Celine Dion left in tears as she shares the impact Stiff Person Syndrome has on her singing voice

Celine Dion left in tears as she shares the impact Stiff Person Syndrome has on her singing voice

Celine Dion is left in tears in her upcoming documentary as she documents how her Stiff Person Syndrome impacts her singing voice.

In December 2022, the Power of Love singer, now 56, announced that she was diagnosed with the rare neurological disorder as she cancelled the European leg of her world tour.

Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that causes progressive muscular stiffness, which can cause spasms so strong that can break ribs and feel like strangulation of the throat, Dion previously said.

In her doc I Am: Celine Dion, the Canadian star reveals that she first began experiencing symptoms of the condition 17 years ago while having breakfast.

At the time, Dion said she was left “scared” as she noticed that her voice had changed, which turned out to be one of her first vocal spasms.

Dion pictured on stage in 2019 (PA Archive)
Dion pictured on stage in 2019 (PA Archive)

“I woke up one morning and I had my breakfast, and after having my breakfast, my voice started to go up,” she said in the film, directed by Oscar nominee Irene Taylor.

“It freaked me out a little bit, because normally when you’re tired as a singer because you did a show the night before, your voice would go roughly half a key down or one note down.”

She continued: “I was scared, I didn’t know what to do. And today, [I’ve received] the diagnosis. SPS, which is Stiff Person Syndrome.

“It’s in the muscle, it’s in the tendons, it’s in the nerves. You can’t see anything, because it’s not seeable.”

Dion was left in tears during several moments of the film as she discussed being unable to sing and perform.

“I can’t use my voice yet,” she said through tears. “Music… I miss it a lot. But also, the people. I miss them.

Later, she showed how SPS prevents her from singing: “When I try to breathe, my lungs are fine; it’s what is in front of my lungs that’s so rigid, because of Stiff Person Syndrome.”

While attempting to sing, her voice noticeably cracked, causing her to stop and grow emotional once more.

“That’s what happens and it’s very difficult for me to show this to you,” she said through tears. “I think I was very good… I think I had some stuff that was amazing.”

I Am: Celine Dion, premiere on Prime Video on June 25