(m. 1994; died 2016)
Céline Marie Claudette Dion / /, born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer. She is noted for her powerful and technically skilled vocals. Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from pop to rock and R&B to gospel and classical. She is the best-selling Canadian recording artist in history and the best-selling French language artist in history.(
Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, she emerged as a teen star in her home country with a series of French-language albums during the 1980s. She first gained international recognition by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented Switzerland. After learning to speak English, she signed on to Epic Records in the United States. In 1990, Dion released her debut English-language album, Unison, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world. Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she has also sung in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese.
During the 1990s, she achieved worldwide fame after releasing several best-selling English-language albums in music history, such as Falling into You (1996) and Let's Talk About Love (1997), which were both certified diamond in the US and over 30 million sales worldwide each. She also scored a series of international number-one hits, including "The Power of Love", "Think Twice", "Because You Loved Me", "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", "My Heart Will Go On", and "I'm Your Angel". Dion continued releasing French albums between each English record; D'eux (1995) became the best-selling French-language album of all time, while S'il suffisait d'aimer (1998), Sans attendre (2012), and Encore un soir (2016), were all certified diamond in France. During the 2000s, she built her reputation as a highly successful live performer with A New Day... on the Las Vegas Strip (2003–07), which remains the highest-grossing concert residency of all time, as well as the Taking Chances World Tour (2008–09), one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.
Dion is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with record sales of more than 200 million worldwide. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, Dion is regarded as one of pop music's most successful vocalists. She has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Billboard named her the "Queen of Adult Contemporary" for having the most number-one songs on the radio format for a female artist. Dion is the second best-selling female artist in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan, the 8th all-time best-performing top female artist in the United States, and the sixth all-time best-performing female soloist in Billboard 200 history. In 2003, she was honoured by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for selling over 50 million albums in Europe.
Life and career
1968–1989: Early life and career beginnings
Dion was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, 24 kilometres (15 mi) northeast of Montreal, the youngest of 14 children of Thérèse (née Tanguay, 1927–2020), a homemaker, and Adhémar Dion (1923–2003), a butcher, both of French-Canadian descent. She was raised a Roman Catholic in a poor but, by her own account, happy home in Charlemagne. Music had always been a major part of the Dion family, and she was named after the song "Céline", which French singer Hugues Aufray had recorded two years before her birth. On 13 August 1973, at the age of five, the young Céline made her first public appearance at her brother Michel's wedding, where she performed Christine Charbonneau's song "Du fil, des aiguilles et du coton". She continued to perform with her siblings in her parents' small piano bar called Le Vieux Baril, "The Old Barrel". From an early age, she had dreamed of being a performer. In a 1994 interview with People magazine, she recalled, "I missed my family and my home, but I don't regret having lost my adolescence. I had one dream: I wanted to be a singer." As a child in Quebec, Dion participated in Girl Guide programs as a member of Girl Guides of Canada.
At age 12, she collaborated with her mother and her brother Jacques to write and compose her first song, "Ce n'était qu'un rêve", whose title translates as "It Was Only a Dream" or "Nothing But A Dream". Her brother Michel sent the recording to music manager René Angélil, whose name he discovered on the back of a Ginette Reno album. Angélil was moved to tears by Dion's voice and decided to make her a star. In 1981, he mortgaged his home to fund her first record, La voix du bon Dieu, which later became a local No. 1 hit and made her an instant star in Quebec. Her popularity spread to other parts of the world when she competed in the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan, and won the musician's award for "Top Performer" as well as the gold medal for "Best Song" with "Tellement j'ai d'amour pour toi".
By 1983, in addition to becoming the first Canadian artist to receive a gold record in France for the single "D'amour ou d'amitié" ("Of Love or of Friendship"), Dion had also won several Félix Awards, including "Best Female performer" and "Discovery of the Year". Further success came when she represented Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi" and won the contest by a close margin in Dublin, Ireland.
At age eighteen, after seeing a Michael Jackson performance, Dion told Angélil that she wanted to be a star like Jackson. Though confident in her talent, Angélil realized that her image needed to be changed for her to be marketed worldwide. She receded from the spotlight for a number of months, during which she underwent dental surgery to improve her appearance, and was sent to the École Berlitz in 1989 to polish her English.
In 1989, during a concert on the Incognito tournée, she injured her voice. She consulted the otorhinolaryngologist William Gould, who gave her an ultimatum: have immediate surgery on her vocal cords or do not utilize them at all for three weeks. Dion chose the latter and underwent vocal training with William Riley.
1990–1992: Unison, Dion chante Plamondon and Celine Dion
Two years after she learned English, Dion made her debut into the Anglophone market with Unison (1990), the lead single having originally been recorded by Laura Branigan. She incorporated the help of many established musicians, including Vito Luprano and Canadian producer David Foster. The album was largely influenced by 1980s soft rock music that quickly found a niche within the adult contemporary radio format. Unison also hit the right notes with critics: Jim Faber of Entertainment Weekly wrote that her vocals were "tastefully unadorned", and that she never attempted to "bring off styles that are beyond her". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic declared it "a fine, sophisticated American debut". Singles from the album included "(If There Was) Any Other Way", "The Last to Know", "Unison", and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", a mid-tempo soft-rock ballad that made prominent use of the electric guitar. The latter became her first top-ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number four. In 1991, Dion was a featured soloist on "Voices That Care", a tribute to American troops fighting in Operation Desert Storm.
Her real international breakthrough came when she duetted with Peabo Bryson on the title track to Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991). It became her first top-ten hit in the UK and her second top-ten hit in the US. The song earned its songwriters an Academy Award for Best Song and gave Dion her first Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "Beauty and the Beast" served as the lead single from her 1992 self-titled album, which, like her debut, had a strong pop rock influence combined with elements of soul and classical music. Owing to the success of the lead-off single and her collaborations with David Foster and Diane Warren, the album was even more well-received commercially than Unison; it was certified diamond in Canada and double platinum in the US. The album's second single "If You Asked Me To" (a cover of Patti LaBelle's song from the 1989 movie Licence to Kill) became her first number-one single in Canada and peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Also during this time, Dion released the Francophone album Dion chante Plamondon. The album consisted mostly of covers, but featured four new songs: "Des mots qui sonnent", "Je danse dans ma tête", "Quelqu'un que j'aime, quelqu'un qui m'aime" and "L'amour existe encore". It was originally released in Canada and France during the 1991–1992 period, then later received an international release in 1994, the first French Celine Dion album to do so. "Un garçon pas comme les autres (Ziggy)" became a smash hit in France, reaching No. 2 and being certified gold. In Quebec, the album was certified Gold the day it was released.
By 1992, Unison, Céline Dion, and numerous high-profile media appearances had propelled Dion to superstardom in North America. She had achieved one of her main objectives: wedging her way into the Anglophone market and achieving fame. However, while she was experiencing rising success in the US, her French fans in Canada criticized her for neglecting them. She would later rebuff these criticisms at the 1991 Félix Awards show, where, after winning "English Artist of the Year", she openly refused to accept the award. She asserted that she was—and would always be—a French, not an English, artist. Apart from her commercial success, there were also changes in her personal life, as Angélil, who was twenty-six years her senior, transitioned from manager to lover. However, the relationship was kept a secret as they both feared that the public would find their relations inappropriate.
