Céline Dion is one of the most accomplished musical artists of our time. Her voice is absolutely amazing and so is she! She recently made an unexpected announcement that shocked the world:
Her Life Is Never Dull
Céline Dion’s life was not always smooth-sailing. She had humble beginnings as she was born into a rather poor, large family. Later, she faced a lot of obstacles on her road to stardom. Although she’s now a successful figure in the music industry, she can’t escape the prying eyes of the public. Her love affair and health problems became public spectacles. Nonetheless, she toughed it out and never failed to put a smile on her face in front of people.
Her Husband’s Diagnosis
In 1999, Céline faced one of the biggest crisis in her life upon receiving news that her husband, René, had throat cancer. Doctors have advised them that René would later lose his basic abilities. This meant that Céline had to be his caretaker. She put a lot of effort into taking care of her husband and made sure that he still lived life to the fullest despite everything.
Celine’s Mom Hated Her Relationship
In an interview, Céline had mentioned her mother’s strong objection against her relationship with René. She said that when she told her mother how much she liked him, her mother insisted that René was not a good choice as a partner. Here’s what Celine had to say about it: “When I told her I had some really strong feelings for Rene 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, ‘I want the perfect Prince Charming for you’.”
She Had Problems Conceiving
After having 13 successful albums released in the 1990s, Céline had announced that she was going to take a break. Her hiatus was primarily due to the difficulties she experienced in conceiving a child even after six years of marriage with René. She even underwent two fertility operations. Their long wait was finally over when their son, René-Charles Dion Angélil, was born on the 25th of January 2001.
She Almost Died
At a tender age of five, Céline almost died due to a sudden truck accident. It left her unconscious for a week and fractured her skull! Thankfully, she was able to fully recover.
She Hated My Heart Will Go On
The song “My Heart Will Go On” is undeniably one of Céline Dion’s greatest hits. But did you know that she initially thought it wouldn’t do well on the charts? According to her, “…I didn’t really like the song, at first. I did another song for a movie before. It was very successful, and I thought we were pushing our luck…” She couldn’t be any more wrong.
They Called Her A Traitor
Céline Dion first received a Grammy award in 1991 for her hit song “Beauty and the Beast”. The song’s popularity enabled her to break through the international market. However, this also caused anger amongst her French-Canadian fan base. Her Quebecois fans felt that they were being neglected after she gained international success. As a result, Céline refused to receive the English Artist of the Year award to emphasize that she was French and not English.
Celine Wasn’t Planned
Saying that Céline came from a big family might be an understatement. She is, in fact, the youngest of 14 siblings! Although her parents didn’t plan on having more than 13 children due to financial difficulties, fate had willed Céline’s birth. Her parents had no choice but to let her sleep in a cabinet drawer as a baby since they had no more beds. Céline’s life made a 180° turn, don’t you think?
Her Husband Put His Foot Down
Before René was Céline’s lover, he was first her manager. He was the one who insisted that Céline record the song “My Heart Will Go On”. In an interview with Jonathan Ross, here was what she had to say: “[Angélil] said, ‘Let’s just do a demo. Let’s give it a try and we’ll see after.’ The demo is actually the real recording. I never sang the song again.” After the song was released in 1997, it instantly became a hit and enabled Céline to win numerous awards.
A Shark When It Comes To Business
Céline’s mother, Thérèse Tanguay Dion, was famous in Quebec for being a great cook. Céline must have inherited her mother’s cooking skills since her first restaurant venture was a success. In 1990, she opened her own restaurant named Nickels in Quebec. It soon turned into a chain of restaurants all over Canada.
Suing For Millions For Spreading Lies
The 1990s was certainly proving to be tumultuous for Céline. After successful releases of her albums, she also had to contend with news of her husband’s cancer diagnosis. She then decided to go on hiatus and take care of her family. However, during her break, National Enquirer headlined a fake news saying that Céline was having twins. Céline then sued the tabloid magazine for spreading lies for a whopping $20 million! The magazine donated to the American Cancer Society in Céline’s name.
Céline Dion received various accolades for her work. She was awarded the highest honor by the province of Quebec with The National Order of Quebec. She also has stars on both the Canadian Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Moreover, Laval University awarded her an honorary doctorate. She dedicated the award to her husband.
She Had No Other Choice
Céline Dion was named after the song “Céline” which was released two years before she was born. It was originally performed by the popular French musician Hugues Aufray. It was also the song that jumpstarted her music career! At age 5, Céline performed the song during her brother Michel’s wedding ceremony. She might belong to a family of musicians, but everyone could tell she had extraordinary talent.
