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Musician Stevens (at a performance in Paris in 2015): No promotion possible


David Wolff - Patrick / Redferns

The American musician Sufjan Stevens has shared his experiences with a serious illness with symptoms of paralysis. "I woke up one day last month and couldn't walk. My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility," the 48-year-old wrote on Tumblr.

Stevens says he has an autoimmune disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause severe paralysis. He writes: "It's a slow process, but they say I'm going to 'recover,' it takes a lot of time, patience and hard work."

After an acute treatment that saved his life, he has now been in rehab for two weeks, the musician described. Stevens was confident. Most patients would be able to walk independently again after one year. He thanked his doctors and nurses. "I owe my life to them," he wrote, and "they are living saints."

Sufjan Stevens received an Oscar nomination in 2018 for his song »Mystery of Love«. The song can be found on the soundtrack of "Call Me By Your Name" and was also nominated at the Grammy Awards in the same year. While he was defeated by »Shallow« by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, the Oscar went to »Remember Me« from the Pixar animated film »Coco«.

But long before Hollywood discovered him, multi-instrumentalist Stevens had been celebrated in the indie scene. In 2006, SPIEGEL described him as a cranky protagonist of the »New Weird America« music genre. At that time, two of his concept albums had already been released about US states, but Stevens did not implement the original plan to sing not only Illinois and Michigan, but all 50 states. But younger albums such as »Carrie & Lovell« or »The Ascension« were also given high scores in the »Listened« section on SPIEGEL.de.

His new album »Javelin« is scheduled for release next month, with October 6th listed as the release date on the online sales site Bandcamp. He was unable to participate in the promotion and press work for health reasons, Stevens explains in his social media update. There will also be no live presentation in the foreseeable future. First of all, he has to learn to walk again, says Sufjan Stevens.