1993–1995: The Colour of My Love and D'eux
In 1993, Dion announced her feelings for her manager by declaring him "the colour of [her] love" in the dedication section of her third English-language album The Colour of My Love. However, instead of criticizing their relationship as she had feared, fans embraced the couple. Eventually, Angélil and Dion married in an extravagant wedding ceremony in 17 December 1994, which was broadcast live on Canadian television.
As with most of her catalogue, The Colour of My Love had over-riding themes of love and romance. It became her most successful record up to that point, selling more than six million copies in the US, two million in Canada, and peaking at No. 1 in many countries. The album also spawned Dion's first US, Canadian, and Australian No. 1 single "The Power of Love" (a remake of Jennifer Rush's 1985 hit), which would become her signature hit in various nations until she reached new career heights in the late 1990s.
The single "When I Fall in Love", a duet with Clive Griffin, achieved moderate success on the US and Canadian charts and was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning one. The Colour of My Love also became Dion's first major hit in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom. Both the album and the single "Think Twice" simultaneously occupied the top of the British charts for five consecutive weeks. "Think Twice", which remained at No. 1 for seven weeks, eventually became the fourth single by a female artist to sell in excess of one million copies in the UK while the album was eventually certified five-times platinum for two million copies sold.
Dion kept to her French roots and continued to release many Francophone recordings between each English record. Generally, they achieved more credibility than her English-language works. She released À l'Olympia, a live album that was recorded during one of her concerts at the Paris Olympia in 1994. It had one promotional single, a live version of "Calling You", which peaked at seventy-five on the French Singles Chart. She also recorded a bilingual version of "Petit Papa Noël" with Alvin and the Chipmunks for the 1994 holiday album A Very Merry Chipmunk. D'eux (also known as The French Album in the United States), was released in 1995, and it would go on to become the best-selling French-language album of all time. The album was mostly written and produced by Jean-Jacques Goldman, and amassed huge success with the singles "Pour que tu m'aimes encore" and "Je sais pas". "Pour que tu m'aimes encore" reached No. 1 in France and stayed at the top position for twelve weeks. It was later certified Platinum in France. The single reached the top ten in the UK and Ireland, a rare accomplishment for a French song. The second single off the album, "Je sais pas", reached No. 1 on the French Singles Chart as well and was certified Silver there.
During the mid-1990s and onward, Dion's albums were generally constructed on the basis of melodramatic soft rock ballads, with sprinklings of up-tempo pop and rare forays into other genres. She collaborated with many renowned writers and producers such as Jim Steinman and David Foster, who helped her to develop a signature sound. While critical reviews fluctuated, her releases performed increasingly well on the international charts, and in 1996, she won the World Music Award for "World's Best-selling Female Recording Artist of the Year" for the third time. By the mid-1990s, she had established herself as one of the best-selling artists in the world.
1996–1999: Falling into You, Let's Talk About Love and S'il suffisait d'aimer
In the five years since her debut English language album in 1990, Billboard stated that she had already sold 40 million albums worldwide. Falling into You (1996), Dion's fourth English-language album, presented the singer at the height of her popularity and showed a further progression of her music. In an attempt to reach a wider audience, the album combined many elements, such as complex orchestral sounds, African chanting, and elaborate musical effects. Additionally, instruments like the violin, Spanish guitar, trombone, the cavaquinho, and saxophone created a new sound. The singles encompassed a variety of musical styles. The title track "Falling into You" and "River Deep – Mountain High" (a Tina Turner cover) made prominent use of percussion instruments; "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (produced by its writer Jim Steinman) and a remake of Eric Carmen's "All by Myself" maintained a soft-rock atmosphere, combined with the classical sound of the piano; and the No. 1 single "Because You Loved Me", which was written by Diane Warren, was a pop ballad that served as the theme to the 1996 film Up Close and Personal.
Falling into You garnered career-best reviews for Dion. While Dan Leroy wrote that it was not very different from her previous work, and Stephen Holden of The New York Times and Natalie Nichols of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the album was formulaic, other critics, such as Chuck Eddy of Entertainment Weekly, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, and Daniel Durchholz, lavished the album as "compelling", "passionate", "stylish", "elegant", and "remarkably well-crafted". Falling into You became Dion's most critically and commercially successful album: it topped the charts in many countries and became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
In 2013, CBC Music ranked Falling into You 33rd in their list of the 100 greatest Canadian albums ever. In the United States, the album reached No. 1, and was later certified 11× Platinum for over 11 million copies shipped. In Canada, the album was certified diamond for over one million copies shipped. The IFPI certified Falling into You 9× Platinum, an accolade that has been given to only two other albums in history, with one of the two being Dion's own album, Let's Talk About Love. The album also won Grammy Awards for Best Pop Album and the academy's highest honour, Album of the Year.
Dion was asked to perform "The Power of the Dream" at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In March 1996, she launched the Falling into You Tour in support of her new album, performing concerts around the world for over a year.
She followed Falling into You with Let's Talk About Love (1997), which was publicized as its sequel. The recording process took place in London, New York City, and Los Angeles, and featured a host of special guests, such as Barbra Streisand on "Tell Him"; the Bee Gees on "Immortality"; and tenor Luciano Pavarotti on "I Hate You Then I Love You". Other musicians included Carole King, Sir George Martin, Bryan Adams and Jamaican singer Diana King, who added a reggae tinge to "Treat Her Like a Lady".
Let's Talk About Love was another major success, reaching No. 1 all over the world, attaining platinum status in twenty-four sales territories, and becoming the fastest selling album of her career. In the United States, the album topped the chart in its seventh week of release, and was later certified 10× Platinum in the US for over 10 million copies shipped. In Canada, the album sold 230,212 copies in its first week of release, which remains a record. It was eventually certified diamond in Canada for over one million copies shipped. The most successful single from the album was the classically influenced ballad "My Heart Will Go On", which was written and composed by James Horner and Will Jennings, and produced by Horner and Walter Afanasieff.
Serving as the love theme for the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, the song topped the charts across the world and became Dion's signature song. Horner and Jennings won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, while Dion herself garnered two Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and the most coveted, Record of the Year, (the song itself won four awards, but two were presented to the songwriters). "My Heart Will Go On" and "Think Twice" made her the only female artist in the UK to have two singles to sell more than a million copies. In support of her album, she embarked on the Let's Talk About Love Tour between 1998 and 1999.
