Céline Dion, the iconic Canadian singer, has postponed some shows on her European tour due to a new diagnosis of the uncommon neurological illness known as a stiff-person syndrome.
Dion revealed in two videos posted on her social media sites (in both English and French) on Thursday that her crippling illness prohibits her from “singing the way I’m used to.”
This is caused by stiff-person syndrome, progressive muscle rigidity, and spasm illness. People with the illness may be unable to care for themselves, handicapped, or bedridden, according to The Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation.
Dion’s muscle spasms, she claims, “affect every element of my regular living.”
She went on, breaking down in tears as she acknowledged that her condition made it difficult for her to move and stopped her from using her voice as she was used to.
“It’s been quite difficult for me to face these challenges and talk about everything that’s happened to me,” she added. “I’ve been dealing with health issues for a long time.”
Dion voiced her dismay at being unable to begin the European portion of her tour in February owing to her diagnosis. Her 2023 tour has been postponed until the following year. Eight of Dion’s scheduled gigs have been canceled between May 31 and July 17, 2023.
The My Heart Will Go On singer told fans that she, her family, and her doctors are doing all possible to help her situation improve.
The five-time Grammy winner expressed hope that she would be able to perform again.
“I only know how to sing,” she continued. “I’ve been doing it my entire life.” And it’s what I enjoy doing the most.”
On Thursday morning, Québec Premier François Legault expressed compassion for Dion’s illness. While on his way to the National Assembly’s question session, Legault told reporters that he hopes Dion “gets well as soon as possible.”
As part of their tribute to Dion, a children’s choir performed My Heart Will Go On in Toronto’s Queen’s Park.
Dion claimed she interacts with a sports medicine therapist daily to improve her strength and performance.
“I miss you terribly. I miss seeing all of you,” Dion said to her fans. “When I perform, I usually give everything I have, but my health prevents me from doing so for you right now.”
Dion was forced to postpone her world tour earlier this year due to “severe and continuing muscle spasms.”
Dion’s website contains information about her tour and any scheduled reschedules.
According to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, less than 5,000 cases of stiff-person syndrome have been documented in the United States. Although symptoms can appear at any stage in a patient’s life, they are most commonly noted in maturity.