When Celine Dion watched Michael Jackson perform in 1988, that’s when she confessed to her Manager René Angélil she wanted to become a star like Michael Jackson.Several years later she would become the second highest earning musician in the music industry.
Born in a single income family of 14 to Therese and Adhémar Dion in Charlemagne, Canada. Céline Marie Claudette Dion aka Celine Dion is the last child born to a hard working Father Adhémar Dion whose primary source of income is his Butcher shop and a small piano bar run by his wife along with him.
Growing up in poverty, Celine never complained much about anything as it was her family and siblings she loved the most and not money.She would often perform in her parents piano bar and would tour with them all over Canada when she grew up.
Celine’s first public appearance was singing at her big brother Mike’s wedding when she was 5 years old. Seven years later she would record her first song along with her Mother and a brother “Ce n’était qu’un rêve”. Realizing that this song is a ‘hit material’ one of her brothers Jacques would forward the recording to music agent René Angélil, who was so moved by her voice he had sworn himself to make a start out of Celine.
Her first real success came when she was 14 years by winning the 1982 Yahama Popular Song Awards for her French number “Tellement j’ai d’amour pour toi”.A year prior to that Celine would release her first French song “La voix du bon Dieu” thanks to her new manager René Angélil who would mortgage his house to bear the production cost for the release of Celine’s first single.
Released around November 1981, the song would become an instant hit in Quebec making Celine Dion a celebrity overnight.Celine would also become the first Canadian to win the French Gold Medal of Honour for her number “D’amour ou d’amitié”.
She was very much popular in almost all the countries that had French population or where ever French was spoken. But to be star on the world stage one has to know English to succeed in America, U.K, Australia and many other countries.
Unfortunately Celine Dion cannot speak, write or understand the English language not a single word.Many of her vocal critics took this to their advantage, embarrassed and humiliated Celine Dion because of her inability to sing in the English language.
Finally it was time to record and release songs in English, instead of learning English from the scratch with grammar, punctuations,idioms etc. In 1985, Celine hired a home English tutor in Quebec to teach her phrases such as “Hello, how are you?”, “I am sorry, my manager is not at home” and all other essential phrases.
The trick did work as Celine was able to grasp the English language with much ease using phrases.But it took more than 5 years for Celine to fully understand,speak and write English, then released her first English album Unison released early 1991.
Unison had some peppy pop numbers including “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” , “I Feel too Much” and “(If There Was) Any Other Way” with “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” peaking at No.4 in the Billboard Hot 100 U.S charts.
American audience were amazed by her voice but the best was yet to come.When Disney released their 1991 smash hit Beauty and The Beast, Celine Dion paired with Pearbo Byson for a compelling duet for the movie OST, which not only win her positive reviews from critics but an Oscar for Best Movie Soundtrack and a Grammy for the Best Pop
Performance by a Band for the year 1991.
The song peaked at No.5 in the Billboard U.S charts and was included in Celine’s self titled second album “Celine Dion” released in 1992, had many other hits including “Nothing Broken but My Heart” and the U.S top ten single “If You Asked Me To”.
“Ziggy (Un Garçon Pas Comme les Autres)” a French single from her 1992 French album Dion chante Plamondon smashed records wherever French was spoken, specifically in France and Canada, where it was certified Gold the day it was released.
The video for the song “Ziggy (Un Garçon Pas Comme les Autres)” was well received and applauded to, in many countries as it was a love story where Celine is in love with a guy, who loves an another guy.It was and still is one of the very few songs that has a theme based on a love triangle with a lead gay male lover boy.
By this time Celine Dion had established herself as a leading English Pop artist much to the shock and dismay of her French fans.And there was a constant struggle with Celine herself as she was caught between two masters, knew not whom to please.
Out of her inner struggle, she would reject the Félix Awards’ “English Artist of the Year” for 1991. And will never accept any awards that has the wordings “English Artist” ever again.
In an interview later that year, Celine confided that she always wanted to be called a French singer and never an English singer.But much to the dismay of her French fans, after this incident, Celine would go on to become one of the most successful English artist slowly fading away from the French music scene.
In 1993, Celine would release her third English album The Colour of My Love, dedicated to the one and the only man in her life, her manager René Angélil.Even though he is 26 years older than her, it was Celine who would break the ice and not the other way around.
The Colour of My Love would eventually become one of the all time best selling albums which includes the Billboard U.S number one “The Power of Love” and the Australian, British number one “Think Twice”.
