Edited by Valentina
Céline Dion was born in Charlemagne, in the suburbs of Montréal (Québec), on 30 March 1968, at 12:30; she weighed a little more than 3 Kilograms. Her parents, Adhèmar Dion (2 March 1923) and Thérèse Tanguy (20 March 1927) got married on 20 June 1945 and they gave birth to 13 sons: Denise (15 August 1946), Clément (2 November 1947), Claudette (10 December 1948), Liette (8 February 1950), Michel (18 August 1952), Louise (22 September 1953), Jacques (10 March 1955), Daniel (29 November 1956), Ghislaine (28 July 1958), Linda (23 June 1959), Manon (7 October 1960) and the twins Paul and Pauline (3 April 1962) that in their project should be the last ones of the Dion dynasty.
On the contrary, after six year she was born, "the incident of the family", as Céline often tells, who has been named after the song "Céline" by Hughes Aufray, that the mother used to hear often during the pregnancy.
At 5, after having sung with success "Du fils, des aiguilles et du coton" and "Mamy Blue" at the marriage of her brother Michel celebrated on 18 August 1973, she decided to become a singer and since that day she has been repeating it more often to her mother and to her large family where the music reigns.
Her music influences was various; in Dion home they listened to Janis Joplin,
Jimmy Hendrix, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, The Doors, Barbra Streisand,
without living out the pop music and the most important singer in Québec,
Céline loved to listen to her siblings playing and singing, and often she fell a sleep on the benches of the place where they used to perform.
At school, she was an inattentive little girl, unwilling, often absent, and this condition made they had doubts about a possible ill-treatment at home. For this reason, they sent to Dion home a social worker, but her inspection had negative results. The "illness" of Céline was "music": she loved anything else than music and this was the only reason why she was absent and dreamy during the lessons.
Her first live performances were at "Le vieux Baril", owned by Dions and where other members of the family already used to perform under the name of "A. Dion et son ensamble". Other members formed another group called "D si D", of which Céline followed artistic vicissitudeds as a dogged fan. Then, her brother Michel formed another group, "The Show", that had fairly good success.
The real beginning of the Céline experience in the music world happened on 1981, when in the kitchen of the house, her mother Thérèse and one of her son, Jacques, wrote the first original song for Céline, "Ce n'était qu'un reve". The song, and other two ones, was recorded in some way on a tape and then sent to René Angélil (16 January 1942), who once was the manager of Ginette Reno. Ginette Reno, a kind of institution in Québec, dismissed him to replace him with her future husband, and Angélil, close to the failure of his production company, was preparing to close his company and to start again law studies. After some days, since they haven't received a reply, Michel decided to call Angélil. He explained that they had sent a tape and that surely he hadn't listen to it because otherwise he should called him immediately. René answered that actually he hadn't heartd the tape and that he should listen to it as soon as possible.After some hesitations, in the silence of his office, he listened the demo and he was dazzled by it; incredulous for the age of the singer, 12 years, decided to call her in his office in the afternoon of the same day. Céline and her mother went to Angélil office and without wasting time, he asked her to sing. A little shy, she answered that she usually sang with a microphone and in public; then he held out the pen he had in his breast pocket and he told her to imagine to sing at Place des Arts, the biggest concert hall in Québec.
After a few seconds, that embarrassed and wavering little girl began to sing "Ce n'était qu'un reve" with a disarming control; she sang as there was a true audience in front of her, taking the breath of René away who was crying for the emotion. "I can tell you that within five years, your daughter will be a star in Québec and in France", he said to the mother of Céline, recovering the enthusiasm he had lost after the vicissitude with Ginette. René was a gambler and he felt to have a winning card in his hands and then he decided to do things in style; he called Eddy Marnay, one of the most important songs writer and he made him listen to Céline. Also Eddy Marnay remained amazed by the emotion that her voice transmitted and almost at one go he wrote her a song, "La voix du bon Dieu", and began to write other ones.
Meanwhile, Angélil called his acquaintances, and on 19 June 1981, in the
programme of the famous Canadian host Michel Jasmin, Céline made her first TV
apparition. On the same day, the single "Ce n'était qu'un reve" has
During the summer of 1981, Céline sang at the Olympic stadium of Montréal, several times, the national anthems of Canada and US. before some baseball matches.
