Celine Dion documentary to explore her rare illness , Latest Music News - The New Paper

Celine Dion documentary to explore her rare illness

MONTREAL – Pop megastar Celine Dion, who is suffering from a rare neurological disorder, is hoping to raise awareness about her condition with a new documentary that will soon stream on Amazon Prime Video.

I Am: Celine Dion, a feature-length film from Amazon MGM Studios, will offer a “snapshot” of the Canadian singer’s life and career as she battles Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), Amazon said in a statement on Jan 30.

The studio did not give a release date for the documentary, which will be available in more than 240 countries and territories.

Dion, 55, first disclosed her condition in December 2022. In May 2023, she was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.

“This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me,” Dion said in the statement which was shared on her social media accounts.

“As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have realised how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans.”

The Grammy-winning singer of hits such as Because You Loved Me (1996) and My Heart Will Go On (1997) added: “During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life, to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis.”

Those with SPS experience stiff muscles in the torso, arms and legs, with noise or emotional distress known to trigger spasms. Other symptoms can include slurred speech and double vision.

There is no cure for the progressive disorder, but treatment can help control symptoms. According to the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), SPS affects twice as many women as men.

The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be the result of an autoimmune response gone awry in the brain and spinal cord, according to NIH.

The documentary, directed by Irene Taylor, features footage from more than a year of filming.

Dion has sold more than 250 million albums during her decades-long career. The Quebec-born star’s Courage World Tour began in 2019, and she had completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.

The singer appeared in the 2023 rom-com film Love Again and recorded several new songs for the soundtrack. – AFP

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