Entertainment

Celine Dion Announces Return After Health Struggles

As the sun sets behind the mountains in an exclusive neighborhood just 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, the unmistakable voice of Celine Dion can be heard singing behind a closed door.

Preparing for an interview with the musical icon, I note her cheerful mood, a sound fans feared they might never hear again.

In December 2022, Dion shared in an Instagram video that she had been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. Following this, she canceled the remainder of her world tour and has rarely appeared in public since.

A Long Road to Diagnosis

The illness, Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), causes muscles to spasm and went undiagnosed for years. Celine, now 56, recalls her distress as her voice began to change while on tour. She noticed subtle differences, like slight spasms that made singing difficult. She would sometimes ask her conductor to lower the key for certain songs, trying to manage without alarming audiences.

“I needed to find a way to be on stage,” she explains. However, the pressure to keep performing was immense, and it eventually became too much. The diagnosis brought clarity: this wasn’t tour fatigue but a permanent condition. SPS, an autoimmune disease with no cure, disrupts the signals from nerves to muscles, leading to debilitating spasms.

Managing the Condition

Proper diagnosis has allowed Celine to manage the condition with medication, physical therapy, and expert help, including from Dr. Amanda Piquet. Dr. Piquet emphasizes the importance of public awareness and better diagnosis, which can lead to more clinical trials and treatments. Despite the challenges, Celine’s therapy is helping her regain control over her muscles, allowing her to sing again.

“My voice is being rebuilt,” she says. “It started a while ago already. My voice is being rebuilt as we speak, right now.”

A New Beginning

Celine is working on a new show in Las Vegas and is featured in an upcoming documentary, *I Am: Celine Dion*. She is excited to return to the stage, though the exact timing remains uncertain. Her previous Las Vegas residencies earned over $680 million, and she remains extremely proud of her career. However, she reflects on the price of always being in tour mode, admitting she saw little of the world despite touring extensively.

Queen of Power Ballads

Celine is best known for her powerful ballads from the 90s, like “The Power of Love” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.” Despite her health struggles, she jokes about feeling envious of modern singers’ breathy styles, contrasting her strict vocal regimen.

With a sense of humor and determination, Celine Dion is poised to make a triumphant return to the stage. Fans can look forward to her documentary on Amazon Prime Video on June 25, and her extended interview with Emma Vardy is available on BBC iPlayer.

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