While the "petite québecoise" ("little Quebecer") began to receive consents, René continued to work on project after project. He asked to Eddy Marnay to write, at the same time, both the songs that he was writing and some songs for a Christmas album. To do that, he needed money that nobody wanted to advance to produce a twelve years old girl. Then René mortgaged the house where he was living with her second wife, Anne-Renée, and their sons, Jean-Pierre (23 March 1974) and Anne-Marie (12 June 1977). His firstborn, Patrick (28 January 1968) was living with his first wife, Denise.
On 9th November, with a launching fit for a great star, her first album has been released, "La voix du bon Dieu" consisting of nine songs entirely written by Eddy Marnay.
After three weeks, also "Céline Dion chante Noel" has been released. Both the album sold several hundreds of copies and the name of Céline began to be well-known in Québec.
Her third album
"Tellement j'ai d'amour"
, consisting of nine
songs, has been released in the fall of 1982. The main song of the album,
"Tellement j'ai d'amour pour toi"
has been chosen to take part in the 13rd Yamaha International Festival in Tokyo,
representing France. Céline overcame the competition of other 30 finalists and
in front of 12.000 persons present in the hall and 115 millions watching the
television, she won the gold medal. Moreover, the orchestra, consisting of 58
elements, impressed by her performance, gave her a special award: the prize of
In January 1983, Céline represented Canada at Super Gala RTL inside the MIDEM Cannes Festival and she triumphed with "D'amour où D'amitié". At that performance a young and unknown author was present, J.J. Goldman. After the victory at Super Gala RTL, she took part in the most important French programme, "Champs Elysées"; its host, Michel Drucker, then became her adviser in French. Once she come back home, Céline performed live several times and every time it was a triumph, people remained amazed by her powerful voice and by her way to managed it.
In French, "Du soleil au coeur" has been released: it's a collage of her first three Canadian albums and it was an immediate success! With "D'amour où D'amitié", she was the first Canadian artist to win a gold record in French, with more than 700.000 copies sold!
1983 has been an year full of releases!
First of all, the second Christmas album "Chants et Contes de Noel" with seven songs, among them "Un enfant", song written by J. Brel, three songs of the first Xmas album and three new songs. The long series of awards began; on 7th September Michel Jasmin gave her two gold records: the first for the sale of 100.000 copies of "Tellement j'ai d'amour pour toi" in Québec, and the other one for the sale of "50.000" copies of "D'amour où D'amitié" in Québec and in French.
On the same day, the fourth album,
"Les chemins de ma maison"
has been released at the same time both in Paris and in Montréal, consisting of
The year ended with a triumph, with the winning of four 4 Felix Awards. At the beginning of 1984 Céline followed a course of German language at Berlitz to record the German versions of "D'amour où D'amitié" and "Mon ami m'a quittèe". Unfortunately, the operation hadn't the success that they hoped for. They were preparing a new album, written by Eddy Marnay who was living by then in a kind of symbiosis with Céline of who he wanted to understand the thoughts and the emotions to write her some songs that she could feel and that they could represent them.
Céline, from her side, was living the critical period of adolescence; she didn't like herself, she flirted, with no conviction, with a certain Silvayn, but her life was to sing... it was the only thing that made her feel happy and beautiful! Very soon, she said goodbye to Silvayn to concentrate only and exclusively on her career.
At the end of August,
has been released, and before December it
was already gold record.
She won two Felix Awards with "Les chemins de ma maison".
She has been selected to represent the Canadian youth for the coming of the Pope at the Olympic stadium and she sang "Une Colombe" in front of the Holy Father and of 65.000 contemporaries earning an ovation fit for a big star.
Her participation at the first part of the show of P. Sebastien from 6th November to 9th December at Olympia (Paris), was part of the strategy to conquer France. Even if she didn't earn a great success, she received a good criticism and she got experience.
In France a new album has been released,
Les oiseaux du bonheur
, with 10
songs. They are an umpteenth selection of her songs published in Québec and
songs: "Paul et Virginie", "Les oiseaux du bonheur" and
"L'Hymne à l'amitié".
