Celine Dion says 'I'm back' after Stiff Person Syndrome struggles

Celine Dion

Earlier this year, the Grammy Awards saw a unique presence of a singer.

The sun is going down in a lavish community half an hour away from the Las Vegas strip, and I can make out a familiar singing voice coming from a door that's not open.

"I wonder if that's Celine," I inquire.

The security guard keeping watch on the hotel suite acknowledges with a nod.

I'm getting ready to do an interview with a huge music celebrity and it seems like she's feeling happy.

Fans were worried that they might never hear the famous voice singing again. However, I can now hear it singing away casually.

In December of 2022, she took to Instagram to reveal that she has been struggling with health issues for a considerable amount of time.

"I was told that I have a neurological condition that is extremely uncommon."

Following that disastrous declaration, Celine Dion cancelled the rest of her global concert series and has infrequently appeared in public ever since.

The illness that she suffers with has a medical name known as Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), which is a neurological disease that results in muscle spasms.

While we settle into our conversation, Celine mentions that her condition wasn't identified for a prolonged period of time.

The female artist, who is 56 years old, expressed her emotional pain as a singer when she started recognizing variations in her vocal delivery while on tour.

The famous Canadian expressed that they had experienced a peculiar sensation similar to a muscle twitch.

I was having difficulty with my voice and had to use more effort to speak.

She displays the slight contrast by performing the initial melody of her popular song "The Power of Love" from 1993, indicating how she had to exert more effort to maintain the notes that she used to do effortlessly.

Every now and then, she would request the leader of her supporting band to lower certain tunes by a pitch for a couple of shows.

"I was searching for a way to perform live," she clarifies.

She thought singing a little lower might help her voice to heal.

In a recently released documentary, Celine Dion talks about her experience dealing with Stiff Person Syndrome. She explains how she is managing the condition and its impact on her life.

The audience was completely unaware of the ordeal she was going through behind the curtains.

However, according to Celine, it seemed impractical to take a break during that period.

These performances were completely booked for 18 months and traveled the world.

"I will politely ask individuals, 'Pardon my sudden movement? Pardon my indescribable quality?'"

She exerted immense stress on herself to maintain the performance, without comprehending the root of the indications she was encountering.

It became overwhelming and unbearable.

When she finally received a diagnosis, she came to understand that her exhaustion was not just from traveling. Instead, it was something that would be with her permanently.

Celine's offspring accompanied her during the last performance of her Las Vegas residency in the year of 2019.

Sjogren's syndrome is a condition where the body's immune system attacks itself. It can be extremely disabling, and unfortunately, a cure for it has not yet been found.

The reason behind it is the malfunctioning of the signals conveyed from the nerves to the muscles.

In case of an intense episode, the contractions can be extremely terrible to the extent that she struggles to make any movements.

After receiving a correct diagnosis, she has gained a better understanding of the condition and learned how to effectively manage it.

She expresses her desire to be involved in fundraising for awareness and seeking a cure, as it would be a wonderful accomplishment.

In the period when she wasn't performing, Celine acquired knowledge on how to adjust through medication, physical treatment, and consulting with professionals, such as Dr. Amanda Piquet.

Dr Piquet remarks that since there is now an increasing awareness about this illness, it has become more visible to the public.

Dr. Piquet has provided medical attention to many patients who were not properly diagnosed for quite some time.

Celine wishes that her open discussion about her struggle with the disease will bring attention to the topic and benefit others.

Dr. Piquet suggests that the disease needs to be diagnosed more effectively. He believes that doing so will have a positive impact by increasing the number of clinical trials and improving the approval rate of treatments.

She explains that even though Celine will have to deal with this ailment for the remainder of her life, the treatment she is receiving to minimize the involuntary muscle contractions will enable her to perform on stage once more.

Celine commented that her voice is undergoing reconstruction and it has already commenced some time ago. As she speaks, her voice is being reconstructed at the moment.

Celine Dion has generated over $680 million (£530 million) from her past two long-term performances in Las Vegas.

Followers can witness the impact of the vocalist's medical battles on her life in a fresh film called I Am: Celine Dion.

She can finally envision a path towards performing once again, and has been getting ready for a fresh performance in Las Vegas.

"I'm delighted to be back," she shares with a beaming grin, as we've put in a lot of effort into preparing for this show."

It's obvious that she really feels a strong desire to perform.

I am going to be performing on the stage and although the exact time is unknown, rest assured I will announce it loudly.

Celine has the unbeatable achievement of holding the top spot for the most triumphant residency show on the Las Vegas strip. She has a great sense of pride in her profession, yet taking some time apart has allowed her to contemplate and ponder.

Having traveled the globe for many years, she has come to the realization that she's only experienced a small fraction of it.

She mentions that there have been consequences for constantly traveling while on tour.

Whenever I had time off, I made sure to prepare myself for the next performance. I traveled to various places around the globe, but unfortunately didn't see much.

"As an artist and vocalist, I have been showered with immense adoration from my supporters."

Power Ballad Queen

When I was in secondary school, I remember one of our teachers trying to motivate us to learn French by playing Celine Dion's Pour Que Tu M'aimes Encore on a cassette tape. This is my first recollection of listening to Celine Dion's music.

Audiences recognize her as the supreme artist of powerful ballads.

Her popular songs from the 1990s such as The Power of Love and It’s All Coming Back to Me Now are easily distinguishable due to their impressive and high-pitched vocals.

During the most difficult times of her health struggles, Celine confesses to experiencing a bit of jealousy towards the airy and soft 'whisperpop' technique utilized by many contemporary female performers.

The musicians Billie Eilish and Lana Del Rey are garnering huge success with their quiet style of singing.

Celine Dion gained popularity when she emerged victorious in the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland in 1988.

She made a joke saying, "Should I just stay up until the early hours of the morning and begin smoking?"

"I felt envious. I thought to myself, they are having fun, enjoying the nightlife, looking disheveled, and they're so talented."

This is completely different from the rigorous routine she has maintained throughout most of her professional life.

I felt that it would be best if you refrain from speaking and avoid consuming this particular food item as it contains a high amount of dairy which could result in excess phlegm production.

She keeps kidding about how she might abandon her traditional education and take on a fresh identity with a deep and rough voice.

"Wasn't that an amazing concert?" exclaims Celine, giving the camera a playful wink.

Despite her continuous health struggles, she is able to maintain a humorous outlook.

No matter which fashion she picks, her supporters will be overjoyed to have her back.

Celine Dion's profile, "I Am: Celine Dion," is arriving on Amazon Prime Video on the 25th of June. Meanwhile, viewers can check out her prolonged conversation with Emma Vardy, which is available for streaming on BBC iPlayer.

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