With a powerful voice that’s stood the test of time, beloved singer Celine Dion has made an indelible mark on the music industry. To celebrate the “My Heart Will Go On” singer’s 53rd birthday on March 30, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of the major moments in this Grammy-winning artist’s life. Keep reading for more…
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Quebec, Canada, native Celine Dion released her first French-language album, “La Voix du Bon Dieu,” in 1981 when she was just 13. She garnered the attention of manager René Angélil, who took the teen under his wing and helped fund the release of eight more albums throughout the ’80s. He reportedly mortgaged his home to get the money because he believed so deeply in her voice and music. Celine is seen here performing in Cannes, France in 1983.
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Celine Dion achieved tremendous success in the French-language music biz in the ’80s. She won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest (seen here) and hit the road for a concert series dubbed “The Incognito Tour.” But her real dream was to break into the American market, so she started taking steps to learn English and revamp her image — with the help of her manager, René Angélil, in more ways than one…
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It’s love! Celine Dion fell for her much older manager, René Angélil — who was 26 years her senior — after many years of working so closely with him. Although she was only 12 when they met, she was over 18 when they starting dating in the late ’80s. Their work relationship and deep romance only grew stronger as time went on: By 1991, Celine and René were engaged. Still, they kept their relationship super-private until after they married. They’re seen here together in 1990.
In 1990, just before her engagement to manager René Angélil, Celine Dion released her first album in English, “Unison.” The soft-rock-inspired tracks helped her find a place in the U.S. music market, and two years later, she was attending the Grammys in New York City.
Celine Dion made her crossover into big ballads when she was featured on the “Beauty and the Beast” movie soundtrack with Peabo Bryson in 1991. Their title song did so well, Celine even put it on her self-titled 1992 album. She’s seen here in Australia a few months after her album dropped.
Grammy gold! In 1993, Celine Dion won her very first Grammy! She and Peabo Bryson took home the best pop vocal performance by a duo or a group trophy for their “Beauty and the Beast” duet. The song also scored an Academy Award for songwriters Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Although Celine was still releasing French-language records during this time, these accolades meant she’d at last achieved a measurable amount of success in America.
Celine Dion finally confessed her love for René Angélil publicly in 1993 — in the lyrics of her third English-language album, “The Colour of My Love.” With the cat out of the bag, she took a break from dominating two music industries to marry the love of her life. The duo tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Montreal in January 1994 in front of a whopping 500 guests. There was no keeping that wedding under wraps!
Celine Dion kept releasing hit romance album after hit romance album in the ’90s. In 1996, she put out her fourth English-language effort, “Falling Into You,” which featured huge singles like “All By Myself” and “Because You Loved Me.” The chart-topper earned Celine — seen here performing in paris in 1996 — her second and third Grammys in 1997, for best pop album and album of the year.
At the 1999 American Music Awards, Celine Dion had quite a successful evening! She took home trophies for favorite pop/rock female artist and favorite adult contemporary artist.
Celine Dion released “Let’s Talk About Love” in 1997 and “These Are Special Times” in 1998 plus three French albums during the decade, but it was (another big) movie soundtrack that got the most attention. In 1999, songwriters James Horner and Will Jennings won the Oscar for best original song for Celine’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” from the James Cameron epic “Titanic.” Celine is seen here on the red carpet at the Academy Awards that year.
In 1999, “My Heart Will Go On” earned Celine Dion her fourth and fifth Grammys. She won record of the year and best female pop vocal performance for the iconic “Titanic” track.
At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in 1999, Celine Dion ran into some familiar (and equally famous) faces. She’s seen here alongside Sheryl Crow and fellow Canadian songstress Shania Twain.
Look at that late-’90s ensemble! Celine Dion is seen here performing on stage in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France, in June 1999 during her “Let’s Talk About Love” world tour.
The start of a new decade brought health issues for Celine Dion and her family. She took a hiatus to care for manager and husband René Angélil following his 1999 throat cancer diagnosis. (They’re seen here together the same year at the People’s Choice Awards.) The couple soon pursued IVF so they could start a family together after René underwent radiation treatment.
