Celine Dion is one of the most famous singers in the world. She’s been singing and performing since 1980, and during that time, she’s had a lot of ups, and a lot of downs. She’s sold over 200 million albums worldwide and is also the best-selling Canadian artist of all time. While Celine always dreamed of being a performer, it took a lot of work.
Many artists put in a lot of work for their career, but none seem as committed to the industry, family, fashion, and fans as Celine. Since 1980, she’s been showing the world what Canadian musicians are made of, and what a rocky road it has been for the unforgettable singer.
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The singer was born on March 30th, 1968, under the name Celine Marie Claudette Dion. She was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada, and into a large family. Her parents, Therese and Adhemar Dion had 14 children, and Celine was the youngest. While her family came from limited means, they were always musically inspired.
At just 5 years old, Celine performed at her brother’s wedding, and from there she was bitten by the performing bug. She continued to perform with her brothers and sisters at a small piano bar. Celine has said more than once that even though she missed out on childhood, it’s not something she regrets. Her dream was to be a singer, and that dream came true.
Click ‘Next’ to find out how Celine met the man who would change her life.
Meet Rene Angelil
When Celine was 12 years old, the same brother whose wedding she performed at sent in a homemade demo of Celine performing a song. It’s said that Rene, who was a singer-turned-manager, was so moved by her voice, that it brought him to tears. He decided then and there that he was going to make her a star, but neither of them knew how much they would change each other’s lives.
Rene invited Celine to audition personally for him, and in 1981, he started managing her career. At that point, Rene was known to be a gambling man and had spent a lot of time, and money, at the poker table. In an effort to fund Celine’s first album, he mortgaged his house. Clearly the mortgage on his property was worth it. Her first album, La voix du bon Dieu, made her a star in Quebec.
Click ‘Next’ to find out what Celine did to help her on her journey to stardom.
Open Wide for the Dentist
Hollywood can be a tough place for anyone, especially an up and coming star. While Celine was naturally pretty, her look was more wholesome, and she wanted to be a star. She’d even told Rene that she wanted to be as famous as Michael Jackson. Rene, as her manager, knew that there was something that could be suggested to improve on areas that hadn’t gotten focused on.
Celine’s team of professionals that were working around her suggested undergoing cosmetic dentistry and a makeover to improve her naturally pretty appearance. Before further promotion of the soon-to-be star continued, Celine had dental surgery and a makeover. She then got introduced to the United States. In addition to the makeover, she also attended Ecole Berlitz for her English.
How did the English market accept Celine Dion? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
The album Unison was debuted to the English market in 1990, and it quickly became a success. The singles on the album got played on both soft rock radio and adult contemporary stations, too. In the U.S. alone, the album reached a platinum level and sold over three million copies worldwide. Where Does My Heart Beat Now hit top five on the Billboard Hot 100, and caused Celine to win two Juno Awards in 1991. Her first English album wasn’t the only source of Celine’s newly found English success, however.
In addition to Unison, Celine also collaborated on a track for Beauty and the Beast which resulted in her first Grammy. However, as her English success continued to soar, her French fans started to feel like she was neglecting them. Later, she refused to accept the Felix Award for English Artist of the Year, stating that she was a French Canadian, not an English.
Click ‘Next’ to see how Celine Dion’s personal life took a turn.
Mixing Business with Pleasure
By the time Celine was 18, her feelings for her manager, Rene Angelil had started to develop past something professional. Rene was 26 years older than Celine, and though he had feelings progressing too, they kept their budding romance a secret because they were worried about the way the public, and their friends and family, would react. Many felt that Rene would have been taking advantage of the young singer.
Despite the fact that they tried to keep their relationship hidden, Celine’s mother knew that there was something there and she tried to put a stop to it. Rene had been married twice before, and already had two children. He wasn’t the type of man that she wanted Celine to be with. Therese, Celine’s mother, did everything she could to kill off the feelings, but they were too strong. True love prevailed, and fans everywhere embraced the couple.
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I Now Pronounce You…
The Colour of My Love got released to the public in 1993, and shortly after that, Rene and Celine were set to get married in an extremely extravagant fashion. Celine was thrilled that her fans embraced her love for Rene, and instead of keeping them guessing, or having them wait for the aftermath of the photos, the couple did something else instead. They had their wedding broadcasted live on Canadian television.
Though many called the wedding ostentatious, it didn’t put a damper on the event at all. There were 500 guests that attended their elaborate ceremony, and Brian Mulroney, former Canadian Prime Minister, was amongst them. Hundreds of fans showed up outside of Montreal’s romantic Notre Dame Basilica to see Celine’s entrance in her one-of-a-kind full-bodied gown. Reportedly, one Quebec magazine even dished out $200,000 for an exclusive look.
