Nearly six months after revealing her battle with a rare neurological disorder called “Stiff Person Syndrome,” Celine Dion has canceled the remaining shows on her Courage World Tour.
The Charlemagne, Quebec-born singer informed fans of the unfortunate news today, in a lengthy release (made available in both English and French) published on social media. According to the document, the 55-year-old has axed each of the scheduled stops on the European leg of her tour, which had been expected to run into late April of 2024. Before the onset of COVID-19, the five-time Grammy winner had performed over 50 Courage World Tour concerts in North America.
“As the world has emerged from the pandemic,” the announcement message reads in part, “Celine has continued to be treated for a diagnosed medical condition that prevents her from performing. … We do have every hope that someday soon, Celine will be able to come to all of these cities in Europe to perform for her amazing fans, but that time simply is not now.”
Consequently, ticketholders will receive refunds “via the original point of sale,” according to the text, which likewise features a brief description of Stiff Person Syndrome (the “rare condition” is said to cause “severe and persistent muscle spasms”) as well as a statement from the “That’s The Way It Is” vocalist.
Elaborating on the former, the National Institutes of Health’s NINDS indicates that Stiff Person Syndrome “affects twice as many females as males” and is according to preliminary research “the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord.” Of particular importance in Dion’s case given the loudness of concerts, sufferers “may be afraid to leave the house because street noises, such as the sound of a car horn, can trigger spasms and falls,” per the resource.
Nevertheless, Dion in the mentioned statement made clear that she’s pushing to recover and return to the stage as soon as possible.
“I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again,” said Dion. “I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100%. It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again. I want you all to know, I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again!”
Earlier this month, Jimmy Buffett canceled a Charleston, South Carolina, concert after being hospitalized due to undisclosed medical issues. The 76-year-old his since been discharged, according to an update that he shared on Facebook, and upon getting “back in good shape,” he intends to announce “a new date for Charleston as well as some new shows.”