Céline was precious in everything she did! She was just 16 when her first greatest hits has been released, Les plus grands succès de Céline Dion ; a part of the sales proceeds was destined to the Research Association for Cystic Fribosis, of which Céline was (and she still is) patroness, living closely to the drama of this terrible genetics illness of which her niece Karine, daughter of Liette, has been suffering since her birth.
René continued to invest very much on Céline, he really believed in her and in
her possibilities and the facts said he was right.
Mélanie was certified platinum record with 100.000 copies.
In January she began a tour Québec, with 36 show in 25 towns, a real "tour de force" which forced René to stay far from home for long periods; this had devastating effect on the life as a couple. In fact, in February, Anne-Renée left home, leaving him alone with the two children: for him, it was a real blow to his pride. Meanwhile, the success of the "little star" didn't end; in that year, Céline won 5 Felix Awards with the album called "Mélanie", she established, with René, a production company, "Les Feelings productions Inc.", sang three nights in a row (31st May, 1st and 2nd June) at Place des Arts with a huge success and three "SOLD OUT" in a row!!!
Things between René and Anne-Renée seemed to go better; in fact, she came back home, even if the life as a couple by then was unbearable: continual quarrels and arguments brought her to apply for a divorce and to obtain the custody of the children, even if René continued to see them with a certain regularity.
However, René passed through a crisis. Céline's career was booming and a new album, "C'est pour toi", has been released, consisting of ten songs, where Eddy Marnay, guessing her feelings, told about a Céline in love and narrated a new and not requited love, maybe not understood.
That love had a name: René! Céline was madly in love with him and who was close to her was able to see it clearly. However, they thought it was just a short-lived crush, an ancy due to the charisma of the pygmalion, of the middle-aged man.
Taken from the concert at Place des Arts on 31 May 1985, Céline Dion en concert has been released, in which Céline performs some of her greatest hits, some tributes to authors as Felix Leclerc and Michel Legrand, Bizet's Boheme and a pair of English songs.
Another record has been published: it's the first soundtrack of her career, Opération Beurre de Pinottes (Peanut Butter Solution) . The songs were almost unnoticed, even if from the first song "Listen to a magic man" it has been taken the first video clip in Céline career. Everything seemed to do well, but René, troubled by family vicissitudes and by that little girl he was feeling something for, decided to give her a sabbatical year, and went to Las Vegas with his friends of Black Jack.
Céline took advantage of this long period to arrange her teething and to renew her "poor and maltreated girl" look, as described by Céline. Moreover, she used to study English at Berlitz from 9:00 to 17:00 during an intensive course. During this period a fundamental stage of her career happened: the passage from TBS to CBS, then Sony Music, for which she recorded a new album in February.
On 2 April 1987
has been published, with authors as the usual
Eddy Marnay, Luc Plamandon and Isa Minoke. The album was consisting of 8 songs
and it was published in different versions, depending on the market. In this
album Céline was more aggressive and sang a less platonic love, full of passion,
wanted at all costs.
Also her look was completely changed compared with her previous apparition: she was an adolescent who began to know what she wanted from her life.
1988 began with a long tour in Québec, with 42 shows in a row at St. Denis theater!
Céline has been called to represent Switzerland at 33rd edition of Eurofestival with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi".
The festival took place in Dublin on 30 April 1988, Céline sang "Ne partez
moi" and won the competition of the other finalists and won the prize for
the first place with 137 votes against 136 votes of the second place, a triumph
wet by the ritual tears.
On the same evening, Céline and René, after thousands of hesitations from René, declared themselves their mutual feelings and they fell in love; for her it was a kind of liberation, for him it was the beginning of a period of happiness, but splanged with thousand problems due to the difference of age: 26 years!
The winning song of Eurofestival broke the French records market as well, selling 500.000 copies.
Her popularity in Europe forced Céline travel around
the old continent, with a dense calendar of shows that engaged her practically
every day till 23rd May, when she came back home where she won other prizes: 4
Her image of young and winner girl began to interest the Majors, and one of
them, Chrysler motors,
made her a millionaire contract to advertise their mark.
