From humble beginnings in a rural French Canadian home town, Celine Dion has risen to international superstardom like a shooting star. The premier contemporary pop vocalist of the 1990's, Celine was presented the World Music Award for the Best-selling Female Pop Artist of All Time in 2004. Over the course of her career, she has earned music industry accolades from around the world: Grammy Awards in the US, Juno and Felix Awards in Canada, and World Music Awards in Europe. The entire world has seen Celine Dion transform herself from a gifted pre-adolescent singer into an international superstar.
Born in Charlemagne (a small town 30 miles east of Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Celine is the youngest of 14 children in a highly musical family. Her parents, both musicians, operated a small club, and on weekends, the entire family performed and entertained the local population. From the tender age of 5, Celine sang with her siblings and quickly acquired the ability to perform live. At the age of 12, together with her mother and one of her brothers, Celine composed a French song, "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" ("It Was Only a Dream"), which would forever alter the course of her life.
A demo tape containing the song was brought to the attention of René Angélil, a well-respected personal manager. In January 1981, René, moved to tears by the voice of young Celine and determined to make her an internationally known talent, mortgaged his home to fund her first album, "La voix du bon Dieu."
Celine began to receive recognition for her talent in 1982, winning the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo, along with the coveted Musician's Award for Top Performer. In 1983, she became the first Canadian ever to receive a Gold Record in France.
The streak of recognition had only just begun.
By 1988, Celine had established a strong name for herself in her native province of Quebec, where she was enjoying superstar status, receiving numerous Felix Awards and racking up platinum albums. That same year, Celine won the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin Ireland, where she performed live before a television audience of 600 million viewers throughout Europe, the USSR, the Middle East, Japan, and Australia.
In September, 1990 Celine released "Unison" - her first English-language album and her first for Sony Music - and scored a breakthrough US hit with the Top 5 single "Where Does My Heart Beat Now."
Celine's international breakthrough came when she recorded the title track for the soundtrack to the animated Disney hit movie "Beauty and the Beast." The song went to #1, garnering an Academy Award for Best Song and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "Beauty and the Beast" became the cornerstone for Celine's second English language album, simply titled "Celine Dion." That album produced four more hit singles including "Love Can Move Mountains," "Water From The Moon," "If You Asked Me To" and "Did You Give Enough Love." In Canada, the album went six times platinum and set the stage for an incredible streak of Juno Awards.
On December 17, 1994, Celine Dion and René Angélil were married at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.
At this time, the Celine juggernaut started rolling at a momentous pace in the UK. British fans took extremely well to "Think Twice," a ballad on "The Colour Of My Love." For five consecutive weeks, the song and album stood on top of the respective British charts, an achievement not replicated since 1965 during the heyday of The Beatles. "Think Twice" remained at #1 for two more weeks, surpassing the magic million mark to become only the fourth million-selling single ever in the UK by a female artist. With "D'eux," Celine achieved a feat which everyone thought impossible: she'd successfully introduced French music to the top rungs of the British charts. Selling more than 7 million copies and topping charts around the world, the album became the largest-selling French-language album and the best-selling non-English-language album in music history. The world had truly discovered Celine Dion.
Blessed with one of popular music's great voices, she has crossed all barriers - including that of language - with her electrifying series of international hits. Given her breakneck pace of recording, video shoots, touring and appearances on TV shows and awards specials, it seems like Celine has time for little else. Not the case when it comes to causes she believes in. Celine has used her talents to further the cause of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, one of Celine's most emotional songs ("Vole," from the "D'eux" album, later translated into English as the song "Fly," which appears on the "Falling Into You" album) is a touching memorial to her niece, Karine, who was taken from her by this disease.
Released in March 1996, "Falling Into You" became that year's best-selling album. Topping the charts in 11 countries, "Falling Into You" was voted Album of the Year and Best Pop Album at the 39th annual Grammy Awards ceremony and has gone on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.
"Let's Talk About Love," the follow-up to Celine's Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year, was recorded in London, New York and Los Angeles and featured a host of special guests drawn from a who's who of popular music's greatest vocalists, songwriters, and producers including Barbra Streisand, the Bee Gees, Luciano Pavarotti, Carole King and Sir George Martin.
