Céline Dion apologized to fans as she cancelled the remaining dates of her "Courage" world tour Friday, citing ongoing health woes that her team said "prevent her from performing."
The Quebec-born songstress expressed her heartbreak in a short statement that explained she's not ready to return to the stage for European and U.K. tour dates that had originally been set to run from August through October, and in March and April 2024.
The 55-year-old Canadian icon postponed and cancelled some shows last December when she announced she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, a rare neurological condition marked by severe muscle rigidity and spasms.
"I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100 per cent," she said Friday in a statement posted to her social media accounts.
"It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again."
Dion's medical team continues to evaluate and treat her condition, the statement said.
Dion closed her statement saying, "I'm not giving up... and I can't wait to see you again."
The singer began the "Courage" tour with 52 dates in North America back in 2019, but her European stops were delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were further delayed when her health issues emerged, and again when she announced her diagnosis of stiff person syndrome in December.
The condition is a "neurological disorder with features of an autoimmune disease,'' according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the United States.
Muscle rigidity and spasms are the two main defining symptoms of stiff person syndrome, which can be very painful. The spasms can cause people to fall and put them at risk of injury. If the thoracic muscles are affected, people can have difficulty breathing.
The tour update said concert tickets purchased for the 42 cancelled dates will be refunded at the original point of sale.
"We do have every hope that someday soon, Celine will be able to come to all of these cities in Europe to perform for her amazing fans, but that time simply is not now," it stated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2023.
The Canadian Press