Dion ended the 1990s with three more extremely successful albums: the Christmas album These Are Special Times (1998), the French-language album, S'il suffisait d'aimer, and the compilation album All the Way... A Decade of Song (1999). On These Are Special Times, she co-wrote the song "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day" along with Ric Wake and Peter Zizzo. The album was her most classically influenced yet, with orchestral arrangements found on virtually every track. The album featured the single "I'm Your Angel" (a duet with R. Kelly), which became her fourth US No. 1 single, and a smash hit across the world. The album's second single "The Prayer" (a duet with Andrea Bocelli) served as the soundtrack of the 1998 film Quest for Camelot and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. All the Way... A Decade of Song drew together her most successful hits coupled with seven new songs, including the lead-off single "That's the Way It Is", a cover of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", and "All the Way", a duet with Frank Sinatra. All the Way became one of the best-selling compilation albums of all time, reaching No. 1 in the United States for three weeks. The album was later certified 7x Platinum in the US for 7 million copies shipped. It also topped the charts in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Her last French-language studio album of the 1990s, S'il suffisait d'aimer, was very successful as well, topping the charts in every major French-speaking country, including France, Switzerland, the Wallonia region of Belgium, and Canada. In France, the album was certified diamond, selling 1.5 million copies. By the end of the 1990s, Dion had sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and had won a slew of industry awards. Her status as one of the music industry's biggest pop divas was further solidified when she was asked to perform on VH1's Divas Live special in 1998, with superstars Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, and Mariah Carey. That year, she also received two of the highest Canadian honours: "Officer of the Order of Canada for Outstanding Contribution to the World of Contemporary Music" and "Officer of the National Order of Quebec". A year later, she was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, and was honoured with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
Starting from the mid-1990s, the pop rock influence that was more noticeable in her earlier releases was replaced by a more mature feel. Additionally, the recurring theme of "love" dominated most of her releases, which led to some critics dismissing her music as banal. Other critics, like Elysa Gardner and Jose F. Promis, praised her voice during this period, describing it as a "technical marvel". Steve Dollar, in his review of These Are Special Times, opined that Dion was a "vocal Olympian for whom there ain't no mountain—or scale—high enough".
2000–2003: Hiatus, A New Day Has Come, One Heart and 1 fille & 4 types
After releasing and promoting thirteen albums during the 1990s, Dion stated that she needed to settle down, and announced on her latest album All the Way... A Decade of Song, that she needed to take a step back from the spotlight and enjoy life. Angélil's diagnosis with esophageal cancer also prompted her to hiatus. While on break, she was unable to escape the spotlight. In 2000, the National Enquirer published a false story about the singer. Brandishing a picture of Dion and her husband, the magazine misquoted her, printing the headline, "Celine — 'I'm Pregnant With Twins!'" She later sued the magazine for more than $20 million. The editors of the Enquirer printed an apology and a full retraction to her in the next issue, and donated money to the American Cancer Society in honour of her and her husband. A year after the incident, after undergoing fertility treatments, she gave birth to a son, René-Charles Dion Angélil, on 25 January 2001, in Florida.
Following the 11 September attacks, Dion returned to the music scene, and in a televised performance sang "God Bless America" at the benefit concert America: A Tribute to Heroes. Chuck Taylor of Billboard wrote, "the performance ... brings to mind what has made her one of the celebrated vocalists of our time: the ability to render emotion that shakes the soul. Affecting, meaningful, and filled with grace, this is a musical reflection to share with all of us still searching for ways to cope." She performed it again in 2003 during pregame festivities for Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego. In December 2001, she published her autobiography My Story, My Dream which chronicled her rags-to-riches story.
Dion ended her three-year sabbatical from the music industry with the aptly titled album A New Day Has Come, released in March 2002. The album was her most personal yet, with songs focusing on her motherhood and maturation as a woman such as "A New Day Has Come", and "Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)". She stated: "becoming a mother makes you a grown-up." She stated, "A New Day Has Come, for Rene, for me, is the baby. It has everything to do with the baby ... That song "A New Day Has Come" represents very well the mood I'm feeling right now. It represents the whole album." A New Day Has Come debuted at No. 1 in more than 17 countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 527,000 copies; marking her first No. 1 debut on the chart, as well as the highest debut sales week of her career in the US. It was eventually certified 3× Platinum in the United States, and 6× Platinum in Canada.
While the album was commercially successful, critical reviews suggested that it was "forgettable" and the lyrics were "lifeless". Both Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone magazine, and Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly, stated that Dion's music had not developed much during her break, and classed her material as trite and mediocre. Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called the album "a lengthy collection of drippy, gooey pop fluffer-nutter". The first single off the album, A New Day Has Come peaked at No.22 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, being an airplay-only release. On the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, however, the song spent 21 consecutive weeks at No. 1, breaking the record for the longest span at the top. The previous record holders were Phil Collins' You'll Be in My Heart and Dion's own Because You Loved Me, both of which lasted nineteen weeks at No. 1. The album's next single, "I'm Alive", was featured on the soundtrack for Stuart Little 2 (2002), and was ranked number 2 on the European Hot 100 Singles, and number 6 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks in the United States. During 2002, she performed for many benefit concerts, including her second appearance on VH1 Divas Live, a concert to benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, alongside Cher, Anastacia, Dixie Chicks, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper, Shakira, and Stevie Nicks.
In conjunction with an endorsement deal with Chrysler, she released One Heart (2003), an album that represented her appreciation for life. The album largely consisted of pop and dance music—a deviation from the soaring, melodramatic ballads, for which she had been known. Although the album achieved moderate success, One Heart was met with mixed criticism, and words such as "predictable" and "banal" appeared even in the most lenient reviews. A cover of the 1989 Cyndi Lauper hit "I Drove All Night", released to launch her advertising campaign with Chrysler, incorporated elements of dance-pop and rock and roll. The advertising deal was met with criticism, with some stating that Dion was trying to cater to her sponsors.
After One Heart, she released her next English-language studio album, Miracle (2004). Miracle was a multimedia project conceived by Dion and Australian photographer Anne Geddes and had a theme centring on babies and motherhood. The album was filled with lullabies and other songs of maternal love and inspiration, including covers of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" and John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy". The reviews for Miracle were mixed. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.com gave the album three of out five stars, stating, "The worst you can say about the record is that there are no surprises, but the audience for this record doesn't want surprises; they want comfort, whether it arrives in polished music or artsy photos of newborns, and Miracle provides both, which makes it appealing for those expectant or new mothers in Dion's audience." Chuck Taylor of Billboard magazine wrote that the single "Beautiful Boy" was "an unexpected gem" and called Dion "a timeless, enormously versatile artist", Chuck Arnold of People Magazine, however, labelled the album as excessively sentimental, while Nancy Miller of Entertainment Weekly opined that "the whole earth-mama act is just opportunism, reborn". Miracle debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 in Canada and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA.
The francophone album 1 fille & 4 types (1 Girl & 4 Guys), released in October 2003, fared better than her previous two releases and showed her trying to distance herself from the "diva" image. She recruited Jean-Jacques Goldman, Gildas Arzel, Eric Benzi, and Jacques Veneruso, with whom she had previously worked on two of her best-selling French albums S'il suffisait d'aimer and D'eux. Labeled "the album of pleasure" by Dion herself, the album cover showed her in a simple and relaxed manner, contrary to the choreographed poses usually found on her album covers. The album achieved widespread commercial success in France, Canada, and Belgium where it reached No. 1. In France, the album debuted at No. 1 and was later certified 2× platinum after selling over 700,000 copies. Critic Stephen Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that Dion's vocals were "back at top of their game" and that she was "getting back to pop basics and performing at a level unheard in a while".
Though her albums were commercially successful, they did not achieve the sales or the reception of her previous works. Her songs received less airplay as radio became less embracing of balladeers like Dion, Carey, and Houston, and was focused on more up-tempo, Urban/Hip-hop songs. By 2004, Dion had accumulated sales of more than 175 million albums worldwide and received the Chopard Diamond Award from the World Music Awards for her achievements. According to the official World Music Awards website, the award is rare; it is "not presented every year" and an artist can be presented with the award only for selling "over 100 million albums during their career".
