The Grammys

Taylor Swift stirs controversy after alleged Céline Dion snub

Author: Jay Stahl, USA TODAY Source: USA Today
February 5, 2024 at 12:27

Music superstar Taylor Swift was spotted hugging international icon Céline Dion after fans accused the "Midnights&" hitmaker of snubbing her onstage.

Taylor Swift embraced Céline Dion backstage at the Grammy Awards after the Canadian songstress handed the artist her fourth album of the year win – but that wasn't the moment that had everyone talking.

Dion, a five-time Grammy winner in her own right, shocked the star-studded audience when she walked out to her hit "The Power of Love" to present the final award of the night. Stars including Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish rose to their feet as Swift sang along to Dion's song.

"Thank you all. I love you right back," Dion said, donning a pastel gown and brown coat. "When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart.
 

Celine Dion and Taylor Swift pose, as Swift hugs the icon after fans allege she snubbed the international music icon, backstage at the 2024 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Celine Dion and Taylor Swift pose,
as Swift hugs the icon after fans allege
she snubbed the international music icon,
backstage at the 2024 Grammy
Awards in Los Angeles.
Kevin Mazur, Getty Images For The Recording A

Celine Dion's surprise Grammys appearance gets standing ovation amid health battle

"Those who have been blessed enough to be here, the Grammy Awards, must never take for granted the tremendous love and joy that music bring to our lives and to people all around the world," continued Dion. "And now it gives me great joy to present a Grammy Award that two legends — Diana Ross and Sting — presented to me 27 years ago."

Then, Dion announced living history as Swift became the first person to win album of the year four times with "Midnights." But things took a turn when Swift walked onstage with an entourage, amid a flurry of emotions, and seemingly snubbed Dion by grabbing the award without saying anything to the international music icon. USA TODAY has reached out to reps for Swift and Dion for comment.

Taylor Swift announces brand-new album at Grammys: 'The Tortured Poets Department'

 

Taylor Swift faces backlash: 'Biggest disappointment'

The moment sparked fan backlash aimed at Time Magazine's 2023 Person of the Year.

"My biggest disappointment of the Grammys was Taylor Swift winning Album of the year and hugging all of her people but taking the trophy from Celine Dion as if she was the hat-check girl, and not seeming to realize how very amazing it was that Celine was standing there at all," one user wrote on X.

"I don’t like how Tay didn’t acknowledge Queen Celine. #GRAMMYs," recording artist and "The Real Housewives of Potomac" star Candiace Dillard Bassett posted to X.

Another user took to X to seemingly express their disappointment with Swift, but also came to her defense.

"Was disappointed Taylor didn’t even address Celine. Giving her grace—she was excited or buzzed but no likey," the account said.

Later, Swift and Dion were spotted backstage in a now-viral photo. Swift embraced Dion, who was all smiles. Swift is kicking off the 2024 leg of her groundbreaking Eras Tour before a possible return to the U.S. to watch beau and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce compete in the Super Bowl on Feb. 11 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Earlier in the night, Swift announced her 11th studio album, "The Tortured Poets Department" while accepting an award for best pop vocal album. The award was her 13th Grammy, which is her lucky number
 

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the
66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
ROBYN BECK, AFP Via Getty Images


Celine Dion's Grammy appearance comes amid health battle with stiff person syndrome

Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that affects one or two in a million people, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The disease causes "progressive muscle stiffness and painful spasms" that can be triggered by environmental factors such as "sudden movement, cold temperature or unexpected loud noises," according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
 

Celine Dion presents the award for Album Of The Year during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Celine Dion presents the award for
Album Of The Year during
the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.
Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

Dion announced that her health journey would be chronicled in a documentary, "I Am: Celine Dion," to debut on Amazon's Prime Video. A premiere date was not announced.

"The last couple of years (have) 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," Dion said on Instagram. "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. During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis."

Contributing: Erin Jensen

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