With the help of in vitro fertilization, Celine Dion gave birth to her first child, son René-Charles Angélil, on Jan. 25, 2001. Meanwhile, husband René Angélil was recovering from cancer treatments. The couple are seen her with their baby boy at his baptism in Montreal in July 2001.
She’s back! Celine Dion hit the stage in 2002 to promote her seventh album, “A New Day Has Come.” The title was fitting considering all that she’d been through in the last few years. She’s seen here performing on the “Today” show that May.
Celine Dion made the move to Las Vegas in 2003. Her residency show, “A New Day…,” opened at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 25, 2003 (seen here). Though she’d toured the world to much acclaim, this one-city residency was incredibly successful and went on for four straight years. The same week she kicked off her residency, she put out the album “One Heart.”
In 2004, Celine Dion won the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards in Las Vegas for selling more than 100 million albums during her career. To date, she’s nearly tripled that number, having now sold 250 million albums worldwide. Also in 2004, she released yet another album, “Miracle.”
On Jan. 6, 2004, Celine Dion got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A few months later, husband René Angélil stepped down as her manager to focus on his health following a 2013 surgery for throat cancer, which had returned.
Four years, 600 shows and $400 million in ticket sales later, Celine Dion performed her final “A New Day…” show in Las Vegas on Dec. 15, 2007. What a run! She also released her 10th album, “Taking Chances,” a month before her final Vegas show.
Celine Dion just couldn’t stay away from the stage. She embarked on her “Taking Chances” tour in 2008 — her ninth since the start of her career. The world concert trek, which ran from Feb. 14, 2008, to Feb. 26, 2009, reportedly grossed $279.2 million. She’s seen here on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sept. 15, 2008.
Celine Dion wanted to expand her family. She endured fresh rounds of fertility treatments, suffering multiple miscarriages as she underwent six rounds of IVF. But finally, her dream came true: She welcomed twins Nelson and Eddy on Oct. 23, 2010. And just a few months later in February 2011, she signed a contract for a new three-year residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The new show would be called, simply, “Celine.” The diva, her husband, their three boys and Celine’s mother are seen here announcing the new residency.
In 2013, Celine Dion released the album “Love Me Back To Life.” Sadly, husband René Angélil’s cancer returned. The following year, she went on hiatus from her “Celine” show to care for him. They’re seen here on a red carpet in Las Vegas in June 2013.
As René Angélil recovered from surgery related to his throat cancer, Celine Dion returned to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Aug. 27, 2015. She hadn’t performed in over a year, but the show must go on…
On Jan. 14, 2016, René Angélil lost his battle with cancer at 73. He left behind wife Celine Dion and their three sons, as well as three adult children from his first two marriages. Celine led the mourners at his funeral at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal a few days later. Tragically, just two days after René’s death, Celine’s brother Daniel Dion passed away from cancer at 59. It was a heartbreaking time for the pop superstar.
Despite the loss of both her husband and brother barely a month earlier, Celine Dion pulled herself together to return to the Las Vegas stage and continue her residency. The resilient star burst into tears while singing “All By Myself” during her first night back on Feb. 23, 2016.
Celine Dion accepted the ICON Award, which was presented to her at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2016, by eldest son René-Charles Angélil, who was 15 at the time. The award show, where Celine also took the stage to perform Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” marked the first major event she’d attended since husband René Angélil and brother Daniel passed away. She dedicated the milestone award to her late husband. “René, this one’s for you. The show must go on,” she tearfully said in her acceptance speech.
Celine Dion pulled out all the stops when she posed for photos on the red carpet at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, 2017. For her long awaited return to the Grammys, the French Canadian singer wore a glimmering green gown by designer Zuhair Murad, which she paired with matching Gucci sandals. That night, she presented the song of the year prize to Bruno Mars for “That’s What I Like.”
On May 1, 2017, Celine Dion attended her first-ever Met Gala! That year, the theme for the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art even was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between.” The “New Day” singer made her first Met Gala look count — she wore a custom Versace gown with accessories by Bulgari. The prestigious event is what kickstarted Celine’s love for daring fashion — since then, she’s become known for her exceptional street style and wildly eccentric ensembles.
