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Justin Bieber says resuming shows took a ‘real toll’ on him, announces break from touring

In June, the singer announced he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome. 
/ Source: TODAY

Justin Bieber is stepping away from the stage and focusing on his health.

On Tuesday, the “Peaches” singer revealed to his fans that he will be taking a break from his worldwide “Justice” tour.

“Earlier this year, I went public about my battle with Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome, where my face was partly paralyzed,” he began in a statement posted to his Instagram story. “As the result of this illness, I was not able to complete the North America leg of the Justice Tour.”

Bieber finished his tour dates in Europe and performed in Brazil on Sept. 4 for the massive Rock in Rio music festival. 

Sziget Festival 2022 - Day Three
Justin Bieber performs on Day Three of the Sziget Festival 2022 on Óbudai-sziget Island on Aug. 12, 2022, in Budapest, Hungary.Joseph Okpako / WireImage

He said, “After resting and consulting with my doctors, family and team, I went to Europe in an effort to continue with the tour. I performed six live shows, but it took a real toll on me.”

The 28-year-old musician then tried to push through for his Brazilian fans. 

“This past weekend, I performed at Rock in Rio and I gave everything I have to the people in Brazil,” Bieber explained. 

He continued, “After getting off stage, the exhaustion overtook me and I realized that I need to make my health the priority right now. So I’m going to take a break from touring for the time being.”

Bieber assured fans that he will fully recover.

“I’m going to be ok, but I need time to rest and get better,” he wrote. 

At the end of the statement, Bieber said he was “proud” he could share his show and “message of ‘Justice’” with the world. He also expressed his love and gratitude for his fans who have supported him during his health struggles. 

Bieber first revealed back in June that he was suffering from Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

He uploaded a video to Instagram to show fans how the condition was affecting his facial movements. 

“I wanted to update you guys on what’s been going on,” he said at the time. “Obviously, as you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis.”

He added, “As you can see this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.” 

In an expired Instagram story, he referred to his battle with health issues as “a horrific storm.”

His announcement came a few days after he told fans he had to cancel some of his upcoming shows due to a “sickness.”

As he recovered from Ramsay Hunt syndrome, the Grammy winner continued to postpone more tour dates for the U.S. “Justice” tour. 

His tour promoter, AEG Presents, said in a statement posted on Twitter that Bieber was feeling “upbeat about his recovery.” 

Wife Hailey Bieber also alleviated some fans’ concerns when she appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” after his announcement and shared that her husband was “going to be totally OK.”

As Bieber explained in his video, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a type of rare viral infection that can cause paralysis of the facial nerve as well as a painful rash in the ear — on one side of the head.  It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which can also lead to a chickenpox and shingles diagnosis.

“The facial nerve can become inflamed and have swelling, which leads to the inability to move the lower part of the face, move the eyebrows, or close the eyes completely,” Dr. Anna Pace, a New York-based neurologist at the Mount Sinai Center for Headache and Facial Pain, told TODAY in June.

Pace said the infection can also affect the cranial nerve, which is responsible for hearing and balance. 

“You can also have ear pain, ringing in the ears, feeling like the room is spinning or vertigo, or sensitivity to sound,” she said. 

Although those diagnosed with the condition won’t heal overnight, Ramsay Hunt syndrome is treatable and most patients recover within three to four months.

Treatment — like steroids and antiviral medication — should start as soon as possible because “if you don’t receive treatment, it’s much harder to recover,” Pace said. 

Severe cases can result in permanent paralysis, damaged nerves, facial asymmetry and eye damage. 

Getting vaccinated for chickenpox and shingles are the best ways to prevent Ramsay Hunt syndrome and its complications.