Celine Dion receives emotional standing ovation at film premiere


Celine Dion has received an emotional standing ovation at the premiere of her new film, which documents the lengths she has taken in order to fight stiff person syndrome.

The music superstar announced in 2022 that she had been diagnosed with the rare condition after being forced to cancel a Las Vegas residency and tour dates.

Earlier this month, she revealed she took life-threatening doses of diazepam to help ease muscle spasms so she could perform on stage.

Director Irene Taylor and Celine Dion pictured at the premiere screening of I Am: Celine Dion in New York City. Pic: Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Dion (right) with the film’s director, Irene Taylor, at the premiere in New York. Pic: Reuters

Now, her story is being told in I Am: Celine Dion, which premiered in New York on Monday.

She became emotional as she received a standing ovation from the crowd.

“I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have my fans in my life,” the star said on stage. “Thank you to all of you for being part of my journey.

“This movie is my love letter to each of you. I hope to see you all again very, very soon.”

Dion, 56, said she had felt the presence of her fans while trying to recover, adding: “Your never-ending love and support over all these years has delivered me to this moment.”

Fans will be able to see I Am: Celine Dion, which is directed by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor, on Prime Video from 25 June.

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Until earlier in 2024, the singer had largely been absent from public life for several years.

In February, she delighted the audience at the Grammys as she presented the award for album of the year, which went to Taylor Swift.

Dion, whose best-known hits include My Heart Will Go On, Think Twice, Because You Loved Me, and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, has sold more than 250 million albums during her 40-year career, earning five Grammys, two Oscars and the Billboard Music Award lifetime achievement icon award.

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, she has said previously.

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