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Celine Dion, 56, appears in high spirits at 2024 NHL Draft in first appearance since premiere of heartbreaking documentary detailing her battle with stiff-person syndrome



Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary


Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday following the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary I Am: Céline Dion.


Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

The legendary songstress, 56 — who shared harrowing footage of herself suffering a seizure in the film — looked happy and healthy during the 2024 NHL Draft at the Sphere arena in Las Vegas.

She announced the fifth overall pick of the Montreal Canadiens during the first round of the professional hockey draft.

Dressed in a chic white shirt and matching skirt, the Grammy winner flashed her megawatt smile as she took to the stage to share the sporting news.

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

It comes after the star’s emotional documentary showed the devastating effect of her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome.

Scenes from the film showed the Grammy winner suffering an agonizing ten-minute seizure, with the star seen gasping for breath as medical professionals desperately attempt to alleviate her painful muscle spasms while a camera crew quietly filmed the ordeal.

In clear distress, a frantic Dion was given a medicinal nasal spray, commonly used to treat the effects of cluster seizures in sufferers of SPS.

The singer looked on helplessly as doctors gently lay her in a comfortable position and check her vitals.

All the while, her bare-feet remained rigid as she battled the debilitating effects of the rare condition.

After receiving assistance the singer was finally able to sit upright and covered herself in a blanket before admitting her embarrassment at losing control of her body in front of the cameras.

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

Celine Dion made her first official appearance on Friday since the premiere of her heartbreaking documentary

In December 2022, Dion revealed she’d been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, a serious neurological condition, and that she would be postponing tour dates due to the condition.

By May of the following year, she had cancelled all of her remaining concerts, citing her ongoing battle with the disease.

The condition, which affects one in a million people and causes muscles to tense uncontrollably ultimately leaves sufferers as ‘human statues’ as it progressively locks the body into rigid positions, leaving sufferers unable to walk or talk.

While there is no cure for SPS, there are treatments that slow down the progression and Dion revealed she was doing all she could to minimize symptoms.

She addressed her fans in a tearful Instagram post on December 8 2022, adding that it was forcing her to postpone her European tour.

‘Hello everyone, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person,’ she wrote.

‘As you know, I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but I’m ready now.

‘I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it has been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.

‘Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the Stiff Person Syndrome, which affects one in a million people.

‘While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having.’

Detailing the impact the condition has had on her, Dion continued: ‘Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.

‘It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.’

She added: ‘I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me help.

‘I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again but I have to admit it’s been a struggle.

‘All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most. I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you being on the stage performing for you.

‘I always give 100 percent when I do my show but my condition is now allowing me to give you that right now.

‘For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment, and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery. This is my focus, and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate.

‘I want to thank you so much for your wishes and love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me. Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon.’

Dion’s sister Claudette later shared an update on the Power Of Love singer’s health.

Speaking to Le Journal de Montreal (via SheMazing), Claudette said she was being cared for by their sister Linda and working closely with researchers who specialise in the rare condition.

‘We can’t find any medicine that works, but having hope is important,’ she revealed.

‘I honestly think that she mostly needs to rest. She always goes above and beyond [when performing], she always tries to be the best and top of her game.

‘At one point, your heart and your body are trying to tell you something. It’s important to listen to it.’

She added: ‘[Performing] is innate to her, she’s disciplined in every area of her life,’ Claudette added.

‘When I call [Celine] and she’s busy, I speak to my sister Linda who lives with her and tells me that she’s working hard.’

Dion subsequently made her first public appearance in three-and-a-half years at a hockey match in November 2023.

The superstar Titanic singer was spotted in public for the first time in three-and-a-half years as the Montreal Canadiens took on the Vegas Golden Knights.

In footage posted online, Dion was accompanied by her sons René-Charles and twins Nelson and Eddy, and appeared to be in great spirits as she greeted players and fans in the locker rooms after the match.

Months later, the singer made a shock appearance at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

The star was visibly emotional as she walked onstage with the support of eldest son Rene-Charles Angelil, 23, to cheers and a standing ovation and to present Album of the Year.

She said: ‘Thank you, all! I love you right back. You look beautiful. When I say I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart.

‘Those who have been blessed enough to be here at the Grammy Awards must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music brings to our lives and to people all around the world.’

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