The OST for Sleepless in Seattle “When I Fall in Love” released a few months before the album’s release date set the tone for The Colour of My Love’s success.The album sold more than 21 million copies in less than a month and was certified multi-platinum in U.S.A, U.K, Canada, Australia and Japan.
But this was nothing to what Celine will achieve four years later in 1997.Celine Dion was born with a heart of compassion and love as evident in all of her songs.And she would justify that by donating millions to charities including Hurricane Katrina victims and the 2004 Indonesian tsunami victims.
Not many know that it was Michael Jackson that inspired Celine Dion to be a star that she is now, including the countless dental and facial plastic surgeries she had done to be a star like Michael Jackson.
She sang a duet with Michael Jackson “If you only believe” late 1994 and in many interviews she had spoken in, were full of admiration and adulation for the great Michael Jackson with some even calling Celine Dion the hidden member of the Jackson family.
Celine Dion pays close attention to whatever the paparazzi and the press print about her and she even sued the National Enquirer magazine for 20 million dollars for publishing fake news about her having twins in the early 2000s.
But she did give birth to her son with René Angélil, René-Charles Dion Angélil born in January 25th, 2001 and Celine vowed never to return to stage to spend more time with her family.The vow did not last long as she would end up performing 600 stage acts on the Las Vegas Colosseum at Caesars Palace over a period of more than 5 years starting 2003.
Every time Dion released an English album it was immediately followed by a French album but what Celine would achieve in 1995 with A Very Merry Chipmunk. D’eux a French Christmas album was not done before.This would be the first time a French song would be in the Billboard Hot 100 U.K and Ireland charts.
“Pour que tu m’aimes encore” a French number from A Very Merry Chipmunk. D’eux, would also top the charts in Billboard France charts.This was just the beginning as Celine’s next two albums will crown her as best female artist of the 90s.
Falling into You released early 1996 will be Dion’s fourth album with tracks like “Because You Loved Me” and “Falling into You”, this album will go multi platinum in the U.S with more than 11.5 million copies sold in just 2 months.Falling into You will win two crucial Grammy Awards for the Album of the Year and Best Pop Album of the Year 1996.
“Because You Loved Me” will top the Billboard U.S charts. She would also become the first Canadian to perform in the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, 1996.
Celine Dion would feel like Michael Jackson (as she always wanted to) when her fifth album Let’s Talk About Love was released.”My Heart Will Go On” will become not only Celine’s signature song but a song that Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio would be identified with.
When Dion and James Cameron (Director of Titanic) initially listened to the piano version of the song, she would immediately rejected it and Cameron would not accept it until it was played more than 15 times to him by it’s compose James Horner.
But Cameron was apprehensive of including the track in the end credits of Titanic as he thought it sounded too commercial for Titanic’s theme.Celine Dion refuses to even sing the demo version of the song as she had a enormous distaste for the piano version of the song.
Dion even refused to sing the demo version of the song unless convinced other wise by her husband René Angélil who waited for the opportune time and arranged for a demo when Celine was in a good mood.
Rumour has it, that the demo version was the one released for sale and Celine Dion did not want to sing a studio version of the song or any other replica of it, she despised this number.
“My Heart Will Go On” will become one of the best selling singles of all time ranking on par with Michael Jackson’s Thriller apart from being included in Best Songs of the Century and one of the best selling tracks in U.K of all times.
The song will reach the No.1 spot on every part of the globe where it was played except for those places in Africa and inner parts of South America, where no man had access to.Such was the success of “My Heart Will Go On” it will reach the No.1 spot is Australia, Germany,Iceland,Denmark, Greece,France, Japan,South Korea, U.K, New Zealand, U.S.A and Canada.
It will go multi platinum in many of these countries.When the song was released in it’s digital format in the itunes music store, “My Heart Will Go On” will be downloaded more than 1.5 million times in 2003 alone.
More than 18 millions copies of this single have been sold world wide and the single would also become one of the most downloaded songs on YouTube, unofficially.
Her album Let’s Talk About Love had many more hit songs than “My Heart Will Go On” and includes collaboration with Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Bryan Adams and the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
“Immortality” her duet with the Bee Gees would become the second most popular song from this album. With many fans confessing to having felt an inner touch of the soul to this specific number than what they feel when listening to “My Heart Will Go On”.
Let’s Talk About Love will sell like hot cakes becoming Celine’s fastest selling album of all times winning Best Original Song at the Oscar’s and The Golden Globe awards. Let’s Talk About Love will win Record of the Year at the Grammy’s 1998 and “My Heart Will Go On” will walk away with four Grammy awards, including Song of the Year and one for the composer James Horner.