2003–2007: A New Day...
In early 2002, Dion announced a three-year, 600-show contract to appear five nights a week in an entertainment extravaganza, A New Day..., at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. This move was generally seen as risky, but journalist Miriam Nunzio wrote that it was "one of the smartest business decisions in years by any major recording artist". Dion conceived the show after seeing O by Franco Dragone during her break from recording, and it premiered on 25 March 2003, in a 4,000-seat arena specifically designed for her show and modelled after the Roman Colosseum. Many stars attended the opening night including Dick Clark, Alan Thicke, Kathy Griffin, Lance Bass, and Justin Timberlake, who hosted the television special. The show, directed by Dragone and choreographed by the renowned Mia Michaels, was a combination of dance, music, and visual effects. It included Dion performing her biggest hits against an array of dancers and special effects. Reviewer Mike Weatherford felt that, at first, Dion was not as relaxed as she should be, and at times, it was hard to find the singer among the excessive stage ornamentation and dancers. However, he noted that the show had become more enjoyable over the course of its run, because of her improved stage-presence and simplified costumes.
The show was well-received by audiences, despite the complaints of expensive tickets; it routinely sold out until its end in late 2007. Ticket prices averaged $135.33. According to Pollstar, Dion sold 322,000 tickets and grossed US$43.9 million in the first half of 2005, and by July 2005, she had sold out 315 out of 384 shows. By the end of 2005, she grossed more than US$76 million, placing sixth on Billboard's Money Makers list for 2005. Because of the show's success, her contract was extended into 2007 for an undisclosed sum. On 5 January 2007, it was announced that the show would end on 15 December 2007, with tickets for the period after October 2007 having gone on sale from 1 March. According to Billboard, A New Day... is the most successful residency of all time, grossing over US$385 million ($480.52 million in 2020 dollars) and drawing nearly three million people to 717 shows. The Live in Las Vegas: A New Day... DVD was released on 10 December 2007, in Europe and the following day in North America.
2007–2010: D'elles, Taking Chances and Taking Chances Tour
On 21 May 2007, Dion released the French-language album D'elles (About Them), which debuted at the top of the Canadian album charts, selling 72,200 copies in its first week. It marked her tenth No. 1 album in the SoundScan era, and her eighth to debut at the top position. In Canada, the album has been certified 2× platinum, and within the first month had already shipped half a million units worldwide. D'Elles also reached No. 1 in France and Belgium. The first single "Et s'il n'en restait qu'une (je serais celle-là)" (meaning "And If There Was Only One Woman Left (I Would Be That One)") debuted at the top of the French singles chart a month earlier. Later that same year, she released the English album Taking Chances on 12 November in Europe, and 13 November in North America. Her first English studio album since 2003's One Heart, it featured pop, R&B, and rock inspired music. For this album, she collaborated with John Shanks and ex-Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, as well as Kristian Lundin, Peer Åström, Linda Perry, Japanese singer Yuna Ito, and R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. Dion stated, "I think this album represents a positive evolution in my career ... I'm feeling strong, maybe a little gutsier than in the past, and just as passionate about music and life as I ever was." She launched her year-long worldwide Taking Chances Tour on 14 February 2008, in South Africa, performing 132 dates in stadiums and arenas across five continents.
The Taking Chances Tour was a great success in the United States, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Boxscore, having sold out every concert in the US and Canada. In addition, she appeared on Idol Gives Back for a second year in a row. Dion was nominated for six Juno Awards in 2008, adding to her 53 previous nominations (an all-time record). Her nominations included Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year (for Taking Chances), Francophone Album of the Year (for D'elles) and Album of the Year (for both Taking Chances and D'elles). The following year, she was nominated for 3 Juno Awards including the Fan Choice Award, Song of the Year (for Taking Chances), and Music DVD of the Year (for Live in Las Vegas — A New Day...)
On 22 August 2008, Dion presented a free outdoor concert, mostly in French, on the Plains of Abraham, in Québec City, Canada, for the 400th anniversary of Québec City. The celebration gathered approximately 490,000 people. The concert, called Céline sur les Plaines, was released on DVD on 11 November 2008, in Québec and was released on 20 May 2009, in France. Late October 2008 saw the worldwide release of a comprehensive English-language greatest hits album, My Love: Essential Collection.
In May 2009, Dion was named the 20th best-selling artist of the decade and the second-best-selling female artist of the decade in the United States, selling an estimated 17.57 million copies of her albums there since 2000. In June 2009, Forbes reported that she earned $100 million during 2008. In December 2009, Pollstar announced that she was the best-selling solo touring act of the decade and the second-best-selling touring act of the decade, behind only the Dave Matthews Band. she grossed $522.2 million during the decade, a large portion of that sum coming from her five-year residency at Caesars Palace.
On 17 February 2010, Dion released into theatres a documentary film about her Taking Chances Tour, titled, Celine: Through the Eyes of the World. The documentary shows behind-the-scenes footage of her both onstage and offstage, along with footage of her with her family as they travelled the world with her. The distributor is the Sony Pictures subsidiary, Hot Ticket. The film was later released on Blu-ray and DVD on 4 May 2010, along with the CD/DVD, Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert. At the 52nd Grammy Awards in February 2010, Dion joined Carrie Underwood, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, and Smokey Robinson to perform the song "Earth Song" during the 3-D Michael Jackson tribute.
In January 2010, The Los Angeles Times presented its annual list of the top ten largest earners of the year, revealing that Dion took the top spot for the entire decade, with $US747.9 million in total revenue from 2000–2009. The largest haul came from ticket sales, totalling $522.2 million. Additionally, she was named "Artist of the Decade" in her native Canadian province of Québec, announced by the Montréal-based newspaper, Le Journal de Québec in 2009 December. A public online survey asked responders to vote for whom they believe deserved the above-mentioned accolade.
Furthermore, in a May 2010 Harris Poll, Dion was named the most popular musician in the United States, ahead of U2, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles while factoring in gender, political affiliations, geographic region of residence, and income. Specifically, she was the most popular musician in the female demographic, as well as among all Democrats, those who live in the eastern United States and southern United States, and those who have incomes between US$35k and US$74.9k.
In September 2010, she released the single "Voler", a duet with French singer Michel Sardou. The song was later included on Sardou's album. In addition, it was announced in October 2010 that Dion wrote and composed a new song for Canadian singer, Marc Dupré entitled "Entre deux mondes".
2011–2014: Celine, Sans attendre and Loved Me Back to Life
In an interview with People magazine published in February 2010, Dion announced that she would be returning to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for Celine, a three-year residency for seventy shows a year, beginning 15 March 2011. She stated that the show will feature, "all the songs from my repertoire that people want to hear" and will contain a selection of music from classic Hollywood films. To promote her return to Las Vegas, Dion made an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on 21 February, during the show's final season, marking her record twenty-seventh appearance. In 2018, Billboard stated her residency Celine is the second most successful residency of all time. By the end of 2011, Dion has sold 331,000 albums (despite not releasing any studio album since 2007) and 956,000 digital tracks in the United States.
