Celine Dion ‘heartbroken’ after illness forces world tour cancellation


World renowned singer-songwriter Celine Dion has made the heartbreaking decision to cancel all of her upcoming live shows due to her battle with a rare neurological disorder.

Dion revealed in December that she was suffering from Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), which was affecting her ability to sing. As a result, she has now cancelled all the shows she had scheduled for 2023-2024, according to BBC.

In a heartfelt statement shared on Twitter, the 55-year-old expressed her apologies to her fans, saying, “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again.”

A statement on her website said, “It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again.

Celine Dion (credit: Courtesy)

“I want you all to know, I’m not giving up…and I can’t wait to see you again! I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%.”

Back in December 2022, the French-Canadian singer took to Instagram to emotionally announce her diagnosis of SPS and inform her followers that she would not be able to embark on a European tour as planned. She explained that the disorder was causing muscle spasms, hindering her from utilizing her vocal cords in the way she was accustomed to.

The Courage World Tour, which began in 2019, had to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Dion had completed 52 shows. Subsequently, she had to cancel the North American dates due to health issues and postponed the European leg of the tour.

Regrettably, the delayed European performances have now been fully cancelled, disappointing fans who had been eagerly awaiting her shows in London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Zurich. A statement from her tour expressed “tremendous disappointment” over the cancellations.

Dion emphasized her dedication to rebuilding her strength but acknowledged the difficulties of touring, even under normal circumstances. The global concert tour was set to be her first in a decade and the first without her  husband-manager, Rene Angelil, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2016.

Celine Dion is widely recognized for her chart-topping hits such as “My Heart Will Go On,” “Because You Loved Me,” “All By Myself,” and “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.”

What is Stiff-Person Syndrome?

Stiff-person syndrome is a rare disorder that causes parts of the body, specifically the truncal muscles in the torso, to become stiff and rigid.

This stiffness also can cause spasms, severely impact one’s posture and cause chronic pain.

The stiffness may come and go at first, but it then it starts lasting longer, consistently impacting the body and impairing mobility. Patients may start to struggle to bend or walk. Chronic pain usually sets in and gets worse as time goes on, and acute pain can manifest as well.

The spasm attacks can be severe, lasting several minutes.

Some things like fast movements, stress, sudden sounds or touches can trigger these spasms, but they can also be entirely unpredictable.

Stiff-person syndrome patients can also become incredibly sensitive to sounds and touch, which can trigger symptoms.

Can stiff-person syndrome get worse?

All symptoms can increase and worsen due to a number of factors, such as cold weather and stress. However, going to sleep can help calm symptoms down.

The symptoms can cause stiff-person syndrome patients to frequently fall down and suffer severe injuries.

There are other types of stiff-person syndrome that can manifest as well. For example, paraneoplastic stiff-person syndrome impacts the neck and arms more severely and the overall condition progresses far more quickly.

Then there is stiff-limb syndrome, which can turn into full SPS as time goes on. This starts impacting just one limb and stays more severe there, but it can continue to get worse and can impact both the brain and the sphincter. However, the spasms and stiffness usually stays limited to the legs.

With the cancellation of her live shows, fan across the world sent their support and well wishes to Celine Dion, hoping for her recovery and eagerly awaiting her return to the stage when she is ready to shine once again.

Aaron Reich contributed to this article.

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