Discovered In The Weirdest Way
Her mother and brother wrote a song entitled “Ce n’était qu’un rêve” for her. The song’s literal translation was “It Was Only a Dream”. They sent the recording to a music manager named René Angélil. The rest, as you know, is history.
Her Mom Had To Interfere
Céline’s mother was the one who sent the demo tape to René. She attached a note, explaining, “This is a 12-year-old with a fantastic voice. Please listen to her. We want her to be like Ginette Reno.” However, René didn’t listen to it at first. He only listened to it after much persuasion from Céline’s brother. He was so impressed with her voice that he immediately contacted her and asked her to audition.
Her Audition Was Far From Normal
During the audition, René gave Céline a pretend microphone saying she should perform the song as if she was in a sold-out concert. Her performance left René awestruck after her performance.
Younger Than Her Own Stepson
René Angélil was much older than Céline— he was 26 years her senior. Moreover, he had two marriages prior to his relationship with Céline. His first son Patrick Angélil is even older than Céline!
Rene Burst Into Tears
When Céline auditioned in front of René, she remembered that he was brought into tears by her singing. It was at that moment she knew that she did well. René instantly signed her and became her manager. He had a vision for Céline’s career and he wanted to lay out his plans perfectly.
High Stakes Gambler
René had so much faith in Céline’s talent. He even mortgaged his own house to ensure that she received sufficient funding for her first album. His gamble surely paid off since Céline’s first record “La voix du Bon Dieu” was a huge hit. It wasn’t long before it topped the charts in Canada.
An Emotional Announcement
Although it has been a long time since René passed away, Céline still finds it difficult to move on and find a new lover. After all, she met him when she was only 12 years old and their marriage lasted 22 years! When confronted with reports about dating someone, here’s what she had to say: “Now it is definitely too soon for me. I am definitely in love with him, married to him…He’s the love of my life. It’s very difficult for me to see myself with another person.”
The Pope Loved Her
Even the Pope John II was impressed by Céline’s voice. In 1984, Céline sang the French anthem Une Colombe for the pope in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Reports have said that the Pope enjoyed Céline’s performance! Similarly, Celine had a great time performing for him.
She Demanded Time To Grow Up
After a series of successful hits, René advised Céline to take a break. Although this was a risky decision, Céline took some time off for 18 months. According to Céline, it was at this point that she matured into a woman.
Learning English And Going Global
Her decision to go on a break proved to be a wise choice. Céline returned better than ever. Her renewed confidence enabled her to sing better in English. Céline’s comeback album, “Incognito”, was another success and she was able to sell over 500,000 copies.
America’s Sweetheart Was Born
In 1990, Céline released “Unison”. It was her first English album and greatly helped her career expand into the Anglophone market. The album was gold-certified in America. It included several hits such as “Where Does My Heart Beat Now”. All was going well, but she would face yet another challenge.
Almost Losing Her Voice Forever
Her bright days were soon replaced with dark ones as she lost her voice. Before she went on another concert tour, Céline was diagnosed with laryngitis. This meant that she had to stop singing for a while to rest her damaged vocal cords.
Revealing Her Big Secret
Céline and René initially kept their relationship secret. Although several rumors were circulating regarding their romantic relationship, Céline only made it known before she released the album “The Colour of My Love”.
Fearing The Public
Céline and René had 26 years between them. They started dating when Céline was only 19 years of age. The large age gap was the cause of public controversy. Nonetheless, they endured criticism, tied the knot, and started their own family.
She’s A Fantastic Secret Keeper
Did you know that it took them five years to go public with their relationship? In 1994, René had said in an interview that he was particularly concerned about other people’s opinion of their relationship. However, Céline insisted that they had to reveal their relationship to the public. She couldn’t care less about what other people thought. “When you’re in love, you want to scream it to the world,” she explained.
Céline and René were practically Canadian royalty! Their wedding was live-streamed on Canadian television. They were married at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica on the 17th of December 1994. A lot of Céline’s fans even came to Canada to witness her wedding.
Bridezilla Or Royal Princess?
Céline wore a stunning wedding dress fit for a royal. It was a creation by Mirella and Steve Gentile that required over 1,000 hours of work! The outfit came with a 20-foot train and a 20-pound tiara! Her wedding dress was the talk of the town even days after the wedding.
Pricey Homes And Multiple Investments
The couple purchased an impressive $72 million mansion in Florida. The place came with its own golf course, a water park, and three swimming pools.