"Let's Talk About Love" was released the same day as the soundtrack for the James Cameron film, "Titanic." Both albums featured the movie's beloved theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," written by James Horner and produced by James Horner and Walter Afanasieff. "My Heart Will Go On" quickly became the wedding song of choice for Celine's fans.
In a stunning back-to-back achievement, "Let's Talk About Love" went on to match the stunning worldwide sales of its predecessor. The "Titanic" soundtrack also sold more than 30 million copies worldwide becoming the all-time best-selling orchestral soundtrack in recording history. Celine sang "My Heart Will Go On" on the worldwide telecast of the 70th Annual Academy Awards, live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song -- the second Oscar for a song sung by Celine Dion, following "Beauty And The Beast." "My Heart Will Go On" brought Celine another pair of Grammys, this time for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" and the coveted "Record Of The Year."
A new French language album, "S'il suffisait d'aimer," recorded in February 1998, was officially released worldwide on September 8. The first featured single, "Zola sourit" received rave responses on the radio all over the world. Celine first introduced her fans to the album's title track during her Let's Talk About Love World Tour.
Celine's next album, "These Are Special Times," featured sixteen songs for the holiday season, including the Christmas pop classics "Blue Christmas" and "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)" and such traditional religious favorites as "O Holy Night" and "Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)." In addition, "These Are Special Times" generated the #1 single "I'm Your Angel," Celine's duet with R. Kelly, who wrote and produced the song; the Diane Warren-penned title track, "These Are Special Times"; and "The Prayer," a duet with Andrea Bocelli.
1998 also found Dundurn Press releasing the much anticipated "Celine...The Authorized Biography." After travelling with Celine and her entourage for over a year and spending hours in one-on-one conversions with the star, Georges-Hébert Germain recounted the story of one of the world's best-loved vocal artists. Celine and Georges-Hébert Germain collaborated once again on her 2000 autobiography, "Celine Dion...My Story, My Dream." Celine's life story told in her own words, straight from her heart, is an exquisitely detailed portrait of Celine backstage, on the road, and in the recording studio.
1999 saw the release of "All The Way...A Decade Of Song," Celine's first English greatest hits album, which included her chart-topping hit singles "The Power Of Love," "Because You Loved Me," "I'm Your Angel," and the Grammy and Academy Award-winning classic "My Heart Will Go On." Also included were "Beauty And The Beast," "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," and "If You Asked Me To." Seven brand-new songs were recorded specifically for this collection, including the title song "All The Way," a respectful and loving tribute to one of Celine's all-time favorite singers, the late Frank Sinatra.
On New Year's Eve 1999, in Montreal, Celine Dion gave one last public performance before beginning a temporary hiatus from show business to enjoy her private life... and to try to have a child.
Celine and René's greatest joy came with the birth of their son René-Charles Angélil, born January 25, 2001 at 1:00 AM, weighing 6 lbs, 8 oz. He was baptized six months later on July 25, 2001, in Montreal's grand Notre-Dame Basilica.
During Celine's hiatus, a compilation album, "The Collector's Series...Volume One," was released in October 2000. Among Celine's greatest hits and best-loved recordings, the album also included "The Power of the Dream," which Celine performed at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and a Spanish version of "All By Myself."
Celine reached a new peak in her spectacular career when she released her next album, "A New Day Has Come," in March 2002, putting an end to her hiatus. The album entered charts at #1 in more than 17 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom, and the United States. The album showcased new tracks ranging from pure 21st century pop like "A New Day Has Come" to dramatic ballads like "Have You Ever Been In Love" and "I Surrender," from breathtaking dance music like "Sorry For Love" to a pair of pre-rock classics "At Last" and "Nature Boy" (a song made famous by Nat "King" Cole). Other highlights on the album included "I'm Alive," "Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)," and "Rain, Tax (It's Inevitable)." The release of the album was accompanied by a blitz of TV specials, appearances on talk shows and magazine interviews all over the world.
