Along the Las Vegas Strip, rumors swirl about Celine Dion’s health.
It’s a small town, and for 15 years the Canadian songbird was its glitter queen as she chirped in front of millions of fans.
After all, as Vegas Reporter Scott Roeben said of her legendary Caesars Palace residence, “This is the house Celine built.”
“People had been telling me for a while that Celine wouldn’t be back on stage — maybe ever at all,” Roeben told Page Six.
Dion, who owes much of his estimated $470 million fortune to Vegas shows, ended the gossip this week with a emotional video posted on social media. The singer announced that she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder known as stiff person syndrome and will postpone or cancel its shows.
“I’ve struggled with health issues for a long time, and it’s been very difficult for me to deal with those challenges and talk about all that I’ve been through,” she said.
“Recently, I was diagnosed with a very rare neurological syndrome, which affects approximately one in a million people,” she continued, explaining that the side effects were brutal.
Dion, now 54, first announced in October 2021 that she had to postpone his new residency in Las Vegas at Resorts World due to “severe” muscle spasms – just a month before she took the stage. Months later, she canceled her North American tour and postponed her European tour.
Stiff-person syndrome causes stiffness and spasms in the trunk and limbs, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Over time, the leg muscles become stiff, followed by the arm and face muscles.
The “Power of Love” singer said her condition prevented her from walking and singing like she “used to.”
“All I know is sing,” she said. “It’s what I’ve done all my life, and it’s what I love doing the most.”
“When it’s Celine, it’s not what you do, it’s who you are,” Roeben said of her love of the stage. “Having him kidnapped is even more tragic.
“My sources believe she may not be able to return to the stage. After that first conversation about the muscle spasms, we started hearing about how bad things were, but Celine is the kind of person who doesn’t want that people worry unnecessarily: her fans obsess over every breath she takes in. They cling to every word.
Dion has made no secret that she has struggled since the loss of her husband and director René Angélil, who died after a long battle with throat cancer in January 2016. As Dion said, he was the only man she ever kissedand it was Angélil who helped her negotiate her first residency with Caesars in 2003. Since then, her residencies have grossed $681.3 million, according to AEG.
An insider who knew the couple told Page Six, “Since Rene died, it has been very difficult. He wasn’t there to protect Celine. He was her touchstone, he took care of everything for her. Celine relied on him for everything – his management, his finances, his music production – and things have gone downhill since his passing.
“I’m not quite sure who she has in her corner to look after her anymore, or if they have her best interests at heart,” the insider said, adding, “It’s true — she won’t be able to. -be never perform live again.”
As Page Six unveiled in 2019it was feared that a new crowd of friends, including “best friend” and former back-up dancer Pepe Muñoz, had too much control over Dion.
“Pepe is like his little boy who really tries to take over. He isolates him and people feel that. She’s in love with this guy and listens to everything he says. People go to him when they have questions She’s fully taken in. The only people around her now [are] Pepe, the hairdresser and stylist,” a source said at the time.
Muñoz, who is married to artist Brayden Newby, has not posted any recent images of Dion on his Instagram account and was unavailable for comment.
Dion met Angélil in 1980 in their native Quebec, Canada. The music manager, 38, married with three children, gave up all his other acts and remortgaged his house to make the then 12-year-old Dion a star.
The couple began secretly dating when Dion was 19 and Angélil was 45. After years of keeping their love a secret, Dion revealed the romance in the liner notes of her 1993 album, “The Color of My love”, writing: “René, for so many years I kept our special dream locked away in my heart. But now it is too powerful to remain inside”.
The couple married in December 1994 in a lavish ceremony at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal which was broadcast live on Canadian television.
It was Dion’s first marriage and the third for Angélil, who had already been married twice. Their son René-Charles was born in January 2001 after fertility treatments. After six cycles of IVF, Dion gave birth to twins Nelson and Eddy in October 2010.
Angélil was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999 and Dion took a two-year break to care for her husband.
After having a throat tumor removed in December 2013, Angélil was diagnosed with cancer again in 2014. Again, Dion also took a step back from his career in order to focus on his care.
“I’ll say, ‘Are you scared? I understand. Tell me about that,” the singer said. “And René said to me: ‘I want to die in your arms.’ Alright, alright, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms. Angelil grandfather on January 14, 2016, just two days before his 74th birthday.
The singer said her greatest source of pride was her children, but admitted she struggled with Rene-Charles, now a rapper and DJ. who is called Big Tip.
“If you say no to so many things, they’ll turn around and they’ll always do them away from you, which is even scarier,” she said. The sun. “The girls are coming now – something to be stressed about. I give him more space. He does stuff sometimes, I have to say I don’t necessarily agree with what he chooses to try. But as long as he uses his wits and brains, I trust him.
She added, however, “I know he is well taken care of above – his dad sends him good energy.”
Since the death of her husband, it is unclear to whom Dion could turn. Muñoz, 38, was pictured alongside her as she embraced a new high fashion image, turning to designers including Valentino. “Yeah, there’s another man in my life but not the man in my life,” she told The Sun in 2019.
Dion was also aware of concerns for her health among dedicated fans due to her significant weight loss. She put it down to ballet lessons four times a week and training with Muñoz, telling ABC News in 2019, “It’s true that I’m a little thinner. Everything is fine, nothing is wrong.”
Sources, however, said the singer continues to struggle without her husband.
She is rarely seen in Vegas, where she lives after selling a $45 million mansion in Florida as well as her residence in Montreal.
Roeben said that a few years ago, people in Las Vegas “spotted Celine with her entourage. But, during that very long time, no one shared even a paparazzi photo or a fan photo. She just somehow disappeared.
The Grammy-winning star’s spring 2023 shows have now been pushed back to 2024, and she has canceled eight shows scheduled for summer 2023.
Meanwhile, “It’s All Coming Back to Me,” a romantic drama in which Dion is set to make her acting debut, has been delayed from February to May 2023, a source with knowledge of Dion told Page Six.
The film stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas as a woman struggling to come to terms with the death of her fiancé, played by Sam Heughan. Dion plays herself in the film, which also features her music.
“Celine has said she will be releasing new songs for the movie,” Dion’s source said. “But whether or not she pushes for it [remains to be seen].”
Still, the source added, “Celine is really tough. She will be fine.