Celine Dion cancels European tour dates after being diagnosed with incurable Stiff Person Syndrome

Celine Dion is seen as she departs her hotel on March 08, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Photo by Gotham/GC Images

Earlier today, Canadian megastar Celine Dion shocked and saddened her fans with an Instagram video in which she explained she’d been diagnosed with ‘Stiff Person Syndrome’, a very rare neurological disorder that she says affects “every part of her daily life”.

As a consequence, she’s now canceled eight of her Summer 2023 shows and rescheduled all Spring 2023 dates to 2024. Dion will spend the time prioritizing her health, assuring fans that she has a “great team of doctors” working with her:

Stiff Person Syndrome affects roughly one in a million people and, as you’d expect from the name, involves muscle spasms and stiffness. Muscles in the torso become stiff and constantly contracted, with many cases spreading to the legs and abdominal muscles. This gives those who have it a rigid gait and, in the worst cases, can even become unable to walk or bend.

Dion has said the condition is already affecting her, saying:

“Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal chords to sing the way I’m used to.”

Stiff Person Syndrome is currently incurable, though the spasms and stiffness can be somewhat alleviated with benzodiazepines and there’s promising work in intravenous immunoglobin treatments. Dion will likely have access to the best medical care money can buy, so we’re hopeful she can receive a level of treatment that will allow her to continue performing her hits for many years to come.

But, for now, nobody can argue that she shouldn’t be prioritizing her health over her career. Get well soon, Celine.