He Was Her Everything
During Céline Dion’s “Let’s Talk About Love” tour, she received terrible news. She was informed of her husband’s cancer diagnosis during one of her shows. She then dedicated a song for her husband during the concert. René fought cancer and lived until he was 73 years old. He died on January 14, 2016.
Her Children’s Names Were Chosen Carefully
Going back to happier days, the couple welcomed twins on October 23, 2010. The boys were named Nelson and Eddy. Nelson got his name from Nelson Mandela. The latter was named after Eddy Marnary, who produced Céline’s first five albums.
Dreaming Of Changing The World
The Queen of Pop was also famous for her involvement in charity work. In 2004, she raised $1 million for the victims of the tsunami that rocked Asia. A year later, she donated another $1 million for relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. She also went on Larry King Live to express her disappointment in the U.S. government’s slow response to the disaster.
Her Secret Dad
Céline rarely spoke of her father, Adhémar Dion, during interviews. After he died in 2001, Céline said, “My dad was and is still my number one fan since I was a very little girl. I know that my dad would want me to be here tonight on stage with everyone I love, doing what we love.”
She Prepared her Kids for Death
It was hard for Céline to break the news of René’s death to her young children. However, she prepared them for the inevitable. “I’m proud of the way I prepared my boys for their dad’s death. In life, you never know what’s going to happen, so you should never wait for tomorrow to do what can be done today, to say I love you, or send a thank-you note…The future is now.”
Her Son is Too Young
René-Charles Dion Angélil, Céline’s firstborn son, presented her the Billboard Icon Award during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. It was her son’s first public appearance and people immediately took notice of him thanks to his youthful good looks.
She Made it to 90
Céline’s mother, Thérèse, is very much alive and kicking at 90 years of age. The mother and daughter remain to be close to this day.
She NEVER Misses a Beat
Céline is a delight to interview, which has become quite a rarity in Hollywood. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, she received compliments for her jewelry and she simply replied by singing Donna Summer’s “She Worked Hard for the Money”. Céline’s fun personality is part of what makes her a star!
Without a Brother
Céline might have a successful career, but she is not immune to tragedy. Her husband and brother both died of cancer only days apart. We can’t image how much sorrow that must have caused her.
Her Siblings Never Made It Big
The large Dion family was full of musicians. Her big sister Claudette also pursued a music career. However, she was not as successful as her sister Céline.
Making Money Off Her Fashion Sense
Céline ventured into new territory when she released her own fashion collection. She has always been considered as one of the best-dressed celebrities in the world so it was only inevitable. Her line consisted of over 200 bags and accessories. She took inspiration from her family, especially from her mother and her twins.
Céline also explored other platforms that do not involve singing. You might have seen her on the small screen. She even appeared in “All My Children”.
A Voice Worth Hundreds Of Millions
Céline Dion’s story is a perfect example of a ‘rags to riches’ story. Her extraordinary voice, passion, and hard work enabled her to make a name for herself. Reports have indicated that her net worth is now $700 million.
A Canadian Star
Another notable fact about Céline is that she has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame despite her Canadian citizenship. Not a lot of Canadians have a spot there! Back home, she also has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
They Are All Related
Can you believe that Madonna, Shania Twain, Beyonce, and Céline Dion are all related? Well, it might not be surprising since all of them have amazing talent. It was discovered that they are all related to French-Canadian Zacharie Cloutier. In 1634, he left France and settled down in Canada to seek a better life. He belonged to one of the first families that lived in “New France”. Who could’ve guessed that his family would later produce some of the world’s most famous singers?
Master Of Many Tongues
Céline Dion is a talented performer, that much is obvious. You are probably familiar with her English or French songs, but here’s a fun fact: she has also sung in German, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish!
A Staggering Net Worth
Céline Dion has been reported to be one of the highest grossing musicians during the 2000s. A concert in Las Vegas alone earned her $465 million! To add to that, her concert tours are always sold out. Aside from her music career, she also has a successful fashion line and restaurant chain. She also invested quite a lot of money in real estate. If you weren’t impressed before, you definitely should be by now!
Hit And Miss
Céline Dion certainly has more chart-topping hits than other artists. She was also able to record great songs for movies. We are all familiar with “My Heart Will Go On”. However, she also had some misses. One of them was the song “Dreams to Dream” for the flick, “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West”.
Love of Golf
An unexpected hobby of Céline is golf. She loves to spend her time either watching or playing golf. The hobby has been a mainstay in her life, apparently.
Love Of Golf
Céline and René also own a golf club, Le Mirage. In 2008, the couple had it renovated and donated millions to the Quebecois club. They also lent a hand when it came to promotion. On the website, you will find their public statement that says, “a visit to the Mirage is an adventure in itself.”
