Stars as teenagers very often fail to make the grade into adulthood but Céline Dion is most definitely an exception to that rule. Celine was born in 1968 to a large French Canadian family from Charlemagne, Quebec, and she became a start as a teenager in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record. In those teen years she burst on to the international stage Dion first gained international recognition in those teenage years when she won both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest where she represented Switzerland. Following a series of French albums during the 1980s, she entered the English-speaking market with her first English-language album Unison in 1990 and soon became well known in the US, her native Canada and other English-speaking countries throughout the world.
Celine occupies a special niche in the world of popular music that’s not for the avant-garde or the way out or the people who write intellectually charged articles in rock newspapers or magazines. What she does is make the kind of sentimental music that’s ideal for people getting to know each other, when they marry and also when they say goodbye forever. It’s music that you will hear at hundreds of weddings and as the background for family videos.
It is music that has the values of ambition, striving and success both in its production style and in Celine’s vocal performance but it has a resonance, not for teenage rebels on and off the dance floor. But it’s the kind of music that, once you hear it and remember it, it stays as an essential part of your life.
Celine had the ability to produce successful albums in both of the languages in which she performed. Falling into You (1996) and Let's Talk About Love (1997), were both certified diamond in the US, while D'eux (1995) became the best-selling French-language album of all time. The list of her international number one hits include "The Power of Love", "Think Twice", "Because You Loved Me", "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", "My Heart Will Go On" and "I'm Your Angel".
When she was at the peak of her fame and power in 1999, she decided to call a halt in order to start a family and support her husband who had been diagnosed with cancer. But three years later, in 2002, she was back and for the period 2003-07 she was to be found in a show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada. Of all the great stars to appear in the Strip, Celine eclipsed them all as the most successful “resident”, bringing in no less than US $385 million.
How do you classify her music? It covers rock, R&B, gospel and classical. Apart from French and English she has also sang in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. With over 200 million of her records sold worldwide, her high place in the popular music world is undoubted and her gigs are still immensely popular and frequently sold-out.
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