Céline Dion Issues a Guarantee on Her Singing Future as Stiff-Person Syndrome Slowly Erodes Her Voice

Canadian legend Céline Dion is not giving up in her battle with Stiff-Person Syndrome.

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Recently, Dion sat down on the CBC show The National to talk with correspondent Adrienne Arsenault about her diagnosis, career, and struggles in the wake of a devastating illness. The English-language exclusive is the singer’s first interview in quite a while, and fans are relieved to see the singer appear well, to say the least.

Céline Dion: “I Will Sing Again”

Céline Dion was diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) in December of 2022. SPS is a sometimes debilitating neurological disorder that causes severe and painful rigidity in the muscles. It’s a rare and progressive disease, and there is currently no cure for it. The early stages of the disease were “annoyances” to Dion before they eventually became debilitating enough to put her career on hold.

“When this whole thing started, if you put yourself in my shoes, I didn’t have a [diagnosis],” Dion said in the interview in her beautiful Quebec-French accent. “I was trying to, what, survive through this. I was trying to be brave. Because, all my life, I wanted to be the best of me.”

Unfortunately, SPS can also impede one’s ability to speak and sing. The multi-Grammy winner had to cancel her planned world tour in 2023 and virtually disappeared from the public. During her time away from the spotlight, Dion said she was trying to find a way to manage her symptoms and get back to work.

Dion likely had been battling SPS for years before her diagnosis. In the interview, she said that during her 2008 world tour, she began to struggle to control the pitch of her singing voice.

“With the weeks and the months and the years, things started to get more, more often, every day, worse,” she said. “The body started to get rigid, not flexible, more spasm, more cramping. […] I went to see every ENT around the world. As many shows as I’ve done, I’ve seen as many ENT. And they couldn’t see anything. There was nothing.”

Dion eventually came to terms with the fact that SPS is a lifelong illness. Despite it all, she said that the future is looking brighter now. New medication adjustments and rehabilitation have helped her improve the symptoms of her illness.

“I’ll sing again,” Dion repeated, emotional. “That’s for sure.”

And she also misses her fans dearly.

“When I present the microphone, it’s because they’re [her fans] part of me,” said Dion. “I was 12 years old when I met them. I probably miss them more than singing itself. […] People need to know that I’m alive … I want to go back on stage. I need to know if I can. They need to know that I love them, and I miss them.”

We wish Dion nothing but the best as she navigates life with this chronic illness and hope to see her perform again soon.

Photo via CBC/YouTube

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