Singer Celine Dion has announced she’s unable to continue performing, citing extremely difficult physical challenges she’s facing related to her rare, incurable neurological disorder.
It’s a sad season for fans of the songstress behind one of the most unique, recognizable, and beloved voices of all time. Canadian singer Celine Dion has an unmistakable voice–one that’s distinguishable even among several voices at a time. The three-octave lyric soprano is known for the beauty and strength of her voice. But since December 2022, she’s become known as the voice speaking out about Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder that causes spasms and muscle rigidity throughout the body.
On December 8, Dion revealed that she had been diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS) and that the diagnosis finally answered a lot of questions for the five-time Grammy-Award winner.
“I’ve always been an open book, and I wasn’t ready to say anything before, but I’m ready now,” Dion said in December 2022. “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. We now know [SPS] is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having.”
Celine Dion began singing with her musically-inclined family when she was just five years old. At the age of 20, she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, and shortly thereafter, she signed with Epic Records. By 1993, the 25-year-old French Canadian had become an international star. She has released more than two dozen albums over the years. Her 1996 album, titled Falling Into You, is her best-selling ever and one of the best-selling albums in history, selling more than 32 million copies worldwide, including twelve million copies in the United States, more than two million copies in the United Kingdom, and over one million copies in Germany, France, Canada, and Australia.
Over the years, Celine Dion’s iconic voice has been heard in Disney projects as well. The Canadian songstress can be heard in the end title duet of “Beauty and the Beast” with singer Peabo Bryson during the ending credits of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991). Dion also made a cameo appearance in Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted (2014), during which she sings “Something So Right” alongside Miss Piggy. She appeared in Disney’s television documentary Pocahontas: The Musical Tradition Continues (1995) and lent her voice yet again in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (2017), during which she sings “How Does A Moment Last Forever.”
Over the weekend, however, Dion’s team was forced to share a heartbreaking announcement via the singer’s Instagram account.
“It is with tremendous disappointment that we have to announce today the cancellation of the Courage World Tour,” the post reads in part. “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again. I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%. 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. I want you all to know I’m not giving up, and I can’t wait to see you again! – Celine xx…”
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The tour was scheduled to begin on August 26, 2023, in Amsterdam and run through October 4, 2023, in Helsinki before a break until March 6, 2024, when the tour would continue in Prague and run until April 22, 2024, in London. Dion’s Courage World Tour originally began in 2019 and ran through 2020 before being cut short because of the growing coronavirus pandemic around the world. The Canadian singer completed 52 shows as part of the tour, and the second installment of the tour was part of Dion’s commitment to reschedule performances that were canceled because of the viral pandemic.
As of the time of this publication, it’s not clear whether future dates have been set for the Courage World Tour to resume, but our thoughts and prayers are with Celine Dion during this difficult time. Here’s hoping she regains her strength quickly and can get back to her tour as soon as possible.