Celine Dion biography

Celine Dion

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My Heart Will Go On (Theme from Titanic)

Celine Dion Biography

Céline Dion
Céline Dion

Céline Marie Claudette Dion (born March 30, 1968) is a Quebec vocalist.


Career beginnings

She was born to a catholic family in the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec, with a singing voice that her mother encouraged. By the age of five she was performing for anyone who would listen.

In 1980 her mother brought her to agent/manager René Angélil, who so believed in her voice that he mortgaged his home to help finance her career. In 1981 they released her first record in her native French language, 'La Voix du bon Dieu' ('The Voice of God'), which made her an instant star in Quebec. The following year she competed and won the gold medal at the Tokyo World Song Festival. Her career continued to blossom, and in 1987 she produced the album Incognito, which became a huge success. Approached by Swiss song writers Atilla Şereftuğ and Nella Martinetti she was chosen to represent Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest singing 'Ne partez pas sans moi'. By winning the contest in Dublin, Ireland on April 30, 1988, she received a large boost to her career in Europe. Her first English-language album, Unison (1990), expanded her international recognition with the breakthrough single, 'Where Does My Heart Beat Now'.

Many of the hit singles that followed over the next ten years ('If You Asked Me To', 'Water from the Moon', and 'Nothing Broken but My Heart') were written by Diane Warren, a composer best known for power ballads. However, Céline Dion finally showcased her talents as a songwriter when she co-wrote 'Don't Save It All for Christmas Day' for the 1998 Christmas album, These Are Special Times and 'Treat Her Like a Lady' on her Let's Talk About Love album, 1997.

In late 1993, she indicated to the public for the first time that she was in love with her manager, René Angélil. In the dedication section of her third English-language album, The Colour of My Love, Dion named Angélil 'the colour of her love'. Eventually, they were engaged, and she married him in 1994. The wedding was broadcast on television across Canada and was very highly rated. The couple also has a son, René-Charles Angélil (born January 2001).

Movie soundtracks

Dion's work has featured heavily in the soundtracks of a number of hit films. In North America, and working in the United States, her song for Disney's Beauty and the Beast (written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman), 'Because You Loved Me' (from 1995s Up Close and Personal, another Diane Warren composition), and a cover of Nat King Cole's 'When I Fall in Love' (from 1993's Sleepless in Seattle), added to her growing stardom. By 1997 her records and her rendition of James Horner and Will Jennings's song 'My Heart Will Go On', written for the motion picture Titanic (but making its debut on her album Let's Talk About Love), made her the top-grossing star of the music world, with more than 50 million records sold. One year later, she performed 'The Prayer' for the 1998 animated film Quest for Camelot. Her last movie song before her short two-year hiatus to have a child came in 1999 with 'Then You Look at Me' (from Bicentennial Man, also written by Horner and Jennings). The song 'I'm Alive' from her A New Day Has Come album was featured in the second Stuart Little motion picture. In 2004 Dion recorded the title track for the Anglo-French-Canadian movie Nouvelle-France, titled 'Ma Nouvelle-France', written by Luc Plamondon and Patrick Doyle and produced by Christopher Neil.

Tribute recordings

Dion is also no stranger to participating in tribute albums, such as a 1995 collection of Carole King songs called Tapestry Revisited, In My Life (a collection of Beatles songs in tribute to producer George Martin), and a 1997 double-CD set commemorating Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1996 at the Olympics, she performed the theme song, 'The Power of the Dream'.

Cover songs

Dion has covered several popular songs in her time, including Jennifer Rush's hit 'The Power of Love', Roberta Flack's 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', Roy Orbison's 'I Drove All Night' and Eric Carmen's 'All by Myself', John Lennon's 'Beautiful Boy', Louis Armstrong's 'What A Wonderful World', Ray Charles' 'If I Could'. Dion also covered one of Anggun's song 'Tu Nages' in her latest French album.

Some of Dion's own songs have been covered: 'My Heart Will Go On' by Claire Sweeney and Neil Diamond, among others, 'These Are Special Times' by Christina Aguilera, and 'Don't Save It All For Christmas Day' by Clay Aiken.


In 2000, Dion began a two-year hiatus from the music industry. In that time, she mothered a child and prepared plans for her biggest show to date, A New Day... Live in Las Vegas.


In 2002 after her two-year hiatus, she returned to the music world with a new album A New Day Has Come. The album debuted at number one across 17 countries all over the world and it sold over 600,000 copies in the United States in its first week, being the highest selling album of the year in the first week. She had a contract to perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In March 2003 Dion was everywhere: on 25 March her A New Day show opened in Las Vegas and her album One Heart was released. The album has been certificated as 10th-best selling album of the year, according to IFPI.

