The chances are you have heard a Celine Dion song over the years. She’s either standing on the tip of the Titanic with her amazing ballads or even performing the soundtrack for the new Deadpool movie. You can’t deny the icon has had an amazing career.
The award-winning superstar has just turned 50 and shows no signs of slowing down. Join us as we break down some of the biggest ups and downs over her life. We’ll include love, loss, and the strength to overcome life’s challenges.
Where did it all begin
Celine Dion was born on March 30, 1968, in Charlemagne, a small town in Quebec, Canada. Perhaps one of Canada’s biggest exports, she is the youngest of 14 children. Having so many older brothers and sisters inspired Celine to seek attention through performance – often singing and dancing to an audience made up of her family.
It was clear from a young age that Celine had a real passion and true talent for performing, but no one could have predicted the mass success she would acquire.
Even though she grew up in a poor neighborhood, Celine Dion describes her childhood as a happy one. She was named after the song Celine, and this clearly inspired her to follow her dream and make it as a singing superstar.
Not a child to shy away from the cameras or attention, she debuted her voice at a cousin’s wedding at the age of five and never stopped from there. Even for a five-year-old little girl, Celine’s voice was extraordinary.
In the blood
Celine Dion’s musical abilities didn’t come out of nowhere and it turned out that she had music running through her veins, inherited from her parents. As a baby, she went on tour with their singing group and a few years later, they opened a piano bar.
It was here that Celine stunned customers with her powerhouse voice. The demo tape that help Celine land her first contract at the age of 12 was co-written by her mom.
Small home, big love
Being one of fourteen, life wasn’t so easy for the Dion family. They had very little money and had to sacrifice on plenty. Celine explained the extent of it, claiming “I did not have a bedroom. Up the stairs, before going in the bedrooms, there was a little ramp.
And my bed was there. So everybody went up, they saw me, and I could wave goodbye and goodnight.” Who knew that in the future she would have more money than they could ever dream of.
Taking on Eurovision
Over the next few years, Celine’s childhood was taken up by taking part in various singing competitions across the country. It was evident that having a normal childhood wasn’t in the cards for her.
She even worked hard to represent Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, taking home the trophy to a proud country. Things were only going to go from big to bigger for the star, as she prepared for global fame she knew she was destined to get.
Harsh reality of the business
In the brutal and cut throat industry of entertainment and music, Celine Dion faced her first personal hurdle when realizing she didn’t have the looks to help her market herself as the global star she aspired to be.
She went through the traumatic experience of removing herself from public life for an entire year as she underwent extreme dental care to fix her teeth and crooked smile. Thankfully, her pain was worth it since we see her smile across billboards all over the world.
A nightmare recovery
Just as Celine thought that her harsh recovery process was over and she would be able to go on as planned, disaster struck again. Celine Dion was devastated as she injured her voice during a 1989 tour.
She was faced with an ultimatum: undergo immediate surgery or not speak for three weeks. Celine decided to go silent for almost a month to heal and not risk more damage through another invasive surgery. She had just been through a rough surgery and couldn’t comprehend undergoing another one.
Singing for Disney
In the early 1990s, Celine Dion was becoming more known in English-speaking countries. Having conquered Europe, and undergone an extreme makeover including learning English from scratch, her real big break came when she duetted with Peabo Bryson on the title track for Beauty and the Beast – one of Disney’s most successful animated films.
Her iconic voice was heard by millions of people in the USA and she became a hero for young girls who now wanted to be like her.
Late night breakthrough
Following her success at Eurovision, Celine had truly cracked Europe, but the U.S. was a whole different game. It was in 1990 that Celine managed to break into the U.S. charts after being invited onto late night host Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show.”
The Hollywood veteran predicted huge success for Celine at such an early stage in her career. Turns out he wasn’t wrong and Celine’s first single in the U.S, “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” was certified gold.
My Heart Will Go On
She is perhaps best known for the power ballad My Heart Will Go On from James Cameron’s Titanic, the second most successful film of all time, grossing $2.18 billion.
No one could have predicted the success that came with her performance, the song is one of the most recognizable in the world and won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Song, helping her amass a $630m fortune over the years. This was just the beginning for Celine Dion.
Celine’s unexpected romance
Celine Dion’s career got bigger and better as she won well-deserved Oscars and Grammys for her work on films, as the 1990s continued. After much speculation surrounding a potential romance, Celine eventually publicly confessed personal feelings for her manager, René Angélil.
He had been her manager since discovering her talent when she was only 12. They had worked together all this time but began an affair when she was just 18 and he was 46. That’s quite the age gap!
Not everyone accepted
Celine explained how her mother was not on board with the romance. She said “When I told her I had some really strong feelings for René she tried everything to kill him and make me snap out of it.
I was very frustrated and mad at first but she tried to make me understand that this man tried marriage twice before, he has three children, he’s not responsible.” Ultimately, Celine and Rene were adults and they couldn’t ignore their love.
