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Céline Dion: “I was trying to survive”
Credit: Capture/NBC

Céline Dion ‘s long-awaited NBC interview did not disappoint.

The Charlemagne diva opened up about her illness, Stiff Person’s Syndrome, which has plagued her for years, even since the Taking Chances tour in 2008, according to Céline.

What’s more, the star describes how, since as early as 2008, she had to learn to sing differently in order to “compensate” for the ailment that afflicted her and prevented her from singing properly.

“I was trying to survive,” she says.

Then interviewer Hoda Kotb deftly pushed Céline’s buttons, reminding her that the death of René Angélil, then that of her brother, in addition to her illness, was simply “too much to bear”.

“My mentality at the time was: ‘ The show must go on‘,” replies Céline, not without nodding in agreement.

Céline Dion goes on to explain that the absence of a diagnosis proved very difficult, wandering from doctor to doctor, almost begging for answers, while trying various combinations of medication… which, as we know, doesn’t turn out to be a good idea.

“We tried a lot of things. Trying a lot of stuff when you don’t know what you’ve got can kill you,” the superstar wisely analyzes.

Valium, in particular, is mentioned as one of the drugs used by Céline, who claims to have built up a tolerance fairly quickly, her consumption climbing to no less than 90 milligrams… daily.

“90 milligrams of valium a day can kill you,” adds the My Heart Will Go On hitmaker.

Then, the pandemic offered Céline Dion – and the rest of the world – an enforced break.

Céline Dion explains that this allowed her to detox from the drugs, especially the “really bad ones, the really, really bad ones”, but that her symptoms then began to progress, all without any clear answer from her doctors.

Then, finally, the diagnosis came: Céline had Stiff Person Syndrome, an autoimmune and neurological disease that affects one person in a million.

It was then that she made the decision to tell the rest of the world the truth, after years of trying to hide it.

Since then, Céline Dion has been trying to get back on stage.

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