For a record sixth time, she performed at the 83rd Academy Awards, where she sang the song "Smile", as part of the ceremony's "In Memoriam" segment. On 4 September, she appeared on the 2011 MDA Labor Telethon Event and presented a prerecorded performance of "Open Arms" from her new Las Vegas show. On 1 October 2011, the OWN Network premiered a documentary on Dion's life, detailing the months before, during and after her pregnancy, to the makings of her new Las Vegas Show, called, "Celine: 3 Boys and a New Show". The documentary became the second highest rated show on TV OWN Canada. In October, FlightNetwork.com conducted a poll asking 780 participants which celebrity they would most like to sit next to on an airplane. Dion was the top favourite, with 23.7% of the vote. Also, in September, she released the 14th perfume from her Celine Dion Parfums Collection, called "Signature". On 15 September, she made an appearance at the free concert of world-famous tenor, Andrea Bocelli, in Central Park in New York. In 2012, she performed at the 16th Jazz and Blues Festival in Jamaica.
In October 2012, Sony Music Entertainment released The Best of Celine Dion & David Foster in Asia. She began recording songs for her next English and French albums during April and May 2012. The French-language album, Sans attendre was released on 2 November 2012, and was a smash success in all French-speaking territories, especially in France where it achieved diamond status. The English-language album was postponed to 1 November 2013. Titled Loved Me Back to Life, it included collaborations with an exceptional team of songwriters and producers, including duets with Ne-Yo and Stevie Wonder. The lead single, "Loved Me Back to Life" was released on 3 September 2013. Dion embarked on the Sans attendre Tour in November 2013 and performed in Belgium and France. "Breakaway", "Incredible" and "Water and a Flame" were chosen as next singles.
On 16 May 2014, Dion released a three-disc set (2CD/DVD and 2CD/Blu-ray) titled Céline une seule fois / Live 2013, which reached top ten on the album charts in France, Canada and Belgium Wallonia.[better source needed]
2014–present: Husband's death, Encore un soir, Courage and return to Vegas
On 13 August 2014, Dion announced the indefinite postponement of all her show business activities, including her concert residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the cancellation of her Asia Tour, because of the worsening of her husband's health after he underwent the removal of a cancerous tumor in December 2013. However, on 20 March 2015, she announced that she would be returning to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in late August 2015. On 14 January 2016, she cancelled the rest of the January performances due to her husband's and her brother's death from cancer. Dion resumed the residency on 23 February to a sold-out crowd and rave reviews.
In October 2015, Dion announced on social media that she had begun working on a new French album, posting a photo by the side of Algerian singer Zaho. Dion's French single, "Encore un soir", was released on 24 May 2016. On 20 May, she released a cover of Queen's song "The Show Must Go On", featuring Lindsey Stirling on violin. She performed "The Show Must Go On" at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on 22 May, and received the Billboard Icon Award (presented to her by her son, René-Charles Angélil) in recognition of her career spanning over three decades.
The singer's new French album, Encore un soir, was released on 26 August 2016. It features fifteen tracks performed in French and, according to the singer, has a personal choice of the songs – more uplifting lyrics were chosen. Encore un soir topped the charts in France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland, and was certified Diamond in France, 2× Platinum in Canada and Platinum in Belgium and Switzerland. It has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. In 2016 and 2017, Dion toured Europe and Canada with two sold-out concert tours. On 9 September 2016, she released "Recovering", a song written for her by Pink after Dion's husband René Angélil died in January 2016. Dion also recorded "How Does a Moment Last Forever" for the Beauty and the Beast: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, released in March 2017. Her compilation, Un peu de nous topped the chart in France in July and August 2017.
On 3 May 2018, she released the single "Ashes" from the film Deadpool 2. The remix version of the song topped the US Dance Club Songs chart in July 2018. From June to August 2018, she toured the Asia-Pacific region and grossed $56.5 million from 22 shows. On 24 September 2018, she announced the end of her Las Vegas residency Celine, with the final date set for 8 June 2019. She is working on a new English album. In January 2019, she performed "A Change Is Gonna Come" at the "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul" Franklin's tribute concert, to be broadcast in March 2019. In March 2019, she was one of 11 singers from Quebec, alongside Ginette Reno, Diane Dufresne, Isabelle Boulay, Luce Dufault, Louise Forestier, Laurence Jalbert, Catherine Major, Ariane Moffatt, Marie Denise Pelletier and Marie-Élaine Thibert, who participated in a supergroup recording of Renée Claude's 1971 single "Tu trouveras la paix" after Claude's diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease was announced. On 3 April 2019, during a Facebook Live event, Dion announced her 2019/2020 Courage World Tour, beginning in Quebec City on 18 September 2019. She also announced a new English language album of the same name, released in November 2019.
On 18 September 2019, Dion released three songs, "Lying Down", "Courage", and "Imperfections" from her upcoming album, Courage. On 26 February 2020, Dion released two songs as exclusive Spotify singles: an acoustic version of Imperfections, and a cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. Isaak joined Dion and sang vocals on the track. On 10 June 2020, Dion announced that her Courage World Tour will kick off again in 2021, after the tour was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 21 May 2021, it was announced Dion would return to Vegas, in November of the same year, for a limited-run installment of ten dates in collaboration with Resorts World Las Vegas. Billboard listed Dion as the third top paid musician of 2020 (second by female artist), with total of earnings of $17.5 million.
Dion cites idols as varied as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Charles Aznavour, Carole King, Anne Murray, Barbra Streisand, and the Bee Gees, all of whom she would eventually collaborate with. Her music has been influenced by numerous genres, including pop, rock, gospel, R&B, and soul, and her lyrics focus on themes of poverty, world hunger, and spirituality, with an emphasis on love and romance. After the birth of her first child, her work increasingly focused on maternal love.
Dion has faced considerable criticism from critics, who state that her music often retreats behind pop and soul conventions, and is marked by excessive sentimentality. According to Keith Harris of Rolling Stone magazine, "[Dion's] sentimentality is bombastic and defiant rather than demure and retiring ... [she] stands at the end of the chain of drastic devolution that goes Aretha–Whitney–Mariah. Far from being an aberration, Dion actually stands as a symbol of a certain kind of pop sensibility—bigger is better, too much is never enough, and the riper the emotion the more true." Her francophone releases, by contrast, tend to be deeper and more varied than her English releases, and consequently have achieved more credibility.
Critics have stated that Dion's involvement in the production aspect of her music is fundamentally lacking, which results in her work being overproduced and impersonal. However, coming from a family in which all of her siblings were musicians, she dabbled in learning how to play instruments like piano and guitar, and practised with a Fender Stratocaster during the recording sessions for her album Falling into You.
Occasionally, Dion has contributed to the writing of a handful of her English and French songs, as well as writing a few songs for other artists such as Marc Dupre. Additionally, as her career progressed, she found herself taking charge in the production of her albums. On her first English album, which she recorded before she had a firm command of the English language, she expressed disapproval, which could have been avoided if she had assumed more creative input. By the time she released her second English album Celine Dion, she had assumed more control of the production and recording process, hoping to dispel earlier criticisms. She stated, "On the second album I said, 'Well, I have the choice to be afraid one more time and not be 100% happy, or not be afraid and be part of this album.' This is my album." Besides her contributions to some of her early French albums, Dion wrote a few of the songs on Let's Talk About Love (1997) and These Are Special Times (1998).
