Born: Mar 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada.
Styles: Adult Contemporary.
Rising from humble beginnings in the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion became one of the biggest international stars in pop music history, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide. The youngest in Adhemar and Therese Dion's family of 14 children, Dion grew up in an environment full of the inherent chaos and material austerity that comes with such a large working-class family. However, the Dion household was also one filled with love for children and music, and her parents and siblings were important figures in the early development of her singing career. Celine Dion began singing in her parents' piano bar when she was just five years old. By the age of 12 she had written one of her first songs, "Ce N'etait Qu'un Reve" ("It Was Only a Dream"), which she recorded with the help of her mother and brother and shipped off to a manager named Rene Angelil, whose name they found on the back of an album by Ginette Reno, a popular Francophone singer. After weeks with no response from Angelil, Celine's brother Michel phoned him and said, "I know you haven't listened to the tape, because if you had, you would've called right away." Angelil dug up the tape and called the family back the same day to set up a meeting with Celine. When the 12-year-old performed in his office in Montreal, Angelil cried and set in motion the process of making her a Quebecois, and later international star. He mortgaged his house to pay for her first two albums, producing a local number one single. In 1983 she became the first Canadian to have a gold record in France and she won a gold medal at the Yamaha songwriting competition in Japan. Her worldwide reputation was in the making, but success in the United States was not yet forthcoming.
When she was 18, Dion saw Michael Jackson performing on television and told Angelil that she wanted to be a star like him. Angelil's response was to order her to take 18 months off to remake her image. Dion underwent a physical transformation, cutting her hair, plucking her eyebrows, and having her teeth capped to cover up the incisors that had caused a Quebec humor magazine to dub her "Canine Dion." She was also sent off to English school to polish the language that would help her to break into the American market. When she emerged from this process, she had made an amazing transformation from teen star to adult chanteuse.
The payoff came almost immediately. Her 1990 breakthrough album, Unison, was released in the U.S. by Epic Records and produced several hit songs, but it was her duet with Peabo Bryson on the theme song of Disney's Beauty and the Beast that was her true breakthrough. The song reached number one on the pop charts and won both a Grammy and an Academy award. "Beauty and the Beast" was also featured on her second English album, 1992's Celine Dion, which launched another Top Ten American hit with "If You Asked Me To," while spawning two additional Top 40 singles, "Nothing Broken But My Heart" and "Love Can Move Mountains."
During this time there were also important developments in Dion's personal life. In 1988 Angelil crossed the line from manager to romantic partner when he kissed Dion one night after a show in Dublin. Fearful that fans would find the 26-year difference in their ages unsettling, the couple kept their relationship a secret for several years. But their 1994 wedding in Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica was celebrated not only by the 250 invited guests, but by millions of fans worldwide.
One of the hardest working stars in show business, Dion continued to record and perform on a schedule that would kill most people. She recorded six albums between 1992 and 1996, when her album Falling Into You took her to a new level of stardom. The recording was a runaway hit, winning Grammys for both Album of the Year and Best Pop Album. 1996 also brought her another honor; she was asked to perform at the opening ceremonies of the Montreal Olympics. Dion's longest tenure on the pop charts would come the following year, however, when she recorded "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song for James Cameron's blockbuster movie Titanic. "My Heart Will Go On" became omnipresent on the radio as Titanic fever swept the world and when it was featured on her album Let's Talk About Love it helped propel that recording to the top of the charts. By then, Dion had the power to gather a supporting cast of stars and the album contained an amazing collection of artists, including Barbra Streisand, Luciano Pavarotti, and the Bee Gees. The album would win a host of awards and bring Dion a whole new world of fans.
Her appearance on VH1's Divas Live special with Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, and Shania Twain proved popular as well and helped solidify Dion's position amongst not only current female pop singers but historical greats like Franklin. The continuing popularity of her recordings and live performances made her 1999 sabbatical seem like a tragedy to her fans, but Dion needed a break after more than a decade and a half of breakneck pace. In 1999, her husband Angelil was diagnosed with throat cancer. While the disease responded well to treatment and went into remission, the illness was a wake-up call for Dion, who decided to put a new emphasis on her family life and announced a temporary retirement so that she could spend more time at home and have a child. After undergoing fertility treatments, she announced her pregnancy in June, 2000, declaring "There is no hiding happiness... the dream dearest to our hearts has come true."
- Stacia Proefrock (All Music Guide)
From Humble Beginnings...
From humble beginnings in a rural French Canadian home town, Celine Dion has risen to international superstardom like a shooting star. Celine has been called the premier contemporary pop vocalist of the Nineties. She has earned music industry accolades from around the world: Grammy Awards in the US, Juno and Felix Awards in Canada, and World Music Awards in Europe. The entire world has seen Celine Dion literally transform herself from a gifted pre-adolescent into an international superstar.
