Celine Dion Reveals Rare Medical Diagnosis And Postpones Tour Dates In Emotional Video

Celine Dion in "I'm Alive" music video.
(Image credit: Vevo)

Fans of Celine Dion have been aware that the iconic Canadian singer has been dealing with health issues for over a year. The singer, who is known in part for one of the most epic movie songs of all time, canceled a number of concerts in the United States this year due to muscle spasms. On December 8, she tearfully revealed that she was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, one that will keep her from beingready to resume her tour in Europe in the new year.

The singer of the Oscar-winning ballad “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic posted an emotional statement to Instagram that acknowledged her healthy challenges from the past year that unfortunately continue to prevent her from performing. Celine Dion said she’s finally ready to talk about it now, taking a deep breath before revealing to fans: 

Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder 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 this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. 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. It hurts me to tell you today this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.

Johns Hopkins calls Stiff Person Syndrome a very rare disease that causes progressive muscle stiffness and painful spasms. These symptoms can be brought on by a variety of things, including sudden movement, cold temperature or unexpected loud noises, according to the organization.

It’s easy to see how such a diagnosis would get in the way of Celine Dion’s ability to perform, and the “Because You Loved Me” singer fought back tears as she described her physical therapy process, and how her medical team is helping her rebuild her strength in order to hopefully perform again in the future. The singer’s three children have been supporting her and providing hope through this tough time, which she admitted has been a struggle. In her words: 

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 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.

Celine Dion went on to thank everyone for their encouraging words, again expressing her hopes that she’ll be able to see fans again in person soon. You can see her full statement below (and a version in French is also available): 

Celine Dion’s Courage World Tour opened in North America in September 2019, but was shut down by the pandemic in March 2020. In January 2021, those rescheduled dates were canceled due to “severe and persistent muscle spasms,” per USA TODAY. She was also forced to cancel her Las Vegas residency in October 2021, after the spasms affected her rehearsals. She was set to relaunch her tour in February 2023 in Prague, but those dates have been moved to 2024, with eight shows planned for Summer 2023 getting canceled.

Our hearts go out to Celine Dion as she continues to fight Stiff Person Syndrome. While we wait to see when she will be able to return to the stage, you can get a look at what’s coming to TV and streaming in the new year with our 2023 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.