In March 2003, Celine began a three-year commitment to appear five nights a week at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a 4000-seat arena designed specifically for her show. A 90-minute event, "A New Day..." introduced a new form of theatrical entertainment, a fusion of song, performance art, innovative stage craft and state-of-the-art technology. The show was created by Dragone Productions, a team led by Franco Dragone, the creative spirit behind ten of the critically acclaimed productions by Cirque du Soleil.
On March 25, to coincide with the opening of "A New Day...," Celine released "One Heart," a brand new album featuring an upbeat cover of Roy Orbison's classic "I Drove All Night" as its first single. The album also included songs produced by Ric Wake, Anders Bagge, Kristian Lundin, Peer Astrom, Max Martin, Mark Taylor, Erick Benzi and Humberto Gatica.
On October 14, 2003, Celine released the much anticipated "1 fille & 4 types," her first French album in five years. Artistic director Jean-Jacques Goldman, the power behind "D'eux" (1995) and "S'il suffisait d'aimer" (1998), had come up with an idea to surround her with three different writer-composers who have made their mark on the French music scene: Jacques Veneruso, Erick Benzi and master guitarist Gildas Arzel.
The voice of one or other of these incomparable artists accompanied Celine's performance throughout the album, produced by Benzi and guided by Goldman from start to finish. "1 fille & 4 types" debuted as the top in Canada, France and Switzerland in its first week of release. The first single, "Tout l'or des homes," also made radio history by establishing the record as the highest charting Francophone single on the National CHR Audience chart in the BDS era in Canada.
The following year, on June 15, 2004, Celine released her wildly anticipated live CD, "A New Day: Live in Las Vegas," which featured two previously unreleased studio tracks, "You And I" and "Ain't Gonna Look The Other Way" and 13 live tracks from Celine's incredibly successful Las Vegas show.
Next, Celine teamed up with famed baby photographer Anne Geddes for one of the most incredible artistic collaborations of all time…the "Miracle" project. "Miracle" was released in October 2004. Celine and Anne worked together for many months to produce a stunning collection of images and powerful songs celebrating the bond of love between mother and child. The multi-media CD/DVD/book project touched the hearts of people throughout the world. The "Miracle" CD included the all-new title track plus 12 other new and time-honored classics such as "Beautiful Boy" and "What A Wonderful World." The Miracle CD/DVD box set includes a 60-page version of the "Miracle" book and a "making-of-the-CD" DVD. The 180-page "Miracle" book, which includes the CD and "making-of-the-book" DVD, spent six weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List.
Celine's first French language "Best Of" album, "On ne change pas," was released in October 2005. This beautiful 2-disc compilation featured Celine's biggest French hits as well as three new songs including "Je ne vous oublie pas," "Tous les secrets," and "I Believe In You" (a duet with Il Divo). "On ne change pas, the DVD" is a collection of Celine's greatest French video-clips and also includes one hour of bonus material.
October 2005 also marked the release of a truly unique book project encompassing Celine's life in words and pictures. "Celine Dion: For Keeps'" provided an intimate look into Celine's personal and professional life from her childhood days though to her spectacular show in Vegas. Author Jenna Glatzer spoke with Celine, her family, close friends and associates during the course of a year to come up with a detailed and accurate story of her life. The result is a treasure for Celine's fans: a book which documents Celine's life and times, featuring rare photographs and removable mementos from Celine's personal collection.
Due to the unprecedented sold-out success of Celine's Las Vegas show, the original three-year engagement was extended an additional two years. On December 15th, 2006, Celine announced that she was entering the last year of performances with the final curtain set to rise and fall on December 15th, 2007.
A few months later, on Sunday, February 25th, 2007, Celine made her fifth Oscar ceremony appearance at the 79th Academy Awards, performing as part of an elegant tribute honoring famous Italian composer, Ennio Morricone. A few months prior, Celine had been invited to record a song on "We All Love Ennio Morricone," a CD saluting Mr. Morricone's career achievements as one of the premier composers of music in film. The album included such notable artists as Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, Andrea Bocelli and Yo-Yo Ma. Celine's contribution on this CD was a song entitled "I Knew I loved You" (lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman … The Way We Were, The Windmills of Your Mind, etc). After hearing Celine's recording of this song, the Academy invited her to perform as part of the special tribute to Mr. Morricone.
