Celine Dion Shares The Emotional Reason She Kept Her Coat On At The Grammys

The singer's appearance at the February ceremony marked her return to public life nearly two years after revealing her stiff-person syndrome diagnosis.

Celine Dion is reflecting on her experience at this year’s Grammy Awards, an event which marked her unofficial return to the spotlight after going public with her stiff-person syndrome diagnosis nearly two years ago.

In a “Life in Looks” video interview to accompany Vogue France’s May issue, the French Canadian chanteuse described her surprise appearance as “very nerve-wracking, but at the same time, a big honor,” later gushing about the “magic” and “excitement” of returning to show business once more. And as it turns out, the much-discussed mustard yellow Valentino coat she wore over her pale-pink gown served a very specific, and emotional, purpose.

“I was like, ‘I can walk onstage with a coat?’ Oh, yeah! You can do whatever you want in fashion. Have a good time, wear that coat, own that coat, go for it,” Dion explained. “And it made me feel better for a moment to hold onto this coat, to hide myself a little bit from all these little things.”

She then broke into a song with a few impromptu lines from her 2019 single “Imperfections,” from her most recent album, “Courage.”

Watch Celine Dion’s “Life in Looks” interview with Vogue below. Her remarks on the Grammy Awards begin around the 12:04 mark.

Dion was greeted with a standing ovation as she walked out onstage ― accompanied by her 23-year-old son, René-Charles Angélil ― during the final moments of the Grammys, held Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, to present Taylor Swift with the award for album of the year.

It was one of just a handful of public appearances that Dion has made in several years, and by far the most high-profile. In December 2022, the five-time Grammy winner announced she’d been diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological condition that has impacted both her livelihood and ability to perform live.

Speaking to Vogue France in an interview published Monday, Dion stressed that she hadn’t “beat the disease,” noting that she undergoes a regimen of “athletic, physical and vocal therapy” each week.

Celine Dion, backstage at the 2024 Grammy Awards in February.
Celine Dion, backstage at the 2024 Grammy Awards in February.
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

“The way I see it, I have two choices,” she explained. “Either I train like an athlete and work super hard, or I switch off and it’s over, I stay at home, listen to my songs, stand in front of my mirror and sing to myself. I’ve chosen to work with all my body and soul, from head to toe, with a medical team. I want to be the best I can be.”

As for a possible return to the concert stage and the recording studio, Dion appeared optimistic but did not specify a time frame.

“As things stand, I can’t stand here and say to you: ‘Yes, in four months.’ I don’t know ... My body will tell me,” she said. “On the other hand, I don’t just want to wait. It’s morally hard to live from day to day. It’s hard, I’m working very hard and tomorrow will be even harder. Tomorrow is another day. But there’s one thing that will never stop, and that’s the will. It’s the passion. It’s the dream. It’s the determination.”

For now, fans hoping to catch more of Dion can check out her forthcoming Amazon Prime Video documentary, “I Am: Celine Dion.” Due out June 25, the film promises an in-depth look at the singer’s “journey toward living an open and authentic life amidst illness.”

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