Access Hollywood

Nancy O'Dell: It's been three years since the release of your last album. How does it feel to be getting back into the swing of things?
Celine Dion: I'm very excited because I think we have a great album. I feel like I have things to sing about. I definitely feel that this album took the least of my voice, but more of my soul and even more of my heart -- everything was relaxed and soft. My son was by my side and we had a great time. It feels like I made such a difference in my son's life and nothing else matters. I want to be more successful as a mother than I am in show business.

Nancy: You talk about how he was by your side... Have you seen your music change on this album because of his influence?
Celine: Definitely. The songs that I'm choosing, even the people that wrote my songs, they knew what I was going through. Not every song is a big ballad, but every song is as powerful.

Nancy: Would you say that your life is a little more peaceful now?
Celine: More peaceful and more complete. I don't feel like I have to push things or force things. I feel like everything is more relaxed.

Nancy: Are you nervous at all about re-entering [the music scene]? It's been a couple years…
Celine: Not at all. I know where I'm from and I know where I'm going. No matter what happens to me, I can always go back home with my husband, my family, and my son.

Nancy: Talking about how peaceful you are and how the career is not as important as your family, did it ever enter your mind about permanently retiring or would you miss it too much?
Celine: I never really left show business, to be honest with you, because music is part of my life. I didn't miss the stage or being on the television and radio, but I stayed plugged in with the music industry. At home, we don't listen to our music -- we listen to other people's music. It keeps you attached to the show business world. The thing that I'm sure now, today, is that I don't have to choose. If my son needed me right now because something had happened, it's not even a decision. It's not even a choice. But I'd be back one day or another. I want to stay home with my son and my husband and to be a mother but maybe I can do both. We'll try. We'll see.

Nancy: Are you able to take your son with you everywhere?
Celine: Yes, he's a trooper. We were flying from Florida and it's about a five and a half hour flight. When I started to pack, my husband kept saying to me, 'Celine, you know we're just leaving for ten days.' And I'm like, oh sure. I said ten days, ten years, it's the same. If ever we get stuck, I want my son to have everything. Me, mommy, got less luggage. I didn't bring as many pairs of shoes this time, but that's OK. The stores are open.

Nancy: I want to talk a little bit about when you actually found out that you were pregnant on the phone. Is it true that you acted very calm about it to surprise Rene?
Celine: No, it's not true. I was crying a lot.

Nancy: I thought you pretended that you didn't hear you were pregnant.
Celine: No, not at all. I was supposed find out if I was pregnant on a Saturday and the day was Thursday so I wasn't expecting to hear any news. I was just expecting my doctor to come to my house and take blood from me and see if everything was okay. He came in the kitchen and asked whether I would like to have breakfast before or after the blood test. I looked at him and like, 'normally you don't even ask me those questions -- you take the blood like a vampire and you go to the hospital and check things out.' To make a long story short, he asked if I liked rainy days and I said I didn't mind. He said sunshine was coming back, but I didn't pay much attention to it. To make a long story even shorter, he asked if he could make a phone call. I was having my peanut butter toast and he puts me on the speaker phone with the doctor from New York. He said, 'Hey, congratulations.' Once he said that, I took my two hands into my face and I started to cry. My sister Linda was there. My brother-in-law and Rene and the doctor and the doctor on the phone -- everybody was crying. I couldn't believe it! It was quite a spectacular day.

Nancy: I know that you contemplated immediately having another one because it was such a joyful experience.
Celine: We were lucky that in vitro worked the first time for us. We put three embryos in my belly and we have one that's five days old; it's frozen and it's there waiting for us. I'm going to go get this baby. I don't know when, but I hope very soon.

Nancy: Within the next few months? Within a year?
Celine: I don't know -- probably, to be realistic, after Vegas.

Nancy: But isn't Vegas a three-year commitment?
Celine: Yes, it's three years. Once you're committed, you can't choose between a baby and the career business. Once you're committed, you can't push your luck. We committed ourselves when we had Rene Charles. I wanted to be professional as a mother and I also want to be professional now as an artist.

Nancy: Why did you decide to do Vegas? That's a lot of work.
Celine: In 2000, I saw a beautiful show that changed my way of seeing performance. It's from the Cirque de Soleil and it's called O. I saw that show and I decided I wanted to do a visual show like it. I'm used to singing one song after another and entertaining people. Now I really want every song to become a visual experience. There'll be 50 or 60 performers on stage with me and at the same time Rene Charles will be home in his bed. Mommy will leave home around six at night, after having spent the whole day with my son.

Nancy: So many people's prayers went out to you when you talked about Rene's health and his cancer. Can you give us a health update? All of your fans still love and have concern for you.
Celine: Thank you, knocking on wood. It's been almost three years now. We know we have to wait five years [to see if he stays] in remission. I don't want to sound like I don't care about show business anymore, but the priorities have changed a lot. So far, so good. We take it a day at a time. Rene Charles is helping my husband tremendously. We used to plan our lives ahead. Especially in show business, it's just the way it works. After what happened to Rene and after what happened on the 11th in New York, it gives us another perspective. You have to balance things. We've stopped planning too much in advance.

Nancy: That's a great way to look at it. The way you talk about your son is so gorgeous. I just want you to take us into the hospital room when you gave birth and share that moment with us a little bit if you can.
Celine: They took my son and they gave him to Rene. We knew it was a boy. Rene met his son and he came to me and the first thing he said was, 'I can't believe it. I almost lost my life, and today, [we were] giving life.' That was very touching for me.

A New Day Has Come, Celine's new CD, is being released on March 26th.