2007 sees the release of two brand new studio albums from Celine beginning with a new French-language album, "D'elles," in May. This album is a collection of songs featuring lyrics from the most influential book authors from France and Quebec. Celine's long-time friend and collaborator Jean-Jacques Goldman acted as music supervisor on this project. Jacques Veneruso, David Gategno, Erick Benzi, Gildas Arzel, Marc Dupré and Jean-François Breau contributed to the musical score.
On November 13, 2007, Columbia Records is releasing Taking Chances, the avidly-awaited new studio album from the multi-platinum-selling Grammy-winning musical artist Celine Dion.
Taking Chances is the artist's debut album on Columbia Records and first full-length new studio work since 2003's multi-platinum "One Heart." The album also marks Celine's first new recordings since 2004 when she released "A New Day: Live In Vegas," a document of her long-running record-breaking Las Vegas extravaganza, and "Miracle," the CD "soundtrack" for a book of photographs by Anne Geddes celebrating babies and motherhood.
As she completes an astounding sold-out five-year run -- during which she's sold more than three million tickets -- of her Las Vegas show, "A New Day," in December 2007, Celine Dion sets out in bold new creative directions with Taking Chances, perhaps the most personal and revelatory collection of songs and performances in her fabled career.
Recorded mainly over a three-week period in July 2007 at Palm Studios in Las Vegas, Taking Chances finds Celine collaborating with a group of today's top songwriters and producers including Linda Perry (Pink, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera), the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, ex-Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, chart-topping R&B/pop songwriter Ne-Yo, John Shanks (Melissa Etheridge, Kelly Clarkson), Kara DioGuardi (Pink, Kelly Clarkson, "One Heart"), Kristian Lundin (Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC), Anders Bagge and Peer Astrom (Bagge & Astrom: Take That, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Santana, Madonna), Aldo Nova, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (Rihanna, Usher) and Chris Neil (Mike & the Mechanics).
Though she'd fallen in love with one particular song, "That's Just The Woman In Me " -- written by guitarist Kimberley Rew (best-known for penning "Walking On Sunshine" for his then-band Katrina & the Waves) -- some 15 years ago, it wasn't until she began work on her new album that she knew the song perfectly suited this new phase of her artistic development.
"I think this album represents a positive evolution in my career," said Celine Dion. "As time goes by, and we have more experiences in life, it's easier to get in touch with our innermost feelings....to know more about what we really want, how we really feel. These days, I'm feeling strong....maybe a little gutsier than in the past...and just as passionate about music and life as I ever was."
From her tour-de-force performances of "Taking Chances" (written by Kara DioGuardi and Dave Stewart; produced by John Shanks) and Heart's "Alone" to the driving rhythms of "Eyes On Me," Celine's new album showcases her deep and powerful connection to the emotional core of her songs and her art.
Having sold more than 180 million albums around the world since her American debut in 1990, Celine Dion is one of the most immediately recognized, widely respected and successful performers in pop music history. In addition to numerous US and international gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications, Celine Dion has seen two of her albums -- Falling Into You and Let's Talk About Love -- each achieve RIAA Diamond status in recognition of sales of more than 10 million copies in the US alone (each selling 30 million worldwide). She has been awarded five Grammy Awards including 1992's Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (for "Beauty and the Beast"), 1996's Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album (for Falling Into You) and 1998's Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (for "My Heart Will Go On" [Love Theme from 'Titanic']). Both "Beauty and the Beast" and "My Heart Will Go On" received Best Song Academy Awards for their respective years of release.
In 2004, after achieving then-total global sales of more than 175 million albums, Celine Dion was presented with the World Music Award for the Best-selling Female Pop Artist of All Time.
With each new release, Celine has managed to top her previous successes and, along the way, has become one of the brightest stars in the world of popular music. Who would have imagined that Quebec's best-kept secret could have conquered the world the way she has?
Looking back now, we should have known it all along.