Céline Dion’s recent concert cancellations were done in an effort to be “fair to the fans,” a source tells PEOPLE.
On Thursday, Dion, 55, announced the news that she was “unable to successfully prepare for and perform the remainder” of her tour after her stiff-person syndrome diagnosis — canceling all her scheduled tour dates through April 2024.
And now, a source close to the legendary singer tells PEOPLE that the move was in the best interest of her supporters.
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“The goal is for her to tour again for sure, but once she is better,” the source says.
“Right now she’s focusing on her health,” adds the source. “She couldn’t keep postponing shows — it wasn’t fair to the fans.”
The insight comes just days after Dion apologized to her supporters when making the cancellation announcement on social media, when she reiterated that she was “not giving up.”
“As the world has emerged from the pandemic, Céline has continued to be treated for a diagnosed medical condition that prevents her from performing. Céline is working hard on her recovery,” a statement on Dion’s social media channels reads.
We do have every hope that someday soon, Céline will be able to come to all of these cities in Europe to perform for her amazing fans, but that time is simply not now,” the statement added. “Céline’s medical team continues to evaluate and treat the condition.”
Alongside the statement, which confirmed she is canceling 42 dates in total of her Courage World Tour, Dion wrote that she’s still determined to get back on stage. Dion was set to take to the stage in Amsterdam in August to kick off the European tour, before finishing up in London in April 2024.
“I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again… and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything until I’m really ready to be back on stage… I’m not giving up… and I can’t wait to see you again! – Celine xx,” she wrote on Twitter.
The power ballad queen previously revealed she was diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, a rare and incurable neurological disease that can cause debilitating muscle spasms, back in December. At the time, she said in an Instagram video that it forced her to postpone and cancel a few upcoming shows.
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through,” she wrote.
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The Stiff Person Syndrome Foundation notes that Dion’s condition affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord, and can leave patients “disabled, wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, unable to work and care for themselves.” The neurological disease with autoimmune features can include “hyper-rigidity, debilitating pain, chronic anxiety,” and muscle spasms “so violent they can dislocate joints and even break bones,” per the foundation.
Dion revealed at the time that her spasms can cause “difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
Back in March, Dion expressed her gratitude to fans for their birthday wishes — a little more than three months after revealing her diagnosis. “I felt this giant wave of love,” she shared on her Instagram Story, “thanks to everyone for the birthday messages!”