But Céline and René had a ambitious project: to conquer the English-speaking Canada and the US.! To do this, they entrusted the production of the new album, the first in English, to mythical figures of discography: David Foster, Christopher Neil and Andy Goldman.
During the first months of the year, they moved to Los Angeles, at the Malibu Inn and in March Céline recorded, at Chartmaker Studio, the first song: "Love by another name". A lot of renowned personalities, producers, experts of discography came to see her while she was recording and they remained impressed by her skill, not in accordance with her age and by her easiness to perform different kind songs.
During this period, she recorded some duets as well: "Can't live with you can't live without you" with B. N. Davies and "Whishful Thinking" with Dan Hill.
Both the songs haven't been published in her album, but in albums of the two singers.
In summer she went to London to record "Where does my heart beat now", produced by C. Neil who remained amazed by the speed and the skill of Céline, who recorded the song in only half-hour.
According to the ritual, on 6th May 1989 Céline gave the prize for the first place at 34th Eurofestival and on the night she sang for the first time an English song, "Have a heart", English version of "Partout je te vois" taken from "Incognito".
1990 was the year of the English bet of the "petite Québecoise"
On 2 April 1990 at Metropolis in Montréal she launched " Unison ", a record consisting of 10 English songs. Céline had a more aggressive look, further renewed compared with the period of "Lolita".
The album had a huge success, reaching the first places of the Billboard chart with the single "Where does my heart beat now" and it gave to Céline the chance to take part for the first time at a US tv show, on 21 August 1990, at Tonight show.
But it was also a year full of polemics for the refusal, during the ceremony of Felix Awards, to receive the prize as the first English singer. Céline declared to be a French artist who sang in English. The polemics broke out for the hoary problem of the demand of independence of Québec from Canada, and for this reason the supporting of independence tried to take advantage of this taking sides, while the opposite party found fault with her act. After a moment of confusion, the matter came to nothing, however in certain sense Céline won considering that the category has been replaced with another one, actually more consonant.
But the worst day for Céline and for her entourage is without doubt May 18th, when she suddenly lost the voice during a concert in Sherbrooke. They feared the worse, they said her career was ended, but the doctor who visited her, the same one of Pavarotti, told her that if she wanted to go on singing, she had to keep three silence weeks and then to start again little by little. "I had no choice! It was not a thing to reflect on! Singing is all my life and so I did it! Three weeks of absolute silence.... and for René it has been the most happy period!", Céline tells when she talk about that event.
After three weeks, she started again to sing with thrift, and from that day on she follows rigid dictates to avoid that the event happens again: absolute silence during the days of break when she is on tour, daily warming-up of the vocal cords depending on the events she must take part in, neither active nor passive smoke and a thousand of little things to be always at her best conditions. With this rigid routine she renounces to every diversions of the show business
On 7th March the first of four episodes of the mini TV series "Des fleurs sur la neige" has been broadcasted; it was recorded during the previous year and Céline performed a very dramatic part that engaged her physically and psychologically so much that she risked to lose her life due to a car accident. Coming back from the set, Céline felt a sleep while she was driving her car, and went into a ditch, but she survived unharmed
In February, she took part, with other artists coordinated by D. Foster, in the project Voices that care to support the troops engaged in the Golf War. The song and the video hadn't success due to end of the war. During the same month, at the American Music Awards, she presented, with Will Smith, in ironical way, the prizegiving of the best Heavy Metal / Hard Rock group. Meanwhile, "Where does my heart beat now" climbed the Billboard chart, going at 4th place.
In 1991 she won two Juno Awards and two Felix Awards, and between 19th May and 4th August she performed live 37 times in 25 different towns in Canada. On 19th June she celebrated her first ten years of her career with a great concert at Montreal Forum. Thanks to the success of "Unison" she began to be wanted by English-speaking Canada as well; in fact, after the performance in front of the Pope, she sang at National Centre of Arts in Ottawa for Prince Charles and Lady Diana; Céline and Diana stopped to talk about fashion and other subjects friendly and nicely. But contingecies in the show business world are always in agenda: W. Jennings and J. Horner were desperately looking for a singer for the song "Dreams to dream", theme of the motion picture produced by S. Spielberg, "Fievel". Other singers refused the song, but not Céline: she loved that song and made a demo and Spielberg liked it. Clearly the singer Linda Ronstadt, after having listened to that demo, changed her mind and "stole" her the song, for the will of Spielberg who liked better her at the beginning.
