Céline Dion 'Almost Died' During Stiff-Person Syndrome Struggle

'Today' host Hoda Kotb previewed her upcoming interview with Dion, where the singer shares her health struggle and "what it's done to her voice"

<p>Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy</p> Céline Dion.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Céline Dion.

Céline Dion told Today host Hoda Kotb that she “almost died,” Kotb revealed Friday during a preview of their upcoming interview.

“She is now much better, but at some point she almost died, which is something that she says,” Kotb told co-host Jenna Bush Hager, the New York Post's Page Six reports.  

“It was a scary time and she’s dealing with this.”

In December of 2022, Dion, 59, revealed that she'd been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms, and caused her to cancel all upcoming performances.

As Dion said at the time, "Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life…Sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to."

"All I know is singing," she said. "It's what I've done all my life. And it's what I love to do the most."

Related: Céline Dion 'Grateful for the Love' as She Poses with All 3 Sons on Stiff Person Syndrome Awareness Day

The condition, according to the Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation, affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. "Patients can be disabled, wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves," they say, adding that the neurological disease with autoimmune features can include symptoms like "hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety," and muscle spasms "so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones."

Kotb, 59, shared that for Dion, “At one point she wondered if she was going to make it, whether she was going to live through it.”

She continued, “She talks about what it's done to her voice and the possibility of a comeback.”

Related: Céline Dion Isn't Sure When She'll Perform Again — but She's 'Working Very Hard': 'My Body Will Tell Me'

“We've missed her, and it was very emotional interview,” said Kotb, who traveled to Las Vegas to interview the five-time Grammy winner. “We'll see where she is in her journey of coming back.”

Kotb’s interview with Dion airs on Today and in an NBC News Primetime special on June 11, shortly before her Amazon Prime documentary, I Am: Céline Dion, premieres on June 25.

<p>Pete Still/Redferns</p> Céline Dion performs in 1996.

Pete Still/Redferns

Céline Dion performs in 1996.

In a preview of the documentary, Dion reaffirmed her commitment to returning to concerts, sharing that she missed performing live.

“I miss it so much,” Dion said. “The people, I miss them. If I can’t run, I’ll walk. If I can’t walk, I’ll crawl.”

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