Justin Bieber revealed Friday that he has been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has left half of his face paralyzed. The news comes after Bieber postponed several upcoming concerts because of a previously unidentified illness.
In an Instagram video Friday, Bieber showed fans that he can only do things like blinking and smiling with one side of his face.
“For those who are frustrated by my cancellation of the next shows, I’m just physically obviously not capable of doing them,” Bieber said. “This is pretty serious as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down. And I hope you guys understand.”
While Bieber said the illness was “serious,” he added he has been doing facial exercises to get movement back. Bieber added that his face “will go back to normal,” but said it will take an undetermined amount of time.
“It’s gonna be OK. And I hope and I trust God and I trust that this is all for a reason — and I’m not sure what that is right now, but in the meantime I’m gonna rest, and I love you guys,” Bieber said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs when a virus affects the facial nerves near a person’s ear. The Mayo Clinic said the syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss, but noted that quick treatment can reduce the risk of long-term complications.
As part of his Justice World Tour, Bieber was scheduled to play back to back shows in Toronto on June 7 and 8 and a show in Washington D.C. on June 10. All three shows have now been postponed.
The news comes as Bieber fans have waited for years to see the pop star on tour. The Justice World Tour was first scheduled to take place in 2020 as the “Changes World Tour,” to celebrate Bieber’s fifth studio album release, but that tour was one of the first major concert series to be postponed in the U.S. due to the coronavirus.
In 2021, the tour was rebranded as The Justin Bieber World Tour but was postponed again in 2021 over variant concerns. Restarting as The Justice World Tour, concert dates were again postponed when Bieber tested positive for COVID-19 in February 2022.
The next scheduled tour dates for the Justice World Tour are June 13 and 14 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Bieber has not said whether he will be healthy enough to perform, but said he’ll “be using this time to just rest and relax and get back to 100% so that I can do what I was born to do.”