She is often the subject of media ridicule and parody and is frequently impersonated on shows such as MADtv, Saturday Night Live, South Park, Royal Canadian Air Farce, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes for her strong accent and onstage gesticulations. However, she has stated that she is unaffected by the comments, and is flattered that people take the time to impersonate her. She even invited Ana Gasteyer, who parodied her on SNL, to appear onstage during one of her performances in New York City. While she is rarely politically outspoken, in 2005 following the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Dion appeared on Larry King Live and tearfully criticized the US government's slow response in aiding the victims of the hurricane: "There's people still there waiting to be rescued. To me that is not acceptable ... How can it be so easy to send planes in another country to kill everybody in a second and destroy lives. We need to serve our country." After her interview, she stated, "When I do interviews with Larry King or the big TV shows like that, they put you on the spot, which is very difficult. I do have an opinion, but I'm a singer. I'm not a politician."
Voice and timbre
Dion once claimed to be a mezzo-soprano. However, attempts to adapt classical voice types to other forms of singing have been met with controversy. Without making a classification, Kent Nagano, maestro of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, remarked, "All you just sang was full lyric soprano", after Dion auditioned with two solos from Carmen, wanting to know if she could sing opera. Her timbre has been described as "thin, slightly nasal" with a "raspy" lower register and "bell glass-like high notes".
According to Linda Lister in Divafication: The Deification of Modern Female Pop Stars, she has been described as a reigning "Queen of Pop" for her influence over the recording industry during the 1990s, alongside other female artists, including Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. In a countdown of the "22 Greatest Voices in Music" by Blender Magazine and MTV, she placed ninth (sixth for a female), and she was also placed fourth in Cover Magazine's list of "The 100 Outstanding Pop Vocalists". Dion is often compared to Houston and Carey for her vocal style, and to her idol Barbra Streisand for her voice.
She is often praised for her technical virtuosity. Jim Santella of The Buffalo News writes "Like an iron fist in a velvet glove, the power of Celine Dion's voice is cloaked in a silky vibrato that betrays the intensity of her vocal commitment." Jeff Miers, also of The Buffalo News, says of Dion "Her singing voice is absolutely extra-human. She hits notes in full voice, with a controlled vibrato and an incredible conception of pitch, like she's shucking an ear of corn." Stephen Holden of The New York Times states that Dion has "a good-sized arsenal of technical skills. She can deliver tricky melismas, produce expressive vocal catches and sustain long notes without the tiniest wavering of pitch. And as her duets ... have shown, she is a reliable harmony voice." In an interview with Libération, Jean-Jacques Goldman notes that she has "no problem of accuracy or tempo". According to Kent Nagano, she is "a musician who has a good ear, a refinement, and a degree of perfection that is enviable". Charles Alexander of Time states, "[Her] voice glides effortlessly from deep whispers to dead-on high notes, a sweet siren that combines force with grace."
In her French repertoire, Dion adorns her vocals with more nuances and expressiveness, with the emotional intensity being "more tender and intimate". Additionally, Luc Plamondon, a French singer-songwriter who has worked closely with Dion claims that there are three chanteuses (stylistically) that she uses: the Québécois, the French, and the American. Her self-titled 1992 album was promoted with the slogan "Remember the name because you'll never forget the voice."
Dion is regarded as one of pop music's most influential vocalists. She has been referred to as the "Queen of Power Ballads" by the media.. Billboard called Dion the "Queen of Pop". Her music and vocal styling, alongside that of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, have been said to shape how the bulk of modern female pop vocalists sing. These three artists have been widely credited with reviving the power ballad, and in doing so reshaping the adult contemporary radio format, making it one of the most popular formats of the 1990s and early 2000s. According to producer, musician, and former American Idol judge Randy Jackson, Dion, Houston, and Carey are the voices of the modern era. Music critic and Dion biographer Carl Wilson notes that her "fame and influence is also renewed and expressed regularly these days by American Idol, the largest mass musical phenomenon of the past decade, where Celine's stood solidly in its pantheon of singers for young people to emulate". Many contestants on the countless televised talent competitions that have risen at the turn of the millennium often emulate Dion, Houston and Carey and cite them as idols. MTV also praised Dion by saying: "Céline Dion was better than almost anyone at capitalizing on pop’s ability to articulate feelings in sensational, over-the-top ways."
Numerous artists have either mentioned Dion as a major influence or as one of their favourite singers including: Britney Spears, Rihanna, Adele, Josh Groban, Delta Goodrem, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, Vanessa Hudgens, Kelly Clarkson, Perrie Edwards, Loren Allred, Brazilian singer Wanessa Camargo Ariana Grande Sam Smith and Charlotte Cardin, among many others. Country singer Martina McBride is widely heralded by the press as the Celine Dion of Country music.
Many artists have also praised Dion's voice, singing ability or expressed an interest in working with her including Met Opera conductor and musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Beyoncé, Carlos Santana, Elton John, OneRepublic, Coldplay, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger, Ne-Yo, Carole King, Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, Bee Gees, Sir George Martin, Justin Bieber, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Drake and Cher.
Timbaland stated "Celine has such a beautiful, mesmerizing voice. She is so talented. I think we could create something that is a classic like she is already." Josh Groban remarked "She's a powerhouse. In this day and age, when more and more studio-produced, tiny-tiny voices are being rewarded ... she has this extraordinary instrument." According to Diane Warren, "Celine is the best singer by far of her generation", an opinion shared by Quincy Jones, Tommy Mottola, and David Foster. Moreover, Shania Twain and Jennifer Lopez have praised her dynamic stage presence, with Jennifer Lopez commenting on American Idol: "Celine gets on stage, she owns the stage, she runs all over that stage, she stops that stage." Leona Lewis is also a huge fan of Céline Dion saying "Celine is someone I aspire to be like in every way. "Gosh – I can't wait. I'm in the middle of picking out dresses at the moment. Celine is definitely one of my heroes. She is amazing." American singer and actress Lea Michelle said that she listened to Céline Dion's music while in the process of making her sophomore album 'Places' and cited her as one of her vocal influences.
Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle called Dion as one of the greatest singers ever. Pop singer Kelly Clarkson also praised Dion's vocal ability saying: "she has two sets of lungs when she sings." and also called her the most gifted vocalist on the planet.
In 1997-1998, Dion sold more than 60 million albums, and was estimated to sell a record once every 1.2 seconds. In 2017, Dion broke records across the UK as the highest grossing artist at each UK venue where she performed which included dates at the O2 Arena in London, Leeds First Direct Arena, Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. John Meglen, president and co-CEO, Concerts West commended her by saying: "She really is the voice of our lifetime."
In 2018, there were over 300,000 Taiwanese fans that clambered for the 20,000 tickets available for Célines first concert ever in Taiwan which caused the system to lag for 30 minutes. The demand caused them to add two additional shows eventually.
