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Celine Dion surprises as Grammys presenter: ‘I’m happy to be here’

By Lisa Respers France and Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

(CNN) — As excited as many people were by the album of the year award at the Grammys, Celine Dion presenting the category just heightened it.

“When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” Dion said after she took to the stage to roaring applause.

Dion shared in 2022 that she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, a condition, she said, that doesn’t allow her “to sing the way I’m used to.”

The disorder is “a rare, progressive syndrome that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” Dion said at the time. “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.”

The singer recently announced that she is chronicling her journey in a new documentary titled “I Am: Celine Dion. ” She said she’s optimistic about being able to perform again.

“This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me,” she recently wrote on her Instagram page. “As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have realized how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans.”

She added that she wanted to “document” this part of her life through her film, “to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis.”

Dion has been mostly out of the public eye as she focuses on her health.

“Those who have been blessed enough to be 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, ” Dion said on Sunday.

She recalled the album of the year award was presented to her 27 years ago by Diana Ross and Sting.

The award went to Taylor Swift for “Midnights.” It marked Swift’s fourth album of the year Grammy, making her the artist with the most wins in that category.

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