Swoon! If there’s one thing we can count on Celine Dion for, it’s her ability to put on an incredible performance in an equally show-stopping gown. At the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, the French Canadian pop star took the stage for a poignant performance of her “Titanic” ballad, “My Heart Will Go On,” 20 years after the track’s initial release.
On May 24, 2017, Celine Dion performed “How Does a Moment Last Forever” during her Las Vegas Residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The new song was created for Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” which hit theaters on May 17, 2017. Celine channeled Princess Belle in a stunning yellow gown.
Celine Dion is seen here with her then-6-year-old twin sons, Nelson and Eddy Angélil, while out and about in Paris on July 17, 2017. In an interview with journalist Dan Wootton on “Lorraine” in January 2019, the singer shared how her late husband, René Angélil, lives on in their children. “I’ve had wonderful moments in my whole life since I was a child, growing in this family, having wonderful parents, getting married to the greatest man in this world, knowing that he’s in peace and he’s resting and always within me,” Celine said. “And I see him every day through the eyes of my children.”
The fashion icon strikes again! At the 2019 “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Met Gala, Celine Dion proved once again that she is a fashion force to be reckoned with. The “Courage” singer wore a glistening 22-pound Oscar de la Renta dress, an enormous opulent feather headpiece and matching silver heels. “Everybody who was part of it put their hearts into it,” she told E! News of her dazzling ensemble. “It was to make it something magical.”
Celine Dion and James Corden? It was a match-made in “Carpool Karaoke” heaven. On March 22, 2019, Celine and James joined forces to record the popular segment for “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Since she was still doing her Vegas residency at the time, James and his crew took a trip to Sin City to spend time with the “Because You Loved Me” singer. The duo jammed out to Celine classics including “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” “I Drove All Night,” and of course, “My Heart Will Go On,” which they belted out on a boat in the Bellagio fountains!
During the final show of her second Las Vegas residency on June 8, 2019, Celine Dion was joined on stage by her three sons — René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy Angélil, who brought her a bouquet of roses. Celine’s long-running residency hit record-breaking numbers — after 16 years, the singer had completed 1,141 performances at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
After the tragic passing of husband René Angélil, Celine Dion found healing thanks to a deep friendship with Pepe Munoz. While news outlets were quick to speculate that the singer had a new man in her life, Celine was quick to shoot those rumors down. “At first, I felt for him quite a bit … Pepe is gay, and at first I think some people did not know that,” she told “Extra” in April 2019. “The thing is that he’s my best friend and we dance together and he did so much for me and even just holding my hand… it’s something that I haven’t had for a long time… A hug from a 6 [foot] 3 man, it was wonderful… and people really thought there was a romance going on.” Pepe and Celine are seen here at Paris Fashion Week in January 2019.
Celine Dion continued exploring her love for over-the-top fashion at the Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week show on July 2, 2019. She donned an ivory off-the-shoulder gown with dramatic billowing sleeves by the designer for the occasion.
Celine Dion kicked off her 14th tour on Sept. 18, 2019, at the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Canada. “The Courage World Tour,” her first world concert trek in more than 10 years, was in support of her 12 English-language studio album, “Courage,” which debuted on Nov. 15, 2019.
On Jan. 17, 2020, Celine Dion’s mother, Therese Dion — otherwise known as “Maman Dion” — died at 92. The singer mourned her mother on social media. “Maman, we love you so much… We dedicate tonight’s show to you and I’ll sing to you with all my heart. Love, Céline xx…,” the singer wrote alongside a photo of her mother. At her Miami concert that same night, Celine spoke of the final moments she spent with her mother. “We told stories. We sang songs. We hugged each other and we said our goodbyes. We are pretty sure that mom waited for us to be all together before departing,” she shared with the audience. Celine and Therese are seen here at the 2007 Academy Awards.
As for what Celine Dion has on the horizon? The French-Canadian icon — seen here during a performance for Global Citizen’s “One World: Together At Home” fundraiser for COVID-19 relief in April 2020 — will return to the road to finish her “Courage” world tour in 2021, coronavirus pandemic allowing. She’ll also be the subject of the forthcoming biopic, “The Power of Love.”
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