Céline was depressed, René couldn't rest. A call of Disney solved everything: they wanted that Céline sang, with Peabo Bryson, the theme of their next cartoons: "Beauty and the beast"
The activity of Céline was frenetic and couldn't admit either any rest or any
diversion; in Paris she began the recording of the eight songs of her next
album: "Dion chante Plamandon", certified as gold record before the
release, on 4th November, thanks to the bookings. In France it's been released
as "Des mots qui sonnent" and included two more songs: "Piaf
chanterait du Rock"
and "Je besoin d'un chum".
The song "Ziggy" had a unprecedented success in France and for a long period remained at the top of the charts.
The climb to success continued inexorably in the US as well: after having presented the American Music Awards in the previous year, Céline performed there attracting positive criticism and the consent of the audience.
The apotheosis happened on 30 March 1992 with the achievement of the Oscar with
the song "Beauty and the Beast" and the contemporaneous launch, on the
same day, of her second English album
of 14 songs written by very important authors as Diane Warren, Prince and
Céline e René were in seventh heaven: what they were fighting for was within reach. But a tragic event was approaching. On 29th April, whey were in Los Angeles, René had a sudden heart attack; the ready wit of Céline and a lucky star allowed to René to came out with slightest problem, a forced rest. For Céline it was a take of conscience and a confirmation of the love for René.
In the summer Céline took part in the American tour of M. Bolton, 25 shows within a month, opening the concerts and proving to have a great skill on stage, leaving the audience, come to see the star M. Bolton, pleasantly amazed.
Céline was unstoppable, passing from the tour with Bolton to her own one in
without a day of rest... a real Stakhanovite!!!
During that year, Céline took part more frequently in US, Canadian and French TV programmes; her popularity became more international. But her privacy troubled her, she didn't bear the weight of the lie, that's the impossibility to say that she was in love. The thing weighed so much that during a Canadian programme, she burst into tears; she was not able to keep the secret and said that she didn't may talk of the man she was in love with, neither the name, because otherwise she could compromised his career. By then, René, who supported the theory of the relation to keep as a secret, was in dire straits and seen Céline suffering from keeping the secret that was falling down.
1993 began with some triumphs: the achievement of the Grammy with "Beauty and the Beast", the call from the White House to sing in honour of the installation of Bill Clinton, the hosting and the achievement of 4 Juno Awards. If her career was quick as a train, also for her privacy a turning point came: on 30th March, her 25th birthday, René gave her the engagement ring and they began to project the marriage. But in the life of Céline, almost to every happy event, a tragic event is linked, and vice versa; in the same year, on 3rd May, Karine died in her arms: she was only 16. This event left its mark and it brought her to intensify her activity as patroness for the association against cystic fribosis.
The third drastic change of her look, that happened in thats year, was due to a
hairdresser of the Fifth Avenue in New York: Frédérick Fekkai.
A new haircut, a new album: on 8th November, at Montréal Metropolis, she presented her third English album, The colour of my love . During the long presentation, the press conference with hundreds of guests and ecstatic audience outside, she sang 7 of 15 songs present in the album. It's been the day on which she, finally, made public her love for René and their intention to get married as soon as possible. The so feared reaction of the people was more then positive, applauses and encouragement came from the joyful crowd.
Before the end of the year, she recorded, in duet wit Clive Griffin, the famous
"When I fall
in love", soundtrack theme of the motion picture "Sleepless in
Her engagements multiplied incessantly, by this time nothing could stop her: she was a successful woman, free to speak and to live clearly her love story with René.
"The colour of my love" had an unprecedented success: in February the album was six time platinum record in Canada, with millions of copies sold in the US and Sony decided to release in Europe as well.
