Justin Bieber says he cancelled Toronto shows over ‘pretty serious’ facial paralysis

Pop star Justin Bieber says he cancelled his appearances in Toronto this week because of an ailment that has caused “full paralysis” to one side of his face.

Bieber said Friday he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS).

“For those frustrated by my cancellations … I’m just physically, obviously, not capable of doing them,” the singer from Stratford, Ont., said on Instagram.

He appeared unable to move much of the right side of his face, saying in the video he was not able to blink or smile on that side.

According to the U.S. National Organization for Rare Diseases, RHS is a “rare neurological disorder characterized by paralysis of the facial nerve (facial palsy) and a rash affecting the ear or mouth.” The Mayo Clinic says the facial paralysis associated with RHS is usually temporary, but can become permanent.

“This is pretty serious,” Bieber said, adding he will take the time off to recover and hopes his fans understand.

On Tuesday, Bieber postponed two shows at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena hours before he was supposed to take the stage for the first. He also postponed a Friday appearance in Washington.

It was the latest setback for Bieber’s Toronto dates, which had already been delayed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bieber has faced a number of health issues in recent years. In early 2020, he went public with a Lyme disease diagnosis, while also saying he’d faced a serious case of chronic mononucleosis.

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