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The Life and Career of Celine Dion

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born March 30th, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world's best-selling artists in history. Though she started out singing in French and continues to do so to this day, Dion has found much success with her English language work as well. Notable songs include "Beauty and the Beast" from the Disney movie of the same name and "My Heart Will Go On" from the blockbuster film "Titanic". In this video, takes a look at the life and career of Celine Dion.

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Discovery at Age 12

Céline Marie Claudette Dion was born on March 30th, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec. She grew up the youngest of fourteen children in an impoverished family and began singing in her parents’ piano bar at an early age. Her brother then sent one of her recordings to music manager René Angélil, who funded her first album.

Debut and Teenage Success in French

Dion released her debut La Voix du bon Dieu at the age of thirteen. It became a hit in Quebec and was followed by the holiday record Céline Dion chante Noël, and this also found success at home.

Canadian and European Recognition

She quickly became a Canadian star and even gained some European recognition after she released several albums throughout the 1980s. However, American success evaded her since she sang in French. Dion therefore took a break from music to transform her image and practice English.

First English Album

1990’s Unison was her first full-length English-language album. The soft rock-influenced pop effort received positive reviews and contained her American breakthrough track: “Where Does My Heart Beat Now.”

First International English-Language Hit

The next year, Dion released the French album Dion chante Plamodon, and had her first international hit. The Oscar and Grammy-winning single “Beauty and the Beast” was a duet with Peabo Bryson for the Disney animated movie of the same name, and it later appeared on her 1992 self-titled record. This was a well-received disc that added soul and classical music to her sound.

Relationship and First Number One American Single

The next year, Dion publicly announced her relationship with Angélil, who was twenty-six years her senior. She also came out with The Colour of My Love. That album reached the fourth position on the Billboard 200 chart and produced her first number one U.S. single “The Power of Love.”

Continued French Success

To cater to her French fans, Dion also released recordings in her native language during this time: D’eux and S’il suffisait d’aimer became two of the best-selling French-language albums in history.

Best-Selling Artist Around the World

Throughout the ‘90s, Dion became known for her ballads and adult-contemporary tunes. She found much international commercial success with her English-language albums and was one of the world’s best-selling artists by the middle of the decade.

”Falling Into You”

This was demonstrated when 1996’s Falling Into You became one of the best-selling albums of all-time. The Grammy-winning disc also generated multiple top five singles. That same year, Dion’s standing as an international star was further validated after she was invited to sing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

”My Heart Will Go On”

After a world tour, she came out with Let’s Talk About Love. The chart-topping 1997 effort became another of the best-selling albums of all-time. It was especially notable for spawning Dion’s most successful single: “My Heart Will Go On.” This Oscar and Grammy-winning track was also the theme song for the hugely popular movie “Titanic.”


While touring in support of the record, Dion dropped the massively successful holiday effort These Are Special Times in 1998. Dion then took a short break from making music to care for her husband Angélil who was fighting throat cancer and to give birth to her first child.

More Albums and Las Vegas Residency

She released the more personal A New Day Has Come in 2002. The record reached the top of many charts across the globe. Up next was the dance-influenced One Heart. That 2003 disc coincided with the launch of Dion’s Las Vegas residency show at Caesars Palace called “A New Day...,” and that lasted until 2007.

Successful Tour

The 2004 concept album Miracle was followed by the pop and rock effort Taking Chances three years later. Dion promoted the disc with a world tour that became one of history’s highest-grossing tours by a solo artist.

More French-Language Material and Return to Vegas

She also released two French albums during this decade: both 1 fille & 4 types and D’elles were successful in Canada, France and Belgium. She then gave birth to twins in 2010. The next year, Dion began her second Las Vegas residency show at Caesars Palace: “Céline.”

Pop Star

Thanks to her powerful voice and bilingual singing ability, Céline Dion has become one of the most influential and recognizable artists in pop music.

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