MONTREAL — Celine Dion has cancelled a string of shows between March 27 and April 18 due to a hearing condition called Patulous Eustachian tube she says will require a "minimally invasive surgical procedure."
The Quebec pop star had to cancel numerous shows at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in January due to what she then described as "congestion and irritation of the vocal cords due to a lingering cold."
At the time she said she expected to be ready to return to the stage by March 27.
A new statement on her official Facebook page says she has also been dealing with her ear condition over the past 12 to 18 months, "which causes hearing irregularities, and makes it extremely difficult to sing."
She is now expected to resume performing on May 22.
Ticketholders for the cancelled shows will receive refunds.
"My luck hasn't been very good lately," her Facebook post read.
"I've been so looking forward to doing my shows again and this happens. I just can't believe it! I apologize to everyone who planned to travel to Las Vegas to see my show. I know how disappointing this is, and I'm so sorry."
One of the cancelled shows was scheduled for March 30, which is the day Dion turns 50.
It is a milestone that, according to one fan club, between 400 and 500 Quebec-based fans were planning to celebrate by heading to Las Vegas to attend that night's show.
Vanessa Fournier, who has seen Dion perform more than 100 times, has decided to stay home even if it means a wasted airline ticket.
"Going to Vegas is out of the question," said Fournier, who has seen other shows cancelled in her life.
"I know Las Vegas like the back of my hand. I was going just for her."
A day before Dion's announcement, Fournier had a premonition when she spontaneously decided to visit the tombstone of Rene Angelil, Dion's late husband.
"Something strange happened," she said. "It's as though I had a feeling (it was going to happen), that I knew it without knowing it. The weather was lovely, the sky was blue, there was nobody around and it was peaceful.
"I really felt at one with him and then I had this feeling."
One fan who will still be going to Vegas is Line Basbous, president of a Dion fan club called the Red Heads.
Basbous said 2,000 butterflies made of plasticized paper were to be distributed on the floor of the venue before the show. The goal was to release them all at once during the concert.
"What are we going to do with all those butterflies," she said Thursday.
A party scheduled for Caesars Palace after the March 30 show will likely go ahead.
"We have no option but to go ahead with the evening because there will be so many fans there that it would be a shame if we weren't all there together to celebrate her birthday," Basbous said.
Despite the cancellations, Basbous had nothing but compassion for the international star.
"If your sister or your mother gets ill, does it change your relationship with them?" she said. "I don't think so. Celine is an extension of the family for most of us."
Caroline St-Pierre, The Canadian Press