Expanding the family
Despite the 28-year age gap between the two, their love was stronger than ever. They married in 1994 and renewed their vows in 2000. The couple initially had problems conceiving children, resulting in Celine having yet another surgery to help improve her chances of getting pregnant.
The couple decided to go down the route of IVF and ended up having three healthy and beautiful children. Just another example of how her love and passion for life was tested and she overcame another challenge.
It was no secret that Celine and Rene had quite the large age difference of 28 years, so Rene had already lived a lot of his life before Celine came into it. From this, Rene had a son from a previous relationship named Patrick who is older than Celine by three months.
Despite the age difference and being older than his step mother, the family have always remained close and loved each other dearly. While she didn’t play a motherly role, they had a mutual respect and love for Rene.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
In 2004, Celine was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her huge achievements in music. The star was presented to her by Jay Leno, the same person who gave Celine a chance on his late night talk show.
Thereafter, Celine was propelled to new levels of fame and made a vast impact on the music industry. At the special ceremony, she owed all of her success to husband Rene who had supported her and believed in her for years.
There was no denying that Celine Dion was one of Canada’s greatest ever exports. She was the nation’s sweetheart and in 2013, Canada decided to give back to the superstar and present her with the Order of Canada.
During the ceremony, Celine was incredibly emotional and said “Thank you for this great honor,” she continued “I’ll try to be worthy by being a good companion.” The ceremony also noted Dion’s admirable humanitarian work, her generosity and compassion for others.
Taking over Las Vegas
In 2011, Celine began a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with around 70 performances per year. Earning $500,000 a show made Dion the top earner in the Nevada city.
Fans flocked to Las Vegas to get a glimpse of the superstar in concert. In total, the box office earned $296.2 million in revenue, gaining an attendance of around 1.74 million people. Not many performers can draw in these sort of figures and crowds.
A heartbreaking loss
In 2016, tragedy struck the Dion household. For many years, René Angélil had suffered from weak health, experiencing heart attacks and early stages of cancer. Even though he had overcome these challenges in the past, René passed away in January at the age of 73.
It was one of the hardest times in Celine’s life, but it was about to get even worse as just two days later, Celine’s brother died of cancer. Celine’s personal struggle was plastered all over the worldwide press, making her grieving time anything but private.
While the world wanted to send support and love to the singer, it was no surprise that Celine’s heart was in pieces. Instead of having time to grieve the loss of both her husband and beloved brother, having two funerals just four days apart was difficult for any individual to cope with.
When Celine was spotted in public for the first time she appeared solemn. While Celine did not sing at her husband’s funeral, her music was played during the service.
Back to performing
In February 2015, Celine Dion returned to her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to a sold-out crowd and rave reviews from critics about her strength and ability to perform after facing an incredibly traumatic period in her life.
On the back of her return, the following year in 2016, Dion performed at the 2016 Billboard awards and received the Billboard Icon award, presented by her son. With her career spanning three decades, Celine truly deserved all of the accolades.
Celine stands strong
Her most recent single, Ashes, appeared as the opening song in the superhero action film Deadpool 2. It has been amazing to see her so graciously and powerfully overcome the challenges she faced with her many surgeries, fertility challenges, and the tragic loss of her husband and best friend.
Regardless of her hardships, she has never turned her back on music or her fans, she has always been a person to get back up and move on with life.
2019 was the start of something new for Celine. Her Las Vegas residency had been such a significant part of her career and she announced that it would be coming to an end on June 8, 2019. Later in the year, Celine will go back to her roots and embark on her Courage World Tour.
Kicking off in September, it will start with North America before expanding internationally. The appropriately named tour pledged to take fans through Celine’s journey, showing how far the superstar has come.
Despite all of the success Celine has enjoyed in her life, she admitted that the money, the awards, the mass fame is nice, but nothing matters to her more than her family.
Celine has managed to stay grounded through her career by living by this mantra. By making her children and family a top priority, she has never had a moment where the fame has become too much for her and had a moment to crumble, unlike many other superstars.
No TV household
While it would be expected that someone like Celine Dion may enjoy to unwind with a mindless TV show after being on stage in front of thousands of people, but that isn’t the case.
In fact, the singer does not watch any television and said she was thankful to be born before time of reality TV. She admitted that when she performs, she just comes off stage and goes straight to her family to spend quality time with them.
The big boss
Celine has never been one to sit in the back seat and has always been a strong, independent woman. When she launched her handbag line, she was involved in every part of the creative process and when speaking to the press about it, she asserted “Let me be clear…. I am the boss.”
She explained that having been through a lot, she knows how to take charge and make sure everything runs well. Perhaps it is this attitude which has got her so far in life.
It’s fashion, darling
With so many costumes to design and amazing outfits on stage, it would be expected that Celine Dion is quite the fashionista. When designers have met Dion, they are very impressed about the singers knowledge of clothing as she stays up to date with everything through fashion magazines.
While so many designers want to dress her, Celine has her say in who she will collaborate with, on and off stage, and she always plays a big role in the designing process.