Click ‘Next’ to find out which song became Celine’s signature song.
The 90’s proved to be an incredibly successful decade for Celine, and gave her two albums that got a certified diamond status. One album, Falling into You, sold over 13 million copies. The other album, Let’s Talk About Love, included Celine’s My Heart Will Go On. The song, acting as the title track for 1997’s Titanic, was the most successful song on the album. The album reached number one all over the world and became the fastest selling record of her career.
Celine won two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe for My Heart Will Go On, and it became one of the most well-known songs recorded. Later, at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, Celine gave the audience a moving performance of the song for the Titanic’s 20th anniversary. Though many believed that she was singing to Rene.
Want to see how the nineties ended for Celine? Click ‘Next.’
It Was a Year to Remember…
The nineties ended up being a marvelous decade for Celine Dion. With the success of both her English and French albums that were released during the decade, it seemed like she couldn’t be stopped. In addition to albums, she had songs appear on the soundtracks for blockbuster films that would be watched years later. She became widely known as Canada and America’s Sweetheart.
The year 1999 ended up being one that Celine would remember for the rest of her life. It was the year that she was immortalized by being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. While many other artists such as Bryan Adams and Alanis Morissette have been inducted, for Celine it was different. She had made an impact on both the French, and English communities. Soon enough, Celine’s happy ride was going to hit a bump…
Click ‘Next’ to see how Celine’s life changed forever.
In Sickness and in Health
While everyone in the world was celebrating and bringing in the Millennium, the end of 1999 wasn’t so happy for Celine. Her husband, Rene, had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and was undergoing treatment. It was that, along with the hectic life that she had led for the decade before it, that caused Celine to publically announce she was taking a step back. She had earned it, and it was time to settle down.
Like any type of treatment for cancer, Rene unfortunately suffered, and it wasn’t an easy time for their family. However, with all of the encouragement from Celine, their joined families, and fans all across the world, Rene made a full recovery and returned home to enjoy quiet time with his wife. Something that they both hadn’t experienced much of. The press, on the other hand, didn’t want to let Celine leave the limelight for any amount of time.
Click ‘Next’ to see what prompted Celine Dion to sue a magazine.
There are many people who assumed that Celine’s hiatus was because she and Rene wanted to have babies, but there was one magazine that tried to capitalize on it, and it cost them. Celine filed a $20 million lawsuit for invasion of privacy, unfair business practices, and intentional distress towards the National Enquirer. In 2000, they published a story saying that she was pregnant with twins.
The magazine, which is known for its false headlines and tactics used to sell copies, were forced to pay the $20 million dollars in retribution. Many celebrities have attempted to sue the magazine over the years, but this one hit home for Celine, as she had been having difficulties conceiving. In addition to paying the $20 million, the magazine issued an apology and donated money to the American Cancer Society.
Click ‘Next’ to find out if the magazine was a blessing in disguise.
Daughter, Performer, Wife, and Mother
While Celine wasn’t pregnant with twins in 2000, it was true that she and Rene were going through fertility treatments to help them conceive a baby. Up until that point, they hadn’t had any luck. However, after undergoing the treatments, Celine did get pregnant and she gave birth to a boy in 2001. She and Rene named him Rene-Charles Dion Angelil. While the magazine didn’t have any way of knowing that they were going through treatments or trying to get pregnant, maybe on some level, it put something into the world and said, “It’s time for you.”
The couple was overjoyed to have their first son after trying for so long, and it was the perfect time. Celine was on a hiatus from her career, and Rene had been given a clean bill of health. They had their son baptized on July 25th, 2001, at Notre-Dame Basilica. It was the same church that they had gotten married at in 1994. It wouldn’t be the last time they were there.
Click ‘Next’ to see what huge announcement Celine made after returning from hiatus.
A New Day…
After having spent quite a bit of time out of the spotlight to settle into being a mother, looking after her family, and even introducing a few albums, Celine made an announcement. In 2002, the singer stated that she had a three-year, 600-show contract at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The show was called “A New Day…,” and was a 90-minute event of Celine performing her greatest hits.
The show was originally contracted for three years, but it was so successful that it carried on for an additional two years. After over 700 shows, box office totals hit nearly $400 million, making Celine’s residency the most successful of all time. In a fun fact, Celine wanted the show to be named Muse. After the band with the same name declined to sell her the rights for $50,000, it was named A New Day…
Want to see where Celine’s walk of fame led her? Click ‘Next.’
