The pop icon stepped out to present at the award show amid her ongoing health issues since being diagnosed with stiff person syndrome
The pop icon, 55, made a rare public appearance at the 66th annual Grammys by stepping out to present the final award of the night. Dion graced the stage at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles to present album of the year — an award she first won 27 years ago.
The five-time Grammy winner, who was diagnosed with the rare and incurable neurological disorder stiff person syndrome (SPS) in 2022, was greeted by a standing ovation from the star-filled crowd.
"Thank you all, I love you right back. When I say that I'm happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart," she said. Before announcing the nominees, Dion told the crowd to "never take for granted" the joy music brings. The award was then given to Taylor Swift.
Dion has been a favorite among the Recording Academy for decades. The Canadian star is a five-time Grammy winner — taking home her first gramophone in 1992 — and a 16-time total nominee.
Dion's appearance at the awards ceremony saw her stepping out in public for the first time since she attended a hockey game in Las Vegas between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens last year in November. The sporting event marked her first public appearance in three and a half years.
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2024
Although it was a rare sighting for the music legend, she took the opportunity to perform.
The "My Heart Will Go On" singer first revealed to fans that she had been with the rare neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms in late 2022. At the time, she shared what she had been going through in a moving video posted to Instagram in late 2022 in which she explained the condition and that it meant she would have to postpone her tour dates.
According to the Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation, the condition affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. "Patients can be disabled, wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves," they say, adding that the neurological disease with autoimmune features can include symptoms like "hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety," and muscle spasms "so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones."
As the songstress had to make the tough decision in May 2023 to cancel tour dates for the foreseeable future, she has since revealed that she'll be sharing an intimate documentary with fans about her recent challenges. The project titled I Am: Céline Dion will be directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Irene Taylor and released sometime on Amazon Prime Video sometime later this year.
In September, the superstar's sister Claudette shared an update about her sister's health an interview with Hello! Canada. “She’s doing everything to recover,” she told the outlet. “She’s a strong woman.”
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