Born in Charlemagne (a small town 30 miles east of Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Celine is the youngest of 14 children of a highly musical family. Her parents, both musicians, operated a small club, and on weekends, the entire family performed and entertained the local population. From the tender age of 5, Celine sang with her siblings and quickly acquired the ability of performing live. At the age of twelve, together with her mother and one of her brothers, Celine composed a French song which would forever alter the course of her life.
The demo tape containing the song was brought to the attention of Rene Angelil, a well respected personal manager. In January 1981, Rene was so taken by the voice of the young Celine, that he became determined to make her an internationally known talent - he even mortgaged his house to finance the recording of Celine's debut album!
Celine began to receive recognition for her talent in 1982, winning the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo, along with the coveted Musician's Award for Top Performer. In 1983, she became the first Canadian ever to receive a Gold Record in France.
By 1988, Celine had established a strong name for herself in her native province of Quebec, where she was enjoying superstar status, receiving numerous Felix Awards and racking up platinum albums. That same year, Celine won the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin Ireland, where she performed live before a television audience of 600 million viewers throughout Europe, the USSR, the Middle-East, Japan, and Australia.
Celine's international breakthrough came when she recorded the title track for the soundtrack to the animated Disney hit movie 'Beauty and the Beast.' The song went to number one and garnered an Academy Award and a Grammy Award. Beauty and the Beast formed the cornerstone for Celine's second English language album, called simply 'Celine Dion.' That album produced four more hit singles including "Love Can Move Mountains," "Water From The Moon," "If You Asked Me To" and "Did You Give Enough Love." In Canada, the album went six times platinum and set the stage for an incredible streak of Juno Awards.
Crossing All Barriers
At this time, the Celine juggernaut started rolling at a momentous pace in the UK. British fans took extremely well to "Think Twice," a ballad on 'The Colour Of My Love'. For five consecutive weeks, the song and album stood on top of the respective British charts, an achievement not replicated since 1965 and the heyday of The Beatles. "Think Twice" remained at number one for two more weeks, surpassing the magic million mark to become only the fourth million-selling single ever in the UK by a female artist.
With 'D'eux', Celine achieved what everyone thought was impossible - introduced French music to the upper reaches of the British charts. The world had truly discovered Celine Dion.
Blessed with one of popular music's truly great voices, she has crossed all barriers - even that of language - with her electrifying series of international hits. With her breakneck pace of recording, video shoots, touring and appearing on TV shows and awards specials, it seems like Celine has time for little else. Not the case when it comes to an important cause. Celine has used her talents to further cause of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, one of Celine's most emotional songs ("Vole," from the 'D'eux' album, later translated into English as the song "Fly," which appears on the 'Falling Into You' album) is a memorial to her niece, Karine, who was taken from her by this disease.
Let's Talk About Success!
Released in March 1996, 'Falling Into You' became the best-selling album released that year; topped the charts in 11 countries, and was voted Album of the Year and Best Pop Album in the 39th annual Grammy Awards. The album to date, has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
'Let's Talk About Love' is the follow-up to Celine's double Grammy Award-winning album. Recorded in London, New York and Los Angeles, 'Let's Talk About Love' features a host of special guests including some of popular music's greatest vocalists, songwriters, and producers.
'Let's Talk About Love' was released on the same day as the soundtrack of the motion picture 'Titanic'. Both albums featured the much-loved Titanic movie's theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," written by James Horner and produced by James Horner and Walter Afanasieff. "My Heart Will Go On" quickly became the wedding song of choice for Celine's fans.
In a stunning back-to-back achievement, 'Let's Talk About Love' went on to match the 27 million worldwide sales of its predecessor; 'Titanic' also sold over 27 million copies worldwide. It is the all-time best-selling orchestral soundtrack in recording history. Celine sang "My Heart Will Go On" on the worldwide telecast of the 70th Annual Academy Awards, live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song - the second Oscar for a song sung by Celine Dion, following "Beauty And The Beast."
All The Way
Celine's next album, 'These Are Special Times,' featured sixteen songs of the holiday season, including the Christmas pop classics "Blue Christmas" and "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)"; and such traditional religious favorites as "O Holy Night" and "Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)." In addition, 'These Are Special Times' produced the No. 1 single "I'm Your Angel," Celine's duet with R. Kelly, who wrote and produced the song; the Diane Warren-penned title track, "These Are Special Times"; and "The Prayer," a duet with Andrea Bocelli.
'All The Way...A Decade Of Song' is a collection of Celine's greatest hits, including her chart-topping hit singles "The Power Of Love," "Because You Loved Me," "I'm Your Angel," and the Grammy and Academy Award-winning classic "My Heart Will Go On." Also included are "Beauty And The Beast," "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"; and "If You Asked Me To."
Seven brand-new songs, were recorded specifically for this collection, including the title song "All The Way," a respectful and loving tribute to one of Celine's all-time favourite singers, the late Frank Sinatra.
With each new release, Celine has managed to top her previous successes and, along the way, has become one of the brightest stars in the world of popular music. Who would have imagined that Quebec's best kept secret could have conquered the world the way she has?