She also released her own perfume line, which was well received and was advertised on commercial television. It was one of the top-ten selling perfumes of 2003.

In 2003, moviegoers once again heard Céline Dion's voice in the song 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered' on the soundtrack to Mona Lisa Smile.

In October 2003 her French album 1 fille & 4 types was released. The album is yet again a collaboration between Dion and Jean-Jacques Goldman (joined by three of his friends, Gildas Arzel, Eric Benzi and Jacques Veneruso), who had previously worked with her on S'il suffisait d'aimer and D'eux (also known as The French Album, which sold nine million copies worldwide, making it the most sold French-language album of all time). Critics have called it Dion's best and most natural album. Dion herself has referred to it as 'the album of pleasure'. The first single from this album, 'Tout l'or des hommes', established the record for becoming the highest charting Francophone single on the National (English) CHR Audience chart in the BDS era. 'Tout l'or des hommes' reached number five on the English CHR Audience Chart.

In July 2004, 'You And I', the promo song for the new Air Canada ad campaign, actually hit No. 1 in the Canadian mainstream adult contemporary category, according to Nielsen BDS. Difficult though this may be to credit, the song, included as a 'bonus track' on her A New Day... Live in Las Vegas album, has cracked the Top 100 most requested singles on Canadian radio stations for 23 weeks.

In October 2004, Dion released her first concept album, Miracle, produced by David Foster, as part of a multimedia franchise conceived by both Dion and photographer Anne Geddes. The theme of the album is centred around babies. The project was available in three different versions: the CD with a 20-page booklet featuring photos by world-renowned baby photographer Anne Geddes; the Limited Edition CD/DVD Box Set includes a 60-page version of the Miracle book, the Miracle CD and a 'making of the CD' DVD; the 180-page book with the Miracle CD and the 'making of the book' DVD.

According to the Canadian Recording Industry Association, Céline was the second highest selling Canadian artist in 2004. Her album A New Day Has Come went six times platinum (600,000 units).

A New Day...Live in Las Vegas

Dion performing "I
Dion performing 'I'm Alive'

On March 25, 2003, Dion began a three-year engagement to play five nights a week at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is put together by Franco Dragone.

Dion first conceived the idea for the show after seeing O by Dragone early into her break from recording. The show is described as a combination of dance, music and visual effects. It includes Dion performing her songs against an array of dancers and special effects. Even though the show did not get the best reviews from some critics it has been very well received by audiences, selling out every night since opening in March 2003.

On September 2004 the contract was extended into 2007. 1 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3670760.stm)


  • Élise Duguay - backing singer
  • Julie LeBlanc - backing singer (ex)
  • Mary-Lou Gauthier - backing singer
  • Terry Bradford - backing singer (ex)
  • Barnev Valsaint - backing singer
  • Claude 'Mégo' Lemay - piano, music director
  • André Coutu - guitar
  • Paul Picard - percussion
  • Yves Frulla - keyboard
  • Marc Langis - bass guitar



Album title Released World-wide sales
Miracle 2004 2.5 million (including the package book/cd/dvd)
A New Day... Live in Las Vegas (Live album/DVD from her show in Vegas) 2004 1,5 million
1 fille & 4 types (in French) 2003 2.5 million
One Heart 2003 6.5 million
A New Day Has Come 2002 12.5 million
The Collector's Series - Volume 1 2000 3 million
All the Way...A Decade of Song (greatest hits CD) 1999 20 million
Au cœur du stade (Live album/DVD from two sold-out shows in Paris) 1999 4 million
These Are Special Times 1998 13,5 million
S'il suffisait d'aimer (in French) 1998 5 million
Let's Talk About Love 1997 31.5 million
Live à Paris (live album/VHS/DVD) 1996 4 million
Falling into You 1996 32 million
D'eux (in French, known as The French Album in the United States) 1995 8 million
Céline Dion à l'Olympia (in French, live recording from Paris) 1994 3 million
The Colour of My Love 1993 20 million
Céline Dion 1992 5 million
Dion chante Plamondon (in French, known as Des Mots Que Sonnent in France) 1991 3 million
Unison 1990 3 million
Incognito (in French) 1989 500 000
Total: More than 175 million albums