And The Winner Goes To…Celine Dion
Céline’s talent was recognized by people from all parts of the globe. She received numerous awards for her accomplishments and we all agree that they were well-deserved. To date, she has performed at the Oscars more times than any other artist!
Her numerous appearances at the Oscars is largely due to her hit movie soundtracks. She performs year in and year out in honor of the film industry. In 2011, she had her record-setting 6th performance at the Oscars. She sang the song “Smile” in honor of the celebrities who had passed away in the past year.
We’ve mentioned that she’s extremely fashionable. Céline Dion was also fashion-forward and bold when it comes to her fashion choices. During the 1999 Oscars, she donned an iconic backward white tuxedo.
Backwards White Tux
Céline’s tuxedo suit was criticized by many who claimed that it was a fashion faux pas. However, in an interview with PEOPLE magazine, Céline had mentioned that she had no regrets about wearing the suit. She thought it was fashion forward. Despite what other people say, we love Céline for taking that fashion risk! She was indeed ahead of her time.
White Backwards Tux
She wore that white tuxedo suit at a time when every woman in attendance wore a dress. It definitely made for an unusual sight! “I was the only one with pants in a backward suit from Galliano and if I would do this today it would work. It was avant-garde at the time. And it doesn’t matter, you just have to assume what you wear, you wear, and I did,” she explained.
It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
Going back to Céline’s colorful music career, did you know that her famous song “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” was originally meant for Meat Loaf? The composer later decided that a female voice was better suited for it and sent it to Céline. We’re glad he made that decision!
Clinging On To Her Children
It wasn’t easy for Céline to move on after her husband René passed away. She mentioned in an interview that one of the ways she coped with the loss was by spending time with her kids. “I miss him a lot for my partner, for the man I was embracing, kissing, making love with. I organize myself to not feel lonely. So what’s happened is I got myself a huge bed and I sleep with my twins. My twins are comforting me a lot. I need them. I need them close.”
She Can Pretty Much Sing Anything
Everyone probably knows that Céline possesses an impressive vocal range. She can easily sing any song out there with her powerful voice. She’s also known for adding her own style to other artists’ popular songs. She did an amazing cover for John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy”. She also did memorable covers of Eric Carmen’s “All by Myself” and Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night”.
Céline also collaborated with several artists. She performed powerful duets with notable artists such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Barbara Streisand, and Luciano Pavarotti. She would gain a reputation for being a good collaborator.
It was in 1999 that the Record Industry Association of America started to certify albums with the “diamond status” after selling over 10 million copies. Having one diamond-certified album is a difficult task for any music artist. Céline defied all odds as two of her albums attained the title! These were her 1996 album entitled “Falling into You” and her 1997 album “Let’s Talk about Love”.
A Best Selling Female Artist
By 1991, her album sales were monitored by record executives with the use of Nielson Soundscan system. Recorded showed that Céline was among the best-selling female musicians both in Canada and the US. Only Mariah Carey and Rihanna were able to beat her in sales. What a feat!
Céline was raised as a Roman Catholic. “It’s important for people to have something they can touch and believe in,” she explained, “I say that to believe in yourself is to believe in God. For me, God is life itself, the birds, the air, the sunrise and the sunset, the children. Yes, that is where I find God. Not in a church.”
Reaching For Gold
Céline proved to be an unstoppable force when she successfully entered an infamously difficult market – France. Her hit song “D’amour ou d’amitié”, which roughly translates to “Of Love or of Friendship”, was able to reach gold!
Upgrading Her Image
With Céline’s increasing popularity, her team decided to upgrade her look. She had always been criticized for her teeth— the tabloids have even called her “Canine Dion”. During the 80’s, she would undergo multiple dental procedures to fix her teeth.
Mid Career Misses
When Céline came back from her three-year break, she released a new album called “A New Day Has Come”. This was 2002 and it mostly contained songs that talked about her new experiences as a mother.
Accessible To All
Céline was also famous for her down-to-earth personality. She always treated her fans with a lot of consideration. When her husband died, she even met her fans to accept their condolences. She also permitted the broadcast of the eight-hour funeral. She did all this even though people would understand if she wanted to keep things private.
She Won By A Single Point
In 1988, Céline Dion took part in the Eurovision Song Contest. She was Switzerland’s representative then, though she held no connection to the country. Nonetheless, she won the grand prize and beat the UK by a single vote.
