Driven: Celine Dion highlights include:
· Celine Dion was the unexpected, virtually unwanted, fourteenth child born to a poor family who built their own house and bunked several of their babies in a chest of drawers because they didn’t have room in the house for beds.
· Several of Celine’s older brothers and sisters had tried their luck at musical careers with little success, making their youngest sister their last chance to achieve big-time fame.
· When Celine was 12, her mother wrote a song and sent the demo tape to the most powerful manager in Quebec, Rene Angelil, who signed Celine on the spot after hearing her sing.
· Celine became an international child star in Quebec and France after winning the international Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo at age 14
· Celine was ridiculed in the press for her frightful fang-like teeth, earning the nickname “Dracula.”
· Celine took a two-year breakat age 16 to have her teeth fixed, her style made over and her music infused with a hipper, funkier style.
· At the age of 18, Celine signed with her first major record company and the stunningly transformed singer released her comeback album, the appropriately titled Incognito.
· Celine’s learned English at a Berlitz school before crossing over into an American market.
· After two years and nearly a million dollars of production, Celine Dion released Unison in America.
· Celine’s version of the theme song for an animated movie from Steven Spielberg was rejected by the rainmaking director.
· Days after that defeat, Celine signed on to sing the theme song from Disney’s animated film, Beauty and The Beast – a song that would go on to earn a Grammy and an Oscar for Celine, and take her to the stage of the 1992 Academy Awards.
Some of the interview highlights include:
· Michel Drucker, “They had a minuscule house. There wasn’t enough room for everybody. So they would sleep in dresser drawers. They emptied the drawers and put in two pillows. Every bit of space was needed, anything to cope with things.”
· Isabelle Duclos, Neighbor and playmate, “It was impossible to sleep on Saturday nights, there was music from the Dions that reached our house.”
· Liette Dion, sister, “When the casette arrived, he looked at it and thought, ‘Another one who thinks that his child is going to become a star overnight!”
· Larry Leblanc, Billboard journalist, “He was putting essentially his future in the hands of a child performer. People thought he was insane.
· Claudette Dion, “Celine wanted to conquer the world. René was for it, because Céline wanted it – she wanted it passionately. She said, ‘I want to go singing all over the world.’”
· Mia Dumont, Celine’s former Press secretary and friend. “It’s Pygmalion. He discovered her, and he made her whatever she wanted to become.”
· Georges-Hebert Germain, Friend & Cowriter, “People here in Quebec would call her Dracula.”
· Cecile Jalbert, Voice coach, “She told me you know, ‘I don’t want to be only the best in Quebec, not only the best in North America. No, that’s nothing. The best in the world!’”
· Michel Drucker, TV Host, ”It was a complicated time. She doesn’t dare admit to her mother that she is in love with her manager – this man who could have been her father.”
· Rene Angelil, “So we stopped everything for a year and a half, actually. While she was very, very hot.”
· Rene Angelil, “I knew that she loved me and I loved her. And I know there’s a big difference of age. I was you know, 46 at that time she was 20. So, it’s a big, big difference. It makes no sense.”
· Nathalie Petrowski, Journalist, “Some mummies sort of saying hey, what happened to our nice little girlie? She’s become a sort of sex pot here.”
· Michel Drucker, “Her mother says to René Angélil ‘I had hoped for the best for my daughter, I had dreamed of a prince charming and not of a divorced man with two children.’”
Some of the footage highlights include:
· Home video footage of Celine at ages six and eight at neighborhood parties.
· Rare footage of a young Celine in the studio recording some of her first albums.
· Footage of 15-year-old Celine at a family get-together.
· Rare concert footage from her first tour singing “What A Feeling” in English.
· Footage of Celine’s English lessons at the local Berlitz school.
· Footage of Celine’s television debut in Quebec.
· Footage of Celine’s television debut in Paris on Champs-Elysees.
· Footage of Celine’s American debut on The Tonight Show.
Celine Dion’s path to success begins with her astoundingly talented musical family. Although Celine is a surprise fourteenth child whose birth cuts off her mother’s impending freedom from the routines of childcare and babies, Celine will soon become her mother’s liberation from the humdrum workaday world of Charlemagne, Quebec as they travel all over Canada and overseas to Japan and France searching for fame. The beginning is as good as a fairy tale, with Mama Dion penning Celine’s first song and the most powerful manager in Quebec signing Celine on immediately after hearing the demo. Money problems will plague Celine and her manager for years – Rene finances Celine’s first albums by mortgaging his house and no big record label will sign Celine for the first 6 years of her career. Still, in Rene’s expert hands, Celine quickly becomes a top record seller in her native province. She quickly becomes a perennial winner at the province’s annual music awards and a darling to fans of all ages. Yet all too soon, Rene and Celine face the crucial boundary between childhood and adulthood – a boundary over which they must pass if Celine’s reputation as a singer will be anything more than a wholesome, innocent child star. Rene persuades Celine to take a break from the spotlight and retool her image and her music.
On the other side of her transformation, an attractive and sexy Celine releases an extremely successful sings songs like “Lolita” and “It’s for You” while dreaming of the one man who has captured her heart: her manager Rene Angelil.
As Celine begins recording her first English-language album, she competes in and wins a prestigious European song contest. The public success is only part of her happiness that night, for in the euphoria of her victory, Rene finally kisses his young artist – fulfilling years of longing and desire. Although the couple elect to keep their romance a secret in their professional life, Celine now has the life she has been working toward. The next year Unison is released in the U.S. and its single goes to #4. Nearly twelve years after recording her first album, Celine Dion graces one of the biggest stages in the world, the Academy Awards, singing her signature song, "Beauty and the Beast" – a song whose title seems the perfect subtitle to the singer’s life.
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