that the song was “unintelligible at any speed”.
Despite hundreds of covers by artists including Otis Redding, the Beach Boys, and the Sonics, the Kingsmens’ version of Louie Louie remains the definitive recording.