Meanwhile, Céline began the umpteenth tour in Québec: 30 concerts in 18 towns, everywhere "sold out" with an increasing enthusiasm of real hordes of fans. From 21st April to 6th May, she was in Japan and sang with the symphonic orchestra of Tokyo directed by David Foster. Her success all over the world permitted her to have another candidature for the Grammy with "When I fall in love! and another summer tour with M. Bolton from 8th June to 27th August; during that tour, on 18th August, Céline and René announced their marriage.
For her way
to speak and to entertain the audience with an endless series of anecdotes, she
was the favourite guest of the most important TV hosts of the world.
At the end of the summer, "The colour of my love" was 13 times platinum record, platinum record in Korea, Malesia, gold record in France, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand. 1.000.000 copies sold in Canada, 2.500.000 in the US. Requests for her live performances came from all over the world, Céline and René chose the European way. The tour began on 27th September in Paris, at the mythical Olympia.
In this occasion, J. J. Goldman invited her in her office and made her listening to 8 songs written by himself specially for Céline; Céline and René remain speechless for the intensity of the lyrics and the beauty of the songs and they decided to break the series of English album with a French album, the recording of which began on 3rd November, at Mega studios in Paris.
The success of Céline was limitless and the CD
Céline Dion a L'Olympia
was certified platinum record on the day of release, on 24th November.
The other albums continued to get a lot of support: "Unison" was certified six time platinum record, "Céline Dion" seven times platinum record, "Dion chante Plamandon" twice platinum record.
The year ended with a flourish with the marriage of Céline and René, celebrated
at the Notre-Dame basilica in Montréal in front of 500 guests. At the marriage
they were present the close relatives of the couple and some of the friends of
the show business world, as David Foster and his wife. Finally, Céline realized
her dream and went on the altar as she has dreamt with a dress fit for a
princess and a really amazing marriage. During their honeymoon, spent with René
in their house in Miami, Céline had to take part in "Top of the pops",
the most important British TV programme, due to the success of "Think
In UK, the only country not yet pulled down by the "battleship Dion", she broke the record of contemporaneous presence at the first place both in the single and album chart for 5 weeks in a row. The previous record of 4 weeks belonged to the Beatles!
Finally, the right moment to launch worldwide the French album came: on
28th May, at 7:30 PM in the "studio #24" of Radio Canada, Céline
released on the world market
, consisting of 12 songs written
specially for her by the French author Jean Jacques Goldman. "Pour que tu
at once became a great hit; the song "Vole" was very striking,
written for Karine. The record
then became the best seller French album of all
time, with more than 6.500.000 copies. It has been released also in US with
The French album
, earning a good success!!!
On the same day, her first great European tour begans, with 50 concerts within 2 month, in 20 towns and 11 different countries, inside hall which hold from 6.000 to 16.000 persons. A real challenge!
During this tour, on 24th and 25th October, they foreseen the recording of a new
live album, but Céline lost her voice and the show of 24 has been canceled. They
fear to not respect the time limit, but challenges were petrol for "the
nightingale of Québec" and the day after she drew a wonderful performance
from which they recorded
Live à Paris
, that has been released in 1996.
After the thousand awards received by Céline, there weren't yet the State honours that usually are attributed to the prominent personalities of the culture; in January she received the medal of the Knight of Arts and Letters from the Minister of the French Culture.
Also this last barrier has pulled down and the "nightingale" flied
happy between continents, from an award as the two "Victoires de la
France, to the release of the umpteenth album,
Falling into you
consisting of 16 songs, released on 12nd March.
For Céline it's been the final consecration worldwide.
The album broke all the records and set new ones: it sold 4 millions copies in 4 days, it remained for 6 weeks at the first place of Billboard chart with the song "Because you loved me", love theme of the motion picture "Up close and personal", and it remained for 19 weeks in the Adult Contemporary Chart!
When, on 19th July, at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Atlanta,
she sang wonderfully the song "The power of the dream" in front of
persons inside the stadium and more then 3 billions persons by satellite all
over the world, the prestigious Time dedicated her the cover of the magazine,
praising her musical, artistic and personal talent. The title was "The
Divas of pop".
The success was huge, the appointments were intense and Céline thought to take a break at the end of the year to rest and to think about a baby.