Michael Jackson’s Fanatic Fan
Michael Jackson played a huge role in shaping Céline’s music style. Even during the start of her career, Céline openly expressed that she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Just like the King of Pop, she was able to sell millions of albums and receive numerous awards at a young age.
A 5-Year-Old Hanging Out At A Bar
Dion’s family owned a piano bar, Le Vieux Baril. It is where they usually practiced their music. It’s situated in Charlemagne, Quebec. At only 5 years old, she was already regularly performing for the patrons!
“A New Day Has Come” Recieved Harsh Critiscm
Céline’s comeback album “A New Day Has Come” debuted and held the top spot on Billboard 200. Despite its warm reception among the general public, critics commented that her lyrics were “lifeless” and “forgettable”.
Gold In France
Céline Dion was the first Canadian musician to reach a Gold status in France! That’s incredibly impressive when you consider that she only a teenager at the time.
Céline Dion’s international fame began when she joined international competitions during the 1980s. She won both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest. She was Switzerland’s representative both times.
In 1999, Céline chose to be with her husband and take a break. She felt that she needed to be with René after his cancer diagnosis. When she made her comeback in 2002, she agreed to a deal that indicated she perform at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace every night.
Most Successful Concert Residency Of All Time
Céline Dion also earned the highest grossing residency at Caesars Palace for her five-star theatrical show. It grossed an overwhelming $385 million!
Another Residency Show!
In 2011, Céline renewed her contract to perform a second residency show at Caesars Palace. According to the contract, she will perform there until 2019.
Highest Paid Resident Performer
She actually has the highest rate among all resident performers. She’s paid $500,000 per show. She has surpassed even Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, and Elton John!
OWN Network showed a documentary detailing Céline’s personal life. It featured her everyday life, the struggles with pregnancy, and her Las Vegas shows. The documentary remains to be the network’s second highest rated show on the network’s Canadian counterpart.
Everyone Wants To Sit Next To Her
In a recent survey conducted by FlightNetwork.com, they asked 780 people which celebrity they preferred to sit next to on an airplane. Céline Dion ranked first! Who doesn’t wish they can sit next to Céline Dion for hours on end?
When it comes to her side projects, her perfume line is one of the most successful. This year, she was able to release the 14th perfume in her Parfums Collection. She called this one “Signature”.
She Is Influenced By The Greatest Artists
During interviews, Céline has mentioned several artists which greatly influenced her music. Some of these are Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Barbara Streisand, Anne Murray, Charles Aznavour, and the Bee Gees.
She Has A Great Sense Of Humor
Céline Dion has a great sense of humor. She doesn’t mind being impersonated for her stage antics and strong accent. In fact, she’s even flattered by all of it. She was referenced in several TV shows, including Saturday Night Live, Royal Canadian Air, MADtv, South Park, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In one of her New York concerts, she even asked one of her impersonators to go on stage!
Although Céline distances herself from politics as much as possible, she couldn’t help but express disapproval about the US government during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In her appearance on Larry King Live, she tearfully expressed her disappointment with the government’s failure to help the victims. “There are people still there waiting to be rescued. To me that is not acceptable … How can it be so easy to send planes in another country to kill everybody in a second and destroy lives. We need to serve our country,” she said.
She Is Greatly Admired By Other Artists
Céline Dion is also well-loved by her fellow artists. She’s been cited as an inspiration by Rihanna, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, Adele, and Lea Michele.
Timbaland Loves Her Too
DJ Timbaland also holds Céline in the highest regard. “Celine has such a beautiful, mesmerizing voice. She is so talented. I think we could create something that is a classic like she is already,” he explained in an interview.
Celine Changed Vegas
Pollstar president Gary Bongiovanni declared that Céline was able to change the entertainment scene in Las Vegas. Caesar’s Palace VP of Entertainment Kurt Melien agrees with the sentiment. Here’s what he had to say about it: “Celine was a pioneer without question … Twenty years ago, we couldn’t have got someone the stature of Britney Spears to appear in Vegas. Stars like her would never have considered it if Celine hadn’t paved the way. She changed the face of modern Vegas.”
Song Of The Century
“My Heart Will Go On” was awarded by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Recording Industry Association of America as the Song of the Century!
Due to Céline’s philanthropic engagements, she was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the UN in 2010. The program started in 1999 and aimed to raise awareness about various important issues.
Canada Honored Her Too
Of course, her home country didn’t forget about her. She was also awarded the highest honor in Canada in 2013!
She’s A Big Philanthrophist
Over the years, Céline has worked with various organizations to support her advocacies. One of which is the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She also helped raise funds for children during World Children’s Day. It’s easy to see how she became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN.