Celine is a proud Canadian, that is why she has sung our national anthom at countless events, that is why she financially supports numerous Canadian organizations, that is also why she continues to make french and english albums. She is a healthy role model for young and old people all over the world, and it is an honour to say she is Canadian.
Celine Dion was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, on March 30, 1968 and was the youngest of 14 children in a large musical family. Celine Dion was named after a song her mother was singing while pregnant. She was discovered singing in the family owned restaurant, at age 12, but had been singing there ever since age five, along with her other siblings. It was a small restaurant and club where the children could often showcase their musical talents where her father would play the accordian and mother the violin. At only five years old, she had already began to develop as a singer and entertainer, so it makes sense she had the talent and capability to produce her very first recording at only age twelve with her mother and her brothers. Celine was discovered by Montreal Impresario, Rene Angelil, who later became her husband, in 1981. Celine's mother had found Rene's address in an album of Ginette Reno, a popular french singer. Rene had heard the demo-tape containing the songs Cel! ine had written (In particular "Ce N'etait Qu'un Reve"-or in english, "It was Only a Dream"), and he was immediatly taken by the voice of young Celine that he became determined to make her an internationally known talent. When he first heard her sing live, he cried because it was so beautiful. Rene had so much faith in Celine, that he even mortgaged his house to finance the production of Celine's debut album. Her only obstacle for success beyond Canada and France was her French lyrics.
Record companies, as it turned out, were less enthusiastic of investing in a low-class preteen than Rene Angelil was. The financial support they needed to make Celine a success was not being produced, so they created a low budget Christmas album, "Celine Chante Noel," (Celine Sings Christmas), and another album, "Voix du bon Dieu," (The Voice of God). Celine released these singles at the young age of 13, yet they proved to be very successful. Even though these were low budget, people gave the albums a chance, and soon Celine had become the teen sensation of Quebec. Her early years also brought a string of awards, allowing her to relize her true talent, especially when she won a gold medal at the Tokyo Song Festival in 1982. Soon after, she became the first Canadian ever to recieve a Gold Record in France. Celine Dion was French Canada's most popular singer within five years.
Most child performers have problems transforming themselves into 'respected' adult entertainers, rather than forgotten teeny boppers, but not Celine. The young diva grew more and more popular with each and every love song. In 1988, when she won the Annual Prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland, (where she performed live in front of 6 million television veiwers- what she says was the most "terrifying and rewarding" experience of her life) she decided to learn English. Some consider this Celine's greatest career move, allowing her to reach French and English speaking audiences all at the same time. Without making this wise career move, she may not have ever gotten the notice of her neighbour to the south, the United States. Popularity in America almost garaunteed her popularity in every country of the world- USA being the entertainment base of the world, setting music trends for many other countries. The Top 10 song that broke through with American audienc! es was "Where Does My Heart Beat Now." Since that American breakthrough, Celine has risen to worldwide superstar status with a string of hits on pop and adult contemporary radio. She managed to master English within three monthes at a langauge course in Quebec. She released her first anglophone (english) album, 'Unsion,' in 1990 and it included the first of a long string of international hits.
"Where Does My Heart Beat Now," a series of film soundtrack recordings (An American Tail, Beauty and the Beast, Sleepless in Seatle) were all successful and generated her first Grammy Award in 1993. "Beauty and the Beast," recorded with Peabo Bryson, is known as her international breakthrough, earning her a number one position in 16 countries and nominations for an Acadamy Award as well as a Grammy Award "The Colour of my Love," (1994) became the most successful album ever released by a canadian female pop singer, selling 11 million copies worldwide. "Because You Loved Me," which was featured in Robert Redford's Up Close And Personal, gave Celine Dion much needed television exposure, allowing people to put a face to the voice they had heard and loved. Celine was no longer as stranger to the world.
"I always sang about love, yet I had no love in my life," laughs Celine in an interview with Glamour Magazine. Her endless recordings, contests, and touring left little time for Celine to date, but Rene Angelil managed to solve that problem as well. He began a romantic involvement with his greatest client shortly after she turned 19 years old. Angelil, who had been married three other times in the past, 26 years older than Celine Dion, decided it would be best for both of them to keep their affair a secret for a few years, fearing fans would find the entire thing a bit bizzarre. However, when the couple finally married in 1994 at Montreal's grand Notre Dame Basilica, Canadian fans treated it like a very respectable, royal wedding.
Celine Dion became a phenomenon in Great Britain during 1995 when "The Colour of my Love" and "Think Twice" topped the UK Album and Singles Chart simultaneously for over a month- the first time the feat had been achieved since The Beatles in 1964. She also was a smashing success still with French-Canadians because of her francophone bestseller "D'Eux," and recieved prestigious Medaille des Arts et Lettres from the french government.
Celine Dion's opening performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games proved that she was now a world-wide sensation. She sang "The Power of a Dream," a song co-written for her by Linda Thompson, Babyface, and David Foster (whom she has worked with on every one of her English albums.) Dion's fourth english album "Falling into You," was released in 50 countries in March 1996 and immediatly topped the charts.
In 1997, Celine was awarded at the Grammy Awards for Album Of The year and Best Pop Album. The next CD by Celine, Let's Talk About Love, was released in November, '97 and was followed with a world tour. Celine is joined on the CD by the Barbra Streisand, Bee Gees, Luciano Pavarotti, Corey Hart, Carole King, and will include the theme to the film, Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On."
People were impressed by the release of "Let's Talk About Love." In addition to "My Heart Will Go On," she had another 15 love-inspired tracks, often sung with other big time stars. The most fantastic pairing is in the song "Tell Him," a duet with the famous diva Barbra Streisand. When they were scheduled to sing "Tell Him" together at the Grammy awards, Barbra Strisand backed out last minute, leaving Celine no choice but to sing the Titanic theme song solo. Dion didn't slow down in 1998, she became even busier. In April an appearance with other powerful female vocalists Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, and Shania Twain on VH1's Diva's Live specail, further solidified her as a true canadian 'Diva.'
In September '98, Dion released her fourth French Album, "S'il Suffisait D'aimer" in Canada (the album came out in the USA in October), and in November, Dion's first Holiday Album, These are Special Times, arrived. By this time, she had already booked a tour of Japan, England, and Europe, which will keep her busy until July 1999.
Celine Dion is taking time out of her career to start a family now. Although it has some fans worried Celine promises she will be back, and when and if she decides to return to the music business, I beleive she will be successful once again.