To backup the success of this sensational album Celine would organize a world tour early 1999 to make the most out of her album’s phenomenal success.It will be followed by Celine Dion’s sixth album All the Way… A Decade of Song released mid 1999.
This album had some memorable hits including “That’s the Way It Is” ,”I am Your Angel” with R.Kelly and “All the Way” an amazing duet with Sinatra. All the three songs reached the summit at the Billboard U.S charts and in many other countries including U.K, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and many more.
The album also had Celine’s hits from the past and was certified multi platinum in North America and many European countries.With more than 100 millions albums sold worldwide in the 90s alone, Celine Dion would be presented with the highest Canadian civilian award “Officer of the Order of Canada” for her contribution to the world of Contemporary Music followed by the Canada’s Walk of Fame honour.
She would also be selected as one of VH1’s divas to perform at Divas Live special event in 1998 along with Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain and Aretha Franklin.
It was around this time that her husband and Manager René Angélil will be diagnosed with terminal throat cancer which would get worse around 2013.And Celine Dion was done with the show business wanting to settle down in life, hence René-Charles Dion Angélil was born in 2001 after an intense fertility treatment.
During this time of taking care of her son René-Charles and her husband, Celine found plenty of time to write an autobiography, “My Story, My Dream” to inspire the younger generation not to give up in life but fight on from rags to riches just like her.
Her book was met with much success but nothing like Celine has tasted with her music.And then came A New Day Has Come her seventh album released mid 2002 after a gap of almost four years.
The album had some amazing numbers including the title track “A New Day Has Come” and “Goodbye’s” . A New Day Has Come would be Celine’s first album to debut at the No.1 spot in the Billboard U.S Charts and would eek a sales of 550,000 copies in the first three weeks alone.
It was around this time her most vociferous as well as nefarious critics who have been hiding in the shadow’s all through the 90’s finally found some courage to have a go at Celine Dion when her eight album One Heart was released in 2003.
Rolling Stones magazine was the first to take a jibe at Dion calling her boring with repetitive a theme based on love and love only.Other’s joined in with Entertainment Weekly calling her a mediocre and lifeless artist, catering to the wishes of her sponsor Chrysler by creating a commercial and a video by making a banal remix of Cyndi Lauper’s 1989 hit “I Drove All Night”
Celine brushed away the critics by releasing her nineth album Miracle in 2004, which includes a cover of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” and other inspiring songs, lullabies praising maternal love.The album reached the No.1 spot in Canadian Billboard charts and was certified multi platinum by the Canadian music association.
Mid 2004 Celine Dion was awarded the Chopard Diamond Award for selling more than 100 million albums worldwide.Only six musicians in the world including Celine Dion have won the Chopard Diamond Award Presented by the Prince of Monaco.Other recipients of the Chopard Diamond Award include Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi and the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
But her vocal critics were growing stronger and stronger with some of them finally getting the limelight and applause for debasing Celine Dion.Celine desperately wanted to get away from all the negative energy and attention, hence signed a three year contract with Las Vegas Colosseum at Caesars Palace late 2003.
When her contract with Las Vegas Colosseum ended in 2008, she had earned more than $750 million dollars just from ticket sales and sponsors at the Las Vegas Colosseum, Caesars Palace with the Forbes magazine ranking her one of the richest celebrities of the 2000s decade.
In 2007 Celine Dion would release her tenth English album Taking Chances with the title track “Taking Chances” reaching the Top 50 in the Billboard U.S Charts,with Celine stating , “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 would follow it up with a Taking Chances world tour which would become one of the highest engrossing tours of the 2000s decade.Dion would return to Las Vegas in the spring of 2010 for a three year contract but would end it abruptly after an emergency surgery for her husband René Angélil to have his throat tumour removed.
In 2010 Celine would give birth to twin boys Nelson and Eddy but will eventually return to Vegas to fulfill her contract.Celine Dion would call them miracle twins because her husband René Angélil was 68 years old when she conceived them, an age where many men would not be fertile and René was in advanced stages of throat cancer where he cannot eat solid food anymore.
In 2014 Celine would postpone all her activities indefinitely as her husband’s condition would worsen again and she was mentally unprepared for her Las Vegas contract.In an televised interview around August 2014 telecast in ABC News, Celine Dion was unable to hold her emotions back when asked about her husband’s condition. She would eventually say this “He can’t eat so I feed him, He’s got a feeding tube. I have to feed him three times a day.”
But her ailing husband thought other wise and compelled Celine to fly back to Las Vegas to fulfill her Contract.She returned back to Las Vegas in August 2015,leaving her three boys to take care of René Angélil.