Celine Dion Describes the Agony of Singing with Stiff-Person Syndrome

Joe Parker

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“It feels like someone is strangling you.” In a recent interview with NBC News, Celine Dion opened up about the excruciating pain caused by Stiff-Person Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder she has been battling for years. This condition has severely affected her vocal cords, leading the Canadian superstar to cancel a series of global concerts.

The Struggle to Sing

During the interview, Dion demonstrated the physical impact of the syndrome by pressing her fingers against her throat. Speaking in a strained, breathy voice, she explained, “It’s like speaking like this, and you can’t go higher or lower.” This vivid description illustrates how the syndrome restricts her vocal range, making singing incredibly challenging.

The Physical Toll

Dion likened the pressure on her larynx to a violent cramp, stating, “It spasms.” She revealed the severe consequences of these spasms, sharing that she has suffered broken ribs because the spasms can be so intense. But it’s not just her throat that’s affected. “I feel like if I point my toes, they will stay in that position,” she said. “Or if I’m cooking, my fingers, my hands will stay like that,” she continued, describing how the cramps lock her body into painful, rigid positions.

Raising Awareness

Celine Dion will soon be back on our screens with an exclusive Prime Video documentary, I Am: Celine Dion, directed by American filmmaker Irene Taylor. The documentary, in production since 2021, aims to shed light on her recent years of absence from the public eye. In mid-April, Dion took to Instagram to express her desire to raise awareness about Stiff-Person Syndrome and to help others who share this diagnosis.

Through her candid revelations, Celine Dion not only highlights the personal agony she endures but also brings much-needed attention to a little-known condition, offering hope and understanding to those affected.

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