Hit singles

  • from Unison
    • 1990 'Where Does My Heart Beat Now' #4 US
    • 1991 '(If There Ever Was) Any Other Way' #35 US
  • from Céline Dion
    • 1992 'Beauty and the Beast' (with Peabo Bryson) #9 US, #9 UK
    • 1992 'If You Asked Me to' #4 US
    • 1992 'Introduction/Love Can Move Mountains' #36 US
    • 1992 'Nothing Broken but My Heart' #29 US
  • from The Colour of My Love
    • 1993 'When I Fall in Love' #23 US
    • 1993 'The Power of Love' #1 US, #4 UK (1994 release)
    • 1994 'Misled' #23 US, #40 UK
    • 1994 'Think Twice' #1 UK
    • 1995 'Only One Road' #8 UK
  • from D'eux
    • 1995 'Pour que tu m'aimes encore (To Love Me Again)' #7 UK
  • from The Colour of My Love
    • 1995 'Misled' (re-issue) #15 UK
  • from Falling into You
    • 1996 'Falling into You' #10 UK
    • 1996 'Because You Loved Me' #1 US, #5 UK
    • 1996 'All by Myself' #4 US (1997 release), #6 UK
    • 1996 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now' #2 US, #3 UK
    • 1997 'Call the Man' #11 UK
  • from Let's Talk About Love
    • 1997 'Tell Him' (with Barbra Streisand) #3 UK
    • 1997 'The Reason' #11 UK
    • 1998 'My Heart Will Go On' #1 US, #1 UK
    • 1998 'Immortality' (with The Bee Gees) #5 UK
  • from These Are Special Times
    • 1998 'I'm Your Angel' (with R. Kelly) #3 UK
  • from Let's Talk About Love
    • 1999 'Treat Her Like a Lady' #29 UK
  • from All the Way: A Decade of Song
    • 1999 'That's the Way It Is' #6 US, #12 UK
    • 2000 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' #19 UK
  • from A New Day Has Come
    • 2002 'A New Day Has Come' #22 US, #7 UK
    • 2002 'I'm Alive' #17 UK
    • 2002 'Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)' #38 UK
  • from One Heart
    • 2003 'One Heart' #27 UK

'Think Twice' and 'My Heart Will Go On' appeared 45th and 39th respectively in the official list of the best-selling singles in the UK issued in 2002.


  • On September 15, 2004, Dion received a Diamond Award at the 'World Music Awards'. This certified her as selling over 100 million albums world wide. 2 (http://www.worldmusicawards.com/diamondaward.html)
  • Has sold more than 170 million records around the globe, making her one of the best-selling female recording artists of all time. 3 (http://www.sonymusic.co.in/news/newsbrief.asp?newsid={FD6088C9-DBD6-425B-B46A-94D783E0286B}&artalb=False&cookie%5Ftest=1)
  • 'The Greatest Reward', featured on A New Day Has Come, is an adaptation of 'L'envie d'aimer', a song from the French stage musical Les dix commandements (The Ten Commandments). 'L'envie d'aimer' was originally interpreted by Daniel Lévi who portrays Moses in the musical. The song is co-written by Pascal Obispo, a popular French singer and composer, who composed the musical score to Les dix Commandements.
  • Shortly after her Unison album was released, Dion acted in a television mini-series called Des fleurs sur la neige (Flowers on the Snow). She portrayed a young woman named Elisa who lived a very difficult, abused life. Céline loved the challenge, and hopes to act in a movie one day.
  • Dion's last two French-language albums, 1 fille & 4 types and S'il suffisait d'aimer took only five to six days to record while her album A New Day Has Come took about a month to record.
  • Céline Dion performed the hit single of the film Titanic, the second best-selling CD of the 1990s, and her albums Falling into You and Let’s Talk About Love are both in the third position, having sold more than 30 million copies each.
  • Is distantly related to Madonna.
  • Is rumoured to have over 1000 pairs of shoes. Dion denies this but has said that her shoe collection is in the hundreds.
  • Recorded songs together with famed producer Phil Spector (The Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner). They were never released because of disagreements between Spector and Dion's labels.
  • Has said that she regrets dropping out of high school. She does not believe that school is for everyone.
  • Her son's baptism on July 25, 2001, was broadcast live throughout Canada.
  • Is raising her son to be multilingual. She plans to send him to a school where he will learn English, French, and Spanish.
  • She is three months younger than her step-son, Patrick Angélil.
  • She has her own magazine, Céline Dion Magazine.
  • At first she did not want to record her biggest hit 'My Heart Will Go On'. Her husband/manager and the song writer James Horner had to convince her.
  • In 1998 she was honoured by two governments in two days: on April 30, her home province made her an officer of the National Order of Québec, and on May 1 she became an officer of the Order of Canada.
  • Has an estimated wealth of $320 million to $400 million.
  • She loves to play golf.
  • She received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto on June 25, 2003, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004.

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