On a cultural level, Dion is credited for introducing francophone music to many non-francophone countries around the globe. Her albums D'eux and S'il suffisait d'aimer remain the best selling francophone albums in history, gaining unprecedented success in non-Francophone markets such as the United Kingdom, Poland, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Japan, and New Zealand. According to RFI Musique, she "has done her bit for French music over the years, assuring the success of French songs which would probably never have got beyond Francophone borders without her ... Without Celine, French record sales would be dramatically lower!" In May 2008, she was awarded France's highest award, as Knight of the Legion of Honour by President of France Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy praised Dion and stated: "France thanks you because your talent and success have contributed to the influence of the French language outside our borders".
She is also credited for both revitalizing and revolutionizing the entertainment scene in Las Vegas with the gargantuan successes of her residencies there. She signed a multi-million dollar deal worthed $100 million to do a residency in Vegas and is considered one of the most lucrative and risky in the touring industry. Billboard credits Dion as the one who pioneered modern residencies saying: "Since Dion's debut, hundreds of artists have tried their hand at Vegas residencies, including, most recently, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Usher, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Rod Stewart and Sting. Once considered the domain of artists long past their peak, today's Las Vegas residency shows are big business, generating millions in sales." Moreover, Billboard also said: "She changed history and she completely changed Las Vegas," said Nelson, who notes the new residencies being announced for artists like Cardi B, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez aren't really at the same production level or scale of what Dion created with her husband René Angélil, as well as Meglen, Nelson and former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke." Dion is popularly referred as the reigning "Queen of Las Vegas" by various media outlets for her impact and legacy in the city.
According to Gary Bongiovanni, president and editor-in-chief of Pollstar "Celine redefined what artists can do in Las Vegas, helping to make it arguably the busiest entertainment city in the world." Kurt Melien, vice-president of entertainment at Caesar's Palace stated "Celine was a pioneer without question ... Twenty years ago, we couldn't have got someone the stature of Britney Spears to appear in Vegas. Stars likes her would never have considered it if Celine hadn't paved the way. She changed the face of modern Vegas." Regarding her financial impact on Las Vegas, Stephen Brown, director of the Centre for Business and Economic Research in Las Vegas, commented "People will come to the city just for her and they will spend money and as a consequence, she has an outsized impact on the economy", then adding "Bigger than Elvis, Sinatra and Liberace put together? Definitely." Estimations indicate that Dion's show will create up to 7,000 indirect jobs and around $114 million worth of new economic activity in each of the three years for which she has been contracted.
Celine Dion has received various acclaims from fashion critics for reinventing her fashion style over the years. The Guardian called her "The Joyous New Queen of Fashion". Harper's Bazaar also praised Dion for being an ultimate fashion risk-taker and called her "Fashion Chameleon". Billboard dubbed her as "Street wear Icon" after recapping the global icon's style evolution through the years. Vogue named her as one of music's most exuberant dressers, beloved as much for her glorious voice as her extravagant sense of style. Tatler discussed in an article how Cardi B might be the next Céline Dion of Paris Fashion Week, proving that Céline is the standard for the occasion. Fashion Stylist and Image Architect Law Roach praised Celine Dion, calling her "The Queen of Camp" & "The Queen of Glitter & Sequins". Dion further cemented her name in the fashion world by wearing the reverse tuxedo at 1999 Academy Awards, which became one of the most talked ensembles of that time. Vogue also listed her iconic 1999 reverse tuxedo as one of the most controversial looks of all time saying it was undeniably the Highlight of the Year. WMagazine also listed the iconic ensemble as one of the most memorable dresses of all time. As a matter of fact in Feb. 2020, Sergio Guadarrama (a contestant of Project Runway) copied the idea of reverse tuxedo and claimed it was his original idea and had even claimed that he had no idea about the iconic tuxedo, which left the fans of the show disappointed.
Vice discussed how Célines music made impact in Nigerian culture saying: "By the 2000s, Celine Dion was basically the queen of Nigerian airwaves. It was impossible to watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing her music – either on adverts, or in Nollywood films featuring heartthrobs like Genevieve Nnaji and Ramsey Nouah."
The Canadian comedy music group, the Arrogant Worms, released an album called Dirt in 1999 which contained a song called "Celine Dion", about the singers' stalker-like affection for her. Dion has also been referred/mentioned in various hit songs including: Dark Fantasy by Kanye West, 911/Mr. Lonely by Tyler, the Creator, That Girl by Pharrel Williams, Work by A$AP Ferg, What's The Use by Mac Miller to name a few.
In 1999, Dion received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2004, one which she dedicated to her father, who had died the month prior. In May 2003, she placed at No. 10 on VH1's list of "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era". Dion's album Falling into You is included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Definitive 200 list. "My Heart Will Go On" was included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2021, Dion was ranked by Forbes as the third richest woman in entertainment with an estimated net worth of US$460 million. In August 2008, she received an honorary doctorate in music from the Université Laval in Quebec City.
In October 2010, Dion was named a Goodwill Ambassador, a program created by the UN in 1999, sharing this accolade with Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon. She also received several state decorations. In 2004, she was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award.
On 26 July 2013, she was awarded the highest rank of the Order of Canada, the Companion of the Order of Canada, by the Governor General of Canada and the investiture ceremony was held at Citadelle of Quebec, in which they said: "An incomparable artist, she is equally known for her compassion, generosity and commitment to a number of social and humanitarian causes. She is notably the national celebrity patron for Cystic Fibrosis Canada and honorary patron of the CHU Sainte-Justine. In addition, through her foundation, she also helps children in need and their families here in Canada and abroad."
West University of Timișoara conducted a research study that analyzes Céline Dion's contributions to global music culture in both spatial and temporal terms, In November 2013, Dion was inducted at the American Gaming Association Hall Of Fame for her outstanding contributions to the growth and stature of the gaming industry.
Les Productions Feeling Inc., also known as Feeling Inc. or just Feeling, is an artist management company based in Laval, Québec, Canada, and owned by Dion and her husband and manager, Rene Angélil. She is also founder of Nickels Restaurant food chain. She and her husband also own Le Mirage Golf Club and Schwartz's Restaurant. In association with Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Shaquille O'Neal, she opened a popular night club called Pure, located at Caesars Palace.
Dion became an entrepreneur with the establishment of her franchise restaurant Nickels in 1990. She has since divested her interests in the chain and is no longer affiliated with Nickels, as of 1997. In 2003, Dion signed a deal with Coty, Inc. to release Celine Dion Parfums. Her latest fragrance, Signature, was released in September 2011 with an advertising campaign by New York agency Kraftworks NYC. Since its inception, Celine Dion Parfums has grossed over $850 million in retail sales. In October 2004, Air Canada hired Dion as part of their promotional campaign to unveil new service products and an updated livery. "You and I", the theme song sung by Dion, was written by advertising executives working for Air Canada.
Dion also launched an eponymous bag and accessories line "Céline Dion Collection". According to Innee-Sedona International, the Asia partner for Bugatti Group said that it already topped $10 million sales after just three collections.