Before this, a long tour related to "Falling into you" was awaiting her. Due to excessive stress that caused her stomach shooting pains, preventing her to eat anything, she had to stop the tour. After some checks, Céline had to rest for some time, but she couldn't keep still: she canceled three shows in US, but then she set off again, suffering the same pains that prevented her to eat and disturbed sleep and serenity.
René wanted to stop her, he thought it was stupid to suffer this way, but she
to go on... she knew that it was worse to keep still. Suddenly, in October,
during the tour she felt that the pain was disappeared, as a miracle. She
continued the tour with renewed enthusiasm and without that troublesome problem.
On the gutter press, they talked about anorexia... Céline denied more than once
with energy, but then she left that the rumors took their course.
The sabbatical year she wanted to take from 1/1/1997 was just a memory!
was awaiting her.... after the Latin-American-Iberian market for which she has
recorded the Spanish version of "All by myself", "Sola otra
and for which she has made a duet with Paul Anka with "Mejor decir
Japan was calling her with insistence.
1997 hs been a year rich of awards and participations: she won 2 Grammy Awards, 4 Juno Awards, 3 World Music Awards, 4 Felix Awards. She was the most requested guest a TV and radio shows, songs writers competed so that Céline sand their songs, both for pleasure to hear their works performed by a talent as Céline and for the greater possibilities of gains.
Céline goes straight ahead and takes part in the ceremony of Oscar, where she sings two songs: "Because you loved", and the song of Barbra Streisand and B. Adams, "I finally found someone", replacing Natalie Cole 24 hours before the event, who should have replaced Barbra Streisand in her turn. For the first time in the history of Oscar award, an artist sings twice in the same day. Mrs. Streisand remains amazed by the naturalness of Céline's voice and to thank her, she sends her a bouquet of flowers and a card, inviting her to sing with her in the future.
René didn't miss the opportunity and among the 16 songs of Let's talk about love , released on 14th November, there is also "Tell him", duet with Streisand and Céline. The album is full of very important artists: Sir George Martin, once called the "Fifth Beatle", producer of the song "The Reason", written by the mythical Carole King, in the past author of great hits as "Like a natural Woman" and "You've got a friend"; the Gibbs brothers, alias The Bee Gees who have written "Immortality"; Luciano Pavarotti, who sings "I hate you then I love you" with Céline, produced by Tony Renis. And then Brian Adams with J. J. Goldman with the song "Let's talk about love", Corey Hart with "Where is the love" and many more artists, among them Diana King, David Foster, Walter Afanasieff. A different matter is "My heart will go", that's a song absolutely wanted by its authors, J. Horner and W. Jennings, which is a part of the soundtrack "Titanic" and that then became a huge hit.
disc invaded and dominated the market! At the half of December, it had sold more
than 10 millions copies all over the word and it was at the top of almost every
chart. The previous records set by the prolific "Falling into you"
have been broken.
For the Japanese market, Céline recorded "Be the man" in Japanese and she set another record with "To love you more", with more than 1.000.000 copies.
At the beginning of 1998, while she was receiving consents, awards and ovations
will go on" won a lot of prizes, among them: American Music Awards, Golden
and Oscar), she prepared to record the second French album with J. J. Goldman.
Meanwhile, she sang live with Luciano Pavarotti, Aretha Franklin, Carol King and other artists in several benefit galas.
At home, she received the Order of Canada, on 30th April, and the Order of Québec on 1st May. Her life was running so fast that she was not able neither to enjoy the success nor to rest; in July the rehearsals of the tour began, tour that began on 21st August in Boston and that took place in very big stadiums with a 200 square meters central stage, with a heart shape, build with a very advanced technology.
In September, S'il suffisait D'aimer , the second album written by J. J. Goldman for Céline, has been released. The album is consisting of 12 songs which traces in a more outlined way the traits of his personality and she sings the songs with the usual skill and with feeling as in the autobiographic one "On ne change pas" or in the aching "S'il suffisait d'aimer". Only two songs are not written by Goldman: the wonderful "Terre" and the evocative "Papillon", both written by Erick Benzi.
