Celine Dion shares how stiff-person syndrome affects her voice

Colleta Ochieng
Colleta Ochieng

Celine Dion has revealed that trying to sing while dealing with stiff-person syndrome feels “like somebody is strangling you.

In an exclusive interview previewed on NBC‘s “TODAY,” Celine Dion discussed how the condition is affecting her life and her singing career.

She explained that when she attempts to sing, it feels as though someone is pushing on her larynx and pharynx, and that attempting to raise or lower her voice triggers spasms. These spasms can occur all over her body and can be so intense that they have even broken her ribs.

Dion first disclosed her diagnosis in December 2022 through an emotional video posted on Instagram. She told Kotb in her first television interview since her diagnosis that it initially affected her throat, but it can also manifest in her abdomen, spine, and ribs.

She mentioned that when she tries to point her feet or position her hands while cooking, they not only cramp up but also lock into a position that is difficult to unlock – “a position of, like, you cannot unlock them“.

Celine Dion

Stiff-person syndrome affects roughly one to two people per million. Those with the condition often experience rigidity in their torso and limbs, as well as severe muscle spasms that can cause them to fall. These spasms can occur randomly or be triggered by certain stimuli, including loud noises, touch, and emotional distress.

Dion canceled her European tour in 2023 due to health issues and stated that she was working to regain her strength. In February, she received a standing ovation when she made a surprise appearance at the Grammys to present the Album of the Year award.

However, just last month, her free concert in Brazil had a record attendance with the fans turning in plenty to show love.

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