Celine Dion becomes tearful at film premiere after standing ovation

Celine Dion was handed a tissue on-stage to wipe her eyes at the premiere of her new film, which documents the reality of her stiff person syndrome (SPS) diagnosis.

The music superstar received a standing ovation during the New York screening of I Am: Celine Dion, which is set showcase the lengths the singer has gone to in order to carry on performing despite her rare condition.

“I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have my fans in my life,” Dion said on stage, before becoming overwhelmed with emotion in videos posted on social media.

NY Special Screening of “I Am: Celine Dion”
Celine Dion at the special screening (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“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 said she felt the presence of her fans in her training which has been as “gift beyond measure”, adding: “Your never ending love and support over all these years has delivered me to this moment.”

The singer, whose best-known hits include My Heart Will Go On, Think Twice and It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, revealed her SPS diagnosis in December 2022 as she cancelled her Courage World Tour.

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, Dion previously said.

NY Special Screening of “I Am: Celine Dion”
Director Irene Taylor, left, and Celine Dion (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor, the behind-the-scenes film is set to air on Prime Video on June 25.

During the premiere, Dion said she “wouldn’t be here without the daily love and support from my wonderful children”.

The 56-year-old also said in the film she compares herself to an apple while learning more about her condition.

Speaking to her fans, she said: “I compared myself to an apple from a tree, I don’t want you to wait in line anymore if I don’t have any shining apples for you.

“So a couple of days ago, I saw a message from a fan and it said ‘we’re not here for the apples, we’re here for the tree’.”

Dion 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.

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