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Céline Dion Won’t Let Stiff Person Syndrome Keep Her from Returning to Stage

Photo from Celine Dion’s Instagram

Céline Dion Won’t Let Stiff Person Syndrome Keep Her from Returning to Stage

By Movieguide® Contributor

Despite her crippling neurological disorder, Céline Dion vowed that she will return to performing her music.

“I am Céline Dion, because today my voice will be heard for the first time, not just because I have to, or because I need to. It’s because I want to and I miss it,” Dion told TODAY. “[Stiff Person Syndrome] didn’t take anything away from me. I’m going to go back onstage, even if I have to crawl. Even if I have to talk with my hands, I will. I will.”

Dion was diagnosed with the rare neurological disease in October 2022 and subsequently canceled her international tour as the symptoms became unmanageable. While the complications of the disease have been difficult, not being able to perform has been the real tragedy for Dion who has put all of her energy into being able to return to the stage.

Her effort hasn’t been for naught as she made a surprise appearance at the Emmys in February to present the Album of the Year award. Dion, however, remains unable to perform as the disease has made singing almost impossible.

“It’s like somebody is strangling you,” she explained. “It’s like somebody is pushing your larynx/pharynx this way. It was like talking like that, and you cannot go higher or lower. It gets into a spasm.”

“It can also be in the abdominal, can be in the spine, can be in the ribs. But it feels like if I point my feet, they will say in a (stuck position), or if I cook – because I love to cook – my fingers, my hands will get [stuck] in a position,” Dion continued. “I have broken ribs at one point because sometimes, when it’s very severe, it can break some ribs as well.”

As she continues to struggle with the disease and works to return to singing, Dion also wants to inspire others to fight for their dreams even when tragedy strikes. Her upcoming documentary, I AM CÉLINE DION, takes fans through the past year of her life as she battles Stiff Person Syndrome. The documentary will be available to stream on Prime Video starting June 25.

Movieguide® previously reported:

In a recent announcement, multi-time Grammy Award winner Celine Dion revealed that a documentary about her life and journey with Stiff Person Syndrome will release this summer.

Per her website, “Amazon MGM Studios announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to the feature-length Celine Dion documentary, I AM: CELINE DION.”

“This intimate exploration takes viewers on a journey inside Celine’s past and present as she reveals her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) and the lengths she has gone to continue performing for her beloved and loyal fans,” the press release continued. “From visiting her couture touring wardrobe and personal effects to spending time in the recording studio, the documentary captures a global megastar’s never-before-seen private life. An emotional, energetic, and poetic love letter to music, I AM: CELINE DION captures more than a year of filming as the legendary singer navigates her journey toward living an open and authentic life amidst illness.”

Dion and Amazon Prime shared the news via Instagram: “Directed by Academy Award nominee Irene Taylor, I AM: CELINE DION gives us a raw and honest behind-the-scenes look at the iconic superstar’s struggle with a life-altering illness. Serving as a love letter to her fans, this inspirational documentary highlights the music that has guided her life while also showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.”


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