Confidence is everything
Being a popstar today can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have confidence in yourself, and plenty of stars have succumbed to the pressure. However, one of the reasons Celine has done so well is because she is unashamedly herself and is stable and happy in her own skin.
She admitted that this attitude comes after children and she can take more care with every decision. Now, she is living life by her own rules instead of going by the industry.
Success for the perfectionist
When seeing Celine Dion perform, she never hits a bad note and never misses a step. That is because she is a self proclaimed perfectionist and does everything with the utmost care and consideration.
This trait has not gone unnoticed in the music industry and songwriter Diane Warren commented that Celine is unlike any other artist and will stay in the studio for hours on end until a song is perfect. She also noted how Celine never hits a bad note, she just redoes her vocals until she is happy with them.
Honesty is Celine’s policy
Getting privacy in the public eye is a very hard thing to do and many stars struggle with the balance of being able to keep stuff out of the press. Celine, however, has gone the other way and admitted she has been an open book her whole life.
Through the highs and lows, her fans know what she has gone through and supported her all the way. It is this openness that has grown her fanbase even more and manifested her authenticity.
She’s a homebody
Fame and fortune means that there are always glamorous events to attend and A-listers to hang out with. However, this side of things has never interested Celine and she has never been one to get wrapped up with this scene.
Perhaps that is a big reason why she has always had a strong head on her shoulders, but she explained that her favorite thing to do is stay at home with her family and spend quality time together.
Celine the shoe-a-holic
Celine has always been very humble, never one to show off her money with ridiculous things, but the one thing she allows herself to go all out on is her fashion and shoe collection.
Dion admitted that shoes are her absolute weakness and she has more than 10,000 pairs of shoes in her walk-in closet and warehouses, a number which keeps growing! The shoes are all expensive and cost over $500 a pair, so when you add it all up, it comes to quite the expensive shoe closet!
Singer and restaurateur
She might be an international singing sensation, but Celine Dion decided to branch out and open a restaurant called Nickels. She opened her first restaurant in 1990 which served hamburgers, milkshakes, fries and other diner/grill food.
The restaurant has a 50s theme with jukeboxes and it ended up succeeding, so Celine expanded them and now there are Nickels restaurants all over Canada. The chocolate cake on the menu was chosen by Celine as her childhood favorite.
She’s worth it
In 2019, at the age of 51, Celine Dion signed her first beauty contract and was named as the newest addition to L’Oreal Paris family of ambassadors. Celine’s first campaign with the beauty brand was a television advert for Excellence Hair Color.
Upon the appointment, Celine told the press “I never saw that coming, especially at 51 years old.” Celine explained how she was excited to help empower other women through the brand and teach others to embrace and love themselves.
After the passing of her husband, Celine and her team had to change their strategy, she explained, “I’m very proud of what my whole team and myself have accomplished since the departure of my husband.” She explained they transformed into a more collaborative team and making decisions altogether.
She added “So now it’s like being in charge of my life. It makes me feel so strong.” With all the new things Celine is doing and leaving her Las Vegas residency, it seems the appropriate time for a mix up.
Celine Dion has millions of fans around the world, but recently it was revealed that Celine has some royal fans. Celine was performing as a headliner at London’s British Summer Time Hyde Park festival when two very eager fans were spotted in the VIP section.
British Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice couldn’t quite contain their excitement when superstar Celine took to the stage. They were seen singing along with her classic hits, snapping photos and taking it all in.
Re-creating Titanic, with a twist
In 2019, Celine Dion appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden in the famous Carpool Karaoke sketch. The talk show host and Celine belted her songs from the car while driving around the Las Vegas strip.
The hilarious video ended up with Corden and Dion sailing past the Bellagio fountains in a boat while belting out “My Heart Will Go On”. The crowds in Las Vegas couldn’t believe their luck when they got an impromptu performance from Celine.
Despite going through some horrible times, Celine told Elle magazine that she feels at her “pinnacle” at the age of 51. She explained that her life started over at 50-years-old, adding “I feel happy, I feel beautiful. I thought, ‘I must have done something right for this to be happening.”
Celine also explained how she saw life as many different books and when one book ended, another one opened for her, giving her a fresh start. Celine’s wonderful outlook on life has made her the best version of herself after overcoming hardships.
Fashionista come through
It seems that no one does Haute Couture Fashion Week like Céline Dion. Working with stylists Pepe Muñoz and Sydney Lopez, Celine’s fashion has never been better, and she looks to be loving every minute of it.
Celine turned heads in a $6,000 Chanel outfit and dared to bare it all in an Off-White leotard and blazer, minus some pants. Fashion has always been a passion for Celine and her newly found empowerment has encouraged her to wear whatever she feels like.
Forever an icon
Today, Celine Dion remains one of the most influential and respected artists in the world. She tours the world performing songs in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese.
Throughout the years she has stayed true to herself and her music, inspiring so many other artists and fans around the world. Celine has had anything but an easy life, but she has always conducted herself with class, poise and is truly an admirable icon.
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