On 1st October, it's been released the first authorized biography written by Georges-Hébert Germain (622 pages), whose first edition sold more then 500.000 copies.
On 3rd November, another Xmas album has been released, These are the special times , consisting of 16 songs, among them some new ones, written by authors of great merit. Among them, there are the omnipresent Diane Warren with the song with the same title of the album, Brian Adams with "Another year has gone by", R. Kelly with "I'm your angel", Tony Renis, Carol Bayer Seger, David Foster and Alberto Testa for the duet with Andrea Bocelli, "The prayer". Other songs are the classic Xmas ones performed by Céline at her way, as "O holy night", "Happy Xmas", "Brahms' lullaby". Bold and well done is the approach with the classic repertory with "Ave Maria" and "Adeste Fidelis". in this album, Céline has experience of songs writing, with "Don't save it all for Christmas day".
The tour went on, but Céline had to take part, once again, at the Oscar ceremony: she sang with Andrea Bocelli the song "The Prayer"; they didn't win, but the audience sided with them. Previously, they have sung together at the Grammy Awards ceremony, where Céline has won two prize with "My heart will go on".
the press conference René said that Céline will retire from stage on 31st
December 1999, after a grandiose farewell concert in Montréal; she needed to
rest and they wanted a "petit Angélil" ("little Angélil") as
said, that's a baby.
But their serenity was at risk once again due to the sudden illness of René who has been admitted to hospital in Dallas on the day of the 31st Céline birthday, and he has been rushed operated for a cancer at the neck. He had to follow a series of radiotherapy and shock therapy. Céline deleted almost the rest of the tour to stay close to him, keeping only about ten shows in Europe.
Among them, there were the two triumphal concert at Stade de France in Paris on
and 20th June, in front of 95.000 persons each show. René saw those magical
performances, thanks to the prodigies of technology and from them they recorded
Au coeur du stade
, released on 28th August, and the videotape with
the name title, released on 31st August.
Thanks to the treatment and to a lucky star, René set out again and we saw him in several TV shows at Céline side, and during these shows she said goodbye to the audience that had always supported her during her long career, before her retreat.
The last release is, up to today, All the way....A decade of song : it's an album consisting of 16 songs, 6 of them new and other 10 chosen among thousands hits. There are several versions, depending on the market. Among the new songs there are "All the way", duet with Frank Sinatra, "Then you look at me", umpteenth product of the award-winning pair Jennings - Horner, "Live", written by Riccardo Cocciante and Luc Plamondon (song originally written in French, "Vivre", taken from the musical Notre-Dame de Paris). Also this album reached the top of the charts of sales and liking of the audience; Céline left "My heart will go on" with the catchy rhythm of "That's the way it is", the first single taken from "All the way".
Time flies and it's the moment of the goodbye, on 31st December,
in Montréal: Céline performs for more than three hours with an exceptional
intensity, with her unique ability to transmit emotions.
She sings one after the other all her hits, receives applauses, celebrates the new year on the stage with René, her family and her audience.
The moment of the leave comes: dressing a Versace dress and clearly touched, she sings "Ce n'était qu'un reve". "... the last but the first as well. The song that permit all this... Thanks mum, thanks to everybody. I love you", she tells to her audience. And then she sings... sings, like when Mr. Angélil made her to sing in his office, like when millions times other people asked her to sing. She sings going up and don on the pentagram of notes like she did tens other times, always in a different and unique way. She reaches the final high note, but before she must get her breath back. Yes, because the emotion is clear, more than a breath it seems a sigh! Then the song end, audience applauses, she goes far and wide on the stage in the shape of heart, thanking with big bow. That heart represents the hearts of persons who are saying goodbye to her, hoping to see her soon, to feel once again that special emotions that only Céline can transmit.
The lights are going out, the magic ends and she takes a step backward, loyal to her promises, trying to enjoy the life, to live a her own life. Her name is now written in very large letters in the firmament of music and in the hearts of the persons who love her, admire her, of the persons who have found a little happiness and serenity through her voice and herself... her name is Céline!
Copyright © 2000 Celine's maniacs
All Rights Reserved.
English translation by Raffaele