In Las Vegas, there were rumors about the health of Celine Dion.
It’s a small town, and for 15 years, the Canadian songbird was its glitter queen as she sang to millions of fans.
After all, as Vegas journalist Scott Robin said of her fabled Caesars Palace residence, “This is the house Celine built.”
“People have been telling me for a while now that Celine would not come back to perform, or maybe never come back at all,” Robin told Page Six.
Dion, who owes the bulk of her $470 million fortune to a Vegas show, put an end to the gossip this week by posting an emotional video on social media. The singer announced that she has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder known as tough personality syndrome and will be postponing or canceling her performances.
“I struggled with health issues for a long time and it was very difficult for me to face those issues and talk about everything I went through,” she said.
“I was recently diagnosed with a very rare neurological syndrome that affects about one in a million people,” she continued, explaining that the side effects were terrible.
Dion, now 54, first announced in October 2021 that she had to postpone her new Las Vegas residency at Resorts World due to ‘severe’ muscle spasms — just a month before she was due to take the stage . A few months later, she canceled her North American tour and postponed her European tour.
Stiff person syndrome causes stiffness and spasms of the trunk and limbs, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Over time, the muscles of the legs become stiff, and then the muscles of the arms and face.
The Power of Love singer has said that the condition makes it difficult for her to walk and cannot sing in the way she is “used to”.
“All I can do is sing,” she said. “That’s what I’ve been doing all my life and that’s what I love doing the most.”
“When it’s Celine, it’s not what you do, but who you are,” Robin said of her love of performing. “To have it taken away is even more tragic.
“My sources believe that she may not be able to return to the stage. After that initial conversation about battling muscle spasms, we started hearing about how serious it was, but Celine is the kind of person who doesn’t want people to be overly concerned: her fans are obsessed with every breath she takes. They hang on every word.”
Dion is open about the fact that she was struggling with the d*ath of her husband and manager René Angelil, who died after a long battle with throat c*ncer in January 2016. As Dion said, he was the only man she had ever kissed, and it was Angelil who helped her negotiate her first residence with Caesars in 2003. Since then, her residences have grossed $681.3 million, according to AEG.
One insider who knew the couple told Page Six: “Ever since René died, it’s been really hard. He wasn’t there to protect Celine. He was her touchstone, he took care of everything for her. Celine relied on him for everything – in management, finance, music production – and after his d*ath, things went downhill.
“I don’t know exactly who’s in her corner looking after her or if they really care about her best interests,” the insider said, adding, “It’s true – she might never be able to perform live again. ”
As Page Six revealed in 2019, there were concerns that a new group of friends, including “best friend” and former dancer Pepe Muñoz, were controlling Dion too much.
“Pepe is like her toy boy who is really trying to take over. He isolates her, and people feel it. She is in love with this guy and listens to everything he says. People go to him when they have questions. He is completely captured. The only people around her now [are] Pepe, hairdresser and stylist, ”said the source at the time.
Munoz, who is married to artist Braden Newby, did not post Dion’s latest images on his Instagram account and was unavailable for comment.
Dion met Angelil in 1980 in their native Quebec, Canada. The music manager, who was 38, married with three children, dropped everything he did and remortgaged his house to turn 12-year-old Dion into a star.
The couple began dating secretly when Dion was 19 and Angelil was 45. After years of keeping their love a secret, Dion revealed the affair in the liner notes of her 1993 album The Color of My Love, writing: “Rene, for so many years I have kept our a special dream locked up in your heart. But right now it’s too strong to keep inside.”
The couple married in December 1994 in a lavish ceremony at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, which was broadcast live on Canadian television.
It was the first marriage for Dion and the third for Angélil, who had previously been married twice. Their son René-Charles was born in January 2001 after fertility treatment. After six rounds of IVF, Dion gave birth to twin sons Nelson and Eddie in October 2010.
Angélil was first diagnosed with throat c*ncer in 1999, and Dion took a two-year hiatus from performing to care for her husband.
After removing a tumor from his throat in December 2013, Angélil was diagnosed with c*ncer again in 2014. Dion again gave up her career to focus on caring for him.
“I’ll say, ‘Are you afraid? I understand. Talk to me about it,” said the singer. “And Rene says to me:” I want to die in your arms. Okay, okay, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms. Angelil died on January 14, 2016, just two days before his 74th birthday.
The singer said that her children remain her greatest pride, but admitted that she had problems with René-Charles, now a rapper and DJ who goes by the stage name Big Tip.
“If you say no to so many things, they will turn their backs and still do it away from you, which is even scarier,” she told The Sun. “Now the girls will come – this is a cause for concern. I give him more space. Sometimes he does things, I have to say that I don’t necessarily agree with what he wants to try. But as long as he uses his intellect and his brain, I trust him.”
However, she added, “I know he’s been well taken care of – his father sends him good energy.”
After her husband’s d*ath, it was unclear who Dion could turn to. Munoz, 38, was pictured next to her as she embraced a new high fashion look, turning to designers including Valentino. “Yes, there is another man in my life, but not the same man in my life,” she told The Sun in 2019.
Dion was also aware of the concerns of dedicated fans for her health due to her significant weight loss. She attributed it to ballet lessons four times a week and training with Munoz, telling ABC News in 2019, “It’s true that I’ve lost some weight. It’s all right, it’s nothing to worry about.”
Sources said, however, that the singer continues to struggle without her husband.
She is rarely seen in Vegas, where she lives after selling her $45 million Florida mansion as well as her Montreal residence.
Roben said that a few years ago, people in Vegas “noted Celine around her. But in that very long time, no one has shared paparazzi photos or fan photos. She just disappeared.”
The Grammy Award-winning star’s spring 2023 concerts have now been rescheduled to 2024, and she has canceled eight concerts scheduled for summer 2023.
Meanwhile, the romantic drama Everything Comes Back to Me, in which Dion is set to debut as an actor, has been rescheduled from February to May 2023, a source familiar with Dion told Page Six.
The film stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas as a woman who struggles to move on after the d*ath of her fiancé, played by Sam Heughan. Dion plays herself in the film, which also features her music.
“Celine said she would introduce new songs for the film,” Dion’s source said. “But will she insist on it or not [remains to be seen]”.
However, the source added, “Celine is really cool. She’ll be fine.
This article was originally published Page six and reproduced with permission
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