Justin Bieber went on Instagram today to reveal the full reason that he recently canceled a run of shows in Toronto and Washington D.C., explaining (and demonstrating) to an audience of millions of fans that he’s suffering from a form of facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
(Specifically, Ramsay Hunt syndrome type II, which occurs when the chickenpox/shingles virus reactivates in adults, specifically affecting facial nerves and causing a full half of your face to freeze up. In case you, uh, needed something else to be freaked out by today.)
In the video, Bieber talks straight to camera, revealing clearly that the muscles on the right side of his face appear to functionally immobile. He released the video after his camp received critiques over the cancellation of the earlier shows, which are part of Bieber’s ongoing Justice tour. At the time, the Toronto venue posted a note that “Due to non-COVID related illness, the Justice Tour has postponed this week’s Toronto shows.”
Bieber seems optimistic enough in the video, recounting his strong desire to get back on tour as quickly as possible. (Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome can last for as long as three months; they can also cause permanent hearing loss if left untreated. Again: Shingles, not fucking around.)
“It will go back to normal,” Bieber said in the video, which has been viewed by 15 million people today. “[It will take] time, and we don’t know how much time that’s gonna be, but it’s gonna be okay. And I have hope, and I trust God, and I trust that this is all for a reason. I’m not sure what that is right now. But in the meantime, I’m gonna rest.”
Bieber’s current tour was expected to sweep down into New York over the next few weeks before heading across the continent to L.A. on July 3. (An international leg was expected to take up the back half of the year.) Obviously, all of those dates are now in flux for the foreseeable future.