Inducted in Hollywood
Half of a decade after Celine Dion was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, she made her way into Hollywood’s Walk of Fame as the 2,244th star. Reported, the inducted was supposed to happen in March of 2003 instead of January 2004, but it was postponed due to conditions in Iraq.
Celine looked amazing as she accepted her award and posed for photos with her star. Her husband and manager, Rene, was there to support her. She took time during her speech to thank him for his support, and to thank her father who had passed away, but was always a huge fan of hers. (Source: http://www.walkoffame.com/céline-dion)
Click ‘Next’ to learn about another difficult situation for the singer.
For Good and for Bad…
Every marriage comes with its ups and downs, but when you’re as famous as Celine Dion and Rene Angelil, things can get grittier. The couple has always been close, and Celine met Rene when she was just 12, making him the first man that she loved. In the early 2000’s, Rene was accused of assault and sexual battery, two years after the supposed incident happened.
Early reports showed that Rene paid $2 million to avoid media attention, but when the accuser and her husband tried to get an additional $13.5 million, Rene went to lawyers. While the accusations were difficult for Celine, she refused to allow anyone to ruin the relationships with those important to her. Ultimately, the accuser and her husband were charged with extortion and spent time in jail. The allegations against Rene were dropped.
Click ‘Next’ for the double miracle that impacted Celine and Rene’s life.
Double the Blessing
Since the birth of their first son, Celine and Rene had tried consistently for another baby. While schedules of putting out albums, touring, having Las Vegas residencies and wax sculptures created in their honor kept them busy; they wanted more. Through five attempts with in vitro fertilization, there was no success. However, on the sixth try, it worked and Celine was pregnant.
In 2010, Celine gave birth two healthy twin boys by caesarean. She had an exclusive interview with Hello! Canada where she explained what it was like to be blessed with two babies that she calls her miracles. She also commented on wanting them to be named after wonderful people, so they named one son Nelson, after Nelson Mandela. The other son, Eddy, was named after Eddy Marnay. After years of trying, the couple finally had the full family they always wanted.
Click ‘Next’ to see how true love overpowers all.
The Power of Love
After beating cancer twice, and even spending a decade in remission, Celine Dion’s husband, Rene, was diagnosed again in 2015. Unfortunately, reports at that time indicated that his health was quickly deteriorating, and it was time to start getting things in order. Celine had stated in multiple interviews that she wouldn’t allow her house to fall into negativity. At the time, she was into her second Las Vegas residency, titled Celine.
Celine had taken some time off of her residency to help Rene, though she was due to go back. Rene, supported her choice to return to the stage. She’d always maintained that her family was her priority. The terrible situation that their family was in really showed how much strength is in true love. He wanted her to work and she wanted to support him, so they made compromises. In later interviews, Celine openly said that Rene’s one wish, was to die in her arms.
Click ‘Next’ to say goodbye to Rene with Celine and her family.
Till Death do us Part…
On January 14th, 2016, Celine’s husband, Rene Angelil, died after a long battle with throat cancer. The memorial service was held at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica, like their children’s baptisms, and their wedding ceremony. Celine and Rene were always proud of the way the public supported them, and like their marriage, Celine wanted the memorial broadcasted on Canadian television. The fans should be given a chance to say goodbye too, she later said. Rene is survived by not just Celine, but his three sons with Celine, and three children from previous marriages.
Premier of Quebec, Phillippe Couillard, made the offer to have Rene’s funeral a national funeral. The government picked up the costs for the two-day memorial service as a way to honor Rene for everything that he did. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with his wife, attended Rene’s memorial. He later stated that the national memorial was to thank him for sharing the Quebecois culture all over the world. Rest in peace, Rene.
Click ‘Next’ to see how life has been since Celine lost her husband.
Her Heart Will Go On
Celine has been known to use the power of music, singing, family, love, and positivity to help her get through difficult times. In the almost two years that Rene has been gone, Celine has focused her attention on her family, her residency, and her music. In many articles, she says that she still feels Rene’s love, and she can see him every day in the eyes of her sons. Her eldest son, Rene-Charles, presented her with the Billboard Music Awards Icon Award.
In addition to receiving the icon award, she has been selling out shows at her Celine Las Vegas residency where she frequently thanks Rene for everything that he has done for her, and her career. She also thanks him for their beautiful sons. Celine has learned the value of family even more, and lets her heart move on by filling it with the love of her sons, family, friends, and fans.