Grammy winner Celine Dion shared an emotional video on her Instagram to reveal her stiff person syndrome diagnosis on December 8, 2022. The Canadian singer also announced the next steps of her recovery and her hopes for returning to the stage, as well as providing fans with updates on her health along the way. 

What Happened to Celine Dion?

“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,” Celine shared in the announcement video. 

She continued, “Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people,” adding, “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.”

The “My Heart Will Go On” songstress explained that the spasms she is experiencing affect “every aspect” of her daily life. The disorder has been “causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”

What Is Stiff Person Syndrome? 

Stiff Person Syndrome is a neurological disease with symptoms that include “muscle spasms, hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain and chronic anxiety,” according to the Stiff Person Syndrome Research Foundation’s official website. On average, it takes seven years to identify and is often misdiagnosed as other autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis. 

Celine Dion Stiff Person Syndrome: Health Update, Condition
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When Is Celine Dion Returning to the Stage?

The bestselling recording artist shared through tears at the time that she would not be able to start her tour in Europe in February 2023 as she originally planned. Her spring 2023 shows were rescheduled to early 2024. Several of Celine’s shows slated for summer 2023 were canceled. In May 2023, she announced her tour was officially canceled through April 2024. 

“We do have every hope that someday soon, Celine will be able to come to all of these cities in Europe to perform for her amazing fans, but that time is simply not now,” a statement shared on her Twitter account read. “Celine’s medical team continues to evaluate and treat the condition.”

In her time away from the stage, the music icon will be working with a “great team of doctors” to help build back her strength and get the ability to perform again. She thanked her “precious children” for supporting her during this time. Celine is a mom to three kids, René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy, whom she welcomed with her late husband, René Angélil.

“For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment,” she told fans at the end of the video. “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. 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.”

On October 30, 2023, the songstress made a rare public appearance to watch the Montreal Canadiens take on the Vegas Golden Knights at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. Her sons were also in attendance, posing for photos with the players in the locker room. In February 2024, she appeared on stage at the Grammy Awards with René-Charles to present an award. 

Celine Dion Documented Her Stiff Person Syndrome Battle

Celine documented her health journey in the June 2024 documentary, I Am: Celine Dion. The film gives fans “a raw and honest behind-the-scenes look at the iconic superstar’s struggle with a life-altering illness.” At the premiere of the doc in NYC, René-Charles joined his mother on the red carpet and later on stage as she delivered an emotional speech to the audience. 

“This is by far the biggest crowd I’ve had in years,” she said. “I hope to see you all again very, very soon.”

“I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have my family in my life,” she said through tears, adding that she was thankful for her fans “from the bottom of my heart for being part of my journey. This movie is my love letter to each of you,”