Céline Dion has postponed a series of shows coming up next year amid the reveal of a new medical diagnosis.
On Thursday morning, the 54-year-old performer took to Instagram to update her fans on her health and reveal these concert cancellations. Back in May, of course, she explained to fans that she’d been having issues with muscle spasms. Those problems, along with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, had affected her performance schedule at the time. Now, it seems as though she has answers for what has been happening.
In this new video explainer, the beloved My Heart Will Go On singer announced she is suffering from a very rare neurological disorder called Stiff Person Syndrome.
The IG video is understandably very emotional. In it, in both English and French, the Canadian singer explained she’s had to set back her previously-planned European tour. The earliest of those dates were to start in February of 2023. However, amid this new medical diagnosis, she’s unable to perform as planned. She wrote in the caption of the post:
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through. It hurts me to tell you that I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.”
Then, in the video, she explained exactly what was going on.
For one, Dion revealed muscle spasms stemming from the “very rare” neurological condition which, as Céline noted, affects “one in a million” people:
“Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological condition called Stiff Person Syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people. While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know that this is what has been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.”
According to the Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation, this condition affects the brain and spinal cord. Many patients become wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden due to chronic muscle spasms and pain. The disease shows autoimmune features which can include “hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety.” Plus, muscle spasms can be “so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones,” the foundation’s website notes.
Dion specifically alluded to all of that in her video explainer. She said:
“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life. Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Thankfully, she has access to great medical care. And she is optimistic about that part of the treatment plan. Still, there are lots of unknowns ahead for the beloved singer.
Dion — who has sons René-Charles, 21, twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, with late husband René Angélil — added:
“I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better. And my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope.”
And that gives us hope, too.
From a logistical standpoint, Dion’s spring 2023 shows have been rescheduled a year ahead, to 2024. Her eight summer 2023 shows, which were supposed to run from May to July, have been scrapped altogether.
While those alterations are tough, the five-time Grammy winner hopes things will get better. Optimistically, she added:
“All I know is singing. It’s what I’ve done all my life. And it’s what I love to do the most. … I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again. But I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.”
By the end of the video, she was overcome with emotion.
Speaking directly to her fans and thanking them for their support, Céline said:
“I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you. Being on the stage. Performing for you. I always give 100 percent when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now. For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment. And I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate.”
And with tears in her eyes, she concluded:
“I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me. … Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon. Thank you.”
You can watch the superstar singer’s full video reveal from Thursday morning (below):
Such a sad and shocking situation.
We send our support to Céline and her family, friends, and loved ones during this trying time. She’s an incredible singer, and her live performances will be missed, but first and foremost we wish her well on the road back to health.