Dion has actively supported many charity organizations, worldwide. She has promoted the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF) since 1982, and became the foundation's National Celebrity Patron in 1993. She has an emotional attachment to the foundation; her niece Karine succumbed to the disease at the age of sixteen, in Dion's arms. In 2003, she joined a number of other celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including Josh Groban and Yolanda Adams to support "World Children's Day", a global fundraising effort sponsored by McDonald's. The effort raised money from more than 100 nations and benefited orphanages and children's health organizations. In addition, she has been a major supporter of the T. J. Martell Foundation, the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, and many health and educational campaigns. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she donated $1 million to the victims of the storm, and held a fund-raising event for the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami, which subsequently raised more than $1 million. After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, she donated $100,000 to China Children & Teenagers' Fund and sent a letter showing her consolation and support. Since 2004, she is involved, alongside husband René Angelil, with the Québec gay community by supporting the publication of health and HIV prevention materials in Gay Globe Magazine, owned by journalist Roger-Luc Chayer. She is also a member of Canadian charity Artists Against Racism. In November 2018, she launched a gender-neutral clothing line for kids, Celinununu.
As the youngest of 14 children, Dion grew up wearing hand-me-downs and sharing a bed with several sisters. As a baby, she slept in a drawer to save on a crib. She was bullied at school and called "Vampire", owing to her teeth and skinny frame. Local tabloids even dubbed her "Canine Dion" in the teenage years of her career. She often spoke of running home from school to play music in the basement with her brothers and sisters. "I detested school", she would later write in her autobiography. "I had always lived surrounded by adults and children a lot older than me. I learned everything I needed to know from them. As far as I was concerned, real life existed around them." Dion's eldest sister was already in her twenties, married, and pregnant with her first child at the time Dion's mother, Thérèse, was pregnant with Celine.
Dion first met René Angélil, her future husband and manager, in 1980, when she was 12 and he was 38, after her brother, Michel Dondalinger Dion, had sent him a demonstration recording of "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" ("It Was Only a Dream/Nothing But A Dream"), a song she, her mother Thérèse, and her brother Jacques Dion had jointly written. Over subsequent years, Angélil guided her to stardom in francophone territories.
After the dissolution of Angélil's second marriage, he and Dion took a professional break and he spent the major part of the year in Las Vegas, while Dion was learning English and taking dance and vocal lessons in Montreal. Upon his return, "he avoided being alone with me for too long a time", she said in her 2000 autobiography My Story, My Dream. Meanwhile, she kept a photo of Angélil under her pillow, writing, "Before I fell asleep, I slipped it under the pillow, out of fear that my mother, who always shared a room with me, would find it." She also wrote "Less and less could I hide from myself the fact that I was in love with Rene; I had all the symptoms," and "I was in love with a man I couldn't love, who didn't want me to love him, who didn't want to love me." Dion's mother, who traveled everywhere with the singer until she was 19, was initially wary of her daughter's growing infatuation with a much older and twice-divorced Angélil, but Dion was insistent, telling her mother "I'm not a minor. This is a free country. No one has the right to prevent me from loving whoever I want to."
Their professional relationship eventually turned romantic after Dion's win at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in 1988; she was 20. The romance was only known to family and friends for five years, though Dion nearly revealed all in a tearful 1992 interview with journalist Lise Payette. Many years later, Payette penned the song "Je cherche l'ombre" for Dion's 2007 album D'elles.
Dion and Angélil became engaged in 1993, on Dion's 25th birthday, and made their relationship public in the liner notes of her 1993 album The Colour of My Love. They married on 17 December 1994, at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, Quebec. On 5 January 2000, Dion and Angélil renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas.
In May 2000, Dion had two small operations at a fertility clinic in New York to improve her chances of conceiving, after deciding to use in vitro fertilization because of years of failed attempts to conceive. Their first son, René-Charles Angélil, was born on 25 January 2001. Dion suffered a miscarriage in 2009. In May 2010, Angélil announced that she was 14 weeks pregnant with twins after a sixth treatment of in vitro fertilization. On Saturday, 23 October 2010, at 11:11 and 11:12 am respectively, Dion gave birth to fraternal twins by Caesarean section at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, The twins were named Eddy, after Dion's favourite French songwriter, Eddy Marnay, who had also produced her first five albums, and Nelson, after former South African President Nelson Mandela. She appeared with her newborn sons on the cover of 9 December 2010 issue of the Canadian edition of Hello! magazine.
On 14 January 2016, Angélil died of throat cancer. His funeral was held on 22 January 2016, in Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where he and Dion wed 21 years earlier. The couple's eldest son, René-Charles, gave the eulogy just three days before his 15th birthday. Following Angélil's death, Dion became the sole owner and president of her management and production companies, including CDA Productions and Les Productions Feeling.
Two days after Angélil's death—on what would have been her husband's birthday—Dion's brother, Daniel, died aged 59, also of cancer.
On 22 March 2018, Dion's management team announced that she had been dealing with hearing irregularities for the previous 12–18 months due to patulous Eustachian tube and would undergo a minimally invasive surgical procedure to correct the problem after ear-drop medications appeared to be no longer working.
Owing to her slight frame, Dion has for decades been subject of eating disorder rumors, which she has consistently denied: "I don't have an eating problem, and there's nothing more I can say about it". "My work requires me to be in great physical shape. I wouldn't have been able to live up to a hundred shows a year and travel ceaselessly from one end of the world to the other if I had eaten too much or not enough, or if, as certain magazines have claimed, I made myself throw up after each meal." She has often spoken about having been bullied at school and lacking confidence in her early years in the business: "I didn't have, visually, what it took. I was not pretty, I had teeth problems, and I was very skinny. I didn't fit the mold".
Dion took up ballet under the guidance of her former dancer, Naomi Stikeman, who also previously performed for The National Ballet of Canada and La La La Human Steps, and former Cirque du Soleil dancer-turned-fashion-illustrator, Pepe Muñoz, who is also part of her styling team. She is also a skier and a regular at her son René-Charles' hockey games.
Dion's older son René-Charles Angélil loves music and has tried to follow a musical path. Under the stage name Big Tip, he released in May 2018 on his SoundCloud account 6 rap songs including originals "The Kid", "The Apple" and "Never Stop" and two adaptations from The Weeknd songs, "Catwalks" sampling on The Weeknd's "Sidewalks" and a remix of The Weeknd's "Loft Music" as "Loft Music Remix". He also released the 5-track EP CasiNo. 5 in December 2020 using the artistic name RC Angelil. The EP includes the tracks "Mamba Mentality", "Money, Thrills and Rest", "No Ls", "GG4" (featuring PAKKA) and "LV".
French-language studio albums
English-language studio albums
Concert tours and residencies
- Les chemins de ma maison (1983–1984)
- Céline Dion en concert (1985)
- Tournée Incognito (1988)
- Unison Tour (1990–1991)
- Celine Dion in Concert (1992–1993)
- The Colour of My Love Tour (1994–1995)
- D'eux Tour (1995–1996)
- Falling into You: Around the World (1996–1997)
- Let's Talk About Love World Tour (1998–1999)
- Taking Chances World Tour (2008–2009)
- Tournée Européenne 2013
- Summer Tour 2016
- Celine Dion Live 2017
- Celine Dion Live 2018
- Courage World Tour (2019–2023)
- Touched by an Angel
- The Nanny
- All My Children
- La fureur de Céline
- Des fleurs sur la neige
- Quest for Camelot as Juliana (singing voice)
- Céline sur les Plaines
- Celine: Through the Eyes of the World
- Sur la piste du Marsupilami
- Hell's Kitchen
- Muppets Most Wanted
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