Celine Dion resolved to perform again, 'even if I have to crawl'


Canadian pop megastar Celine Dion, who suffers from a rare neurological disorder, said in her first interview since announcing the career-sidelining diagnosis that she is well, but taking life 'one day at a time'. Photo: AFP

Celine Dion is determined to return to singing onstage despite suffering from a rare neurological condition -- "even if I have to crawl," she said in a candid new interview.

In the sit-down with US network NBC, Dion said that although she has been suffering from Stiff Person Syndrome -- which causes stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs, and can trigger severe spasms -- she will do everything in her power to perform again.

"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, 56, said.

The interview came out ahead of the release of her documentary I Am: Celine Dion, which is set for release June 25 on Amazon Prime.

"I am Celine 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," said the Grammy-winning singer behind hits including My Heart Will Go On.

Dion first disclosed in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder.

There is no cure for Stiff Person Syndrome, which is progressive, but treatment can help control symptoms. According to the US National Institutes of Health, the condition affects twice as many women as men.

"It's like somebody is strangling you," she said, saying the pain can course through her entire body, and that the spasms have at times caused broken ribs.

Dion was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

She made a surprise appearance earlier this year at the Grammy Awards, presenting the Album of the Year award to Taylor Swift.

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career.

The Quebec-born star's Courage World Tour began in 2019, and Dion had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold. – AFP

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