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Information Connection: Celine Dion Bio

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Celine Dion DVDs | music

Adapted from Jason Ankeny's article in the All-Music Guide.

This major musical star was born on 30 March, 1968, in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada.

Celine Dion was the first French-Canadian performer to become a superstar in North America. Her rise was among the biggest international success stories of the 1990s. Fans adored her for her dynamic vocal prowess. And her melodramatic brand of adult-style of contemporary pop put her consistently at the top of the charts throughout the entire 1990s. While she's not as popular today, her music will probably resonate with fans for generations to come.

Celine was born in Charlemagne, Quebec on 30 March, 1968. She was her parents' 14th and last child.

Celine's parents ran a small club. On weekends, her whole family would gather there and perform folk music. At age 12, Celine, along with a brother and her mother, assembled a demo tape. This tape eventually arrived at the offices of local pop manager and promoter Rene Angelil.

He was so impressed with the young girl's voice that he mortgaged his home to finance her debut recording. That was her 1981 release, La voix du Bon Dieu.

He was impressed with her in other ways apparently, also. Though he was 26 years older than she, they wed in 1994.

Soon, Dion earned world renown. In 1983, she recorded "Les chemins de ma maison" and this recording was so popular in France, it earned her a gold album. No other Canadian performer had ever produced a hit that went gold in France; she was the first to do so. As the 1980s progressed, she became wildly popular throughout French-speaking Canada. She scored a series of platinum records. In 1987, she signed with Sony Canada. That company produced her LP "Incognito." A year later, she won the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1990, Dion recorded "Unison." This was her English-language debut. It came one year after she learned how to speak English. (Many people wish she hadn't learned English, due to offensive statements she's made). This album produced several hits. It's unlikely you haven't heard "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" dozens of times. It was on that album, along with "Have a Heart" and "(If There Was) Any Other Way."

But what made her a runaway success commercially was her appearance on the title track of the 1991 Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, She performed a beautiful duet with Peabo Bryson. This single spent some time at the top of the U.S. pop charts. It seemed, at the time, as if the radio stations played it almost to excess. It also scored a well-deserved Academy Award.

Then in 1992, Celine Dion released four major hits:

  • "Love Can Move Mountains"
  • "If You Asked Me To"
  • "Water From the Moon"
  • "Did You Give Enough Love"

She seemed to have an infinitely deep well of talent. Fans were delighted in 1993, when she released "The Colour of My Love" which was yet another "it doesn't get better than this" example of music.

Celine Dion has a sound that fans instantly recognize, yet each song is unique and powerful in its own right. No warmed-up retreads, as with so many other artists who have had to bow to studio pressures. While many other artists were just recording lame singles to fill out a one-hit album, she was recording seemingly inspired music with hits such as "The Power of Love", "Think Twice, " and  "When I Fall In Love."

You would think she'd have run out by now, but that was not the case. In 1994, she issued a live album. This was "A L'Olympia," and, like her other albums, it made fans swoon.

In 1995, she returned to her French roots with "D'eux." Phil Spector, the legendary producer of Beatles fame, came out of retirement to work with her. This didn't last very long. They had rows over what she felt was his commitment to the safety of producing mediocre music rather than pushing the envelope to produce something edgy. This was a believable perception on her part, given the mediocrity of the last Beatles albums. Those bore the "fingerprints" of Specter and they also bored many music fans.

She went on with out him, releasing a new single, "Because You Loved Me." It was the theme to the 1996 American romantic drama "Up Close and Personal" which was mildly successful while the song was wildly successful. In this movie, Robert Redford had the male lead and blonde screen goddess Michelle Pfeiffer played the protege to his character.

This single turned out to be her biggest hit to that time. It was also the best-selling adult contemporary hit. Ever. As if this wasn't enough feedback from her fans, the album "Falling Into You" became yet another major success.

In 1997, Celine released "Let's Talk About Love" which also caused fans to run to the record store and spur that song to the top of the pop charts. And if you watched the 1997 movie "Titanic," you heard her haunting "My Heart Will Go On"--you did watch the movie, didn't you? If not, you'll want to see this video and if you did you will want to see this video anyhow:


Many people felt this track made the movie a few notches better than it would have been with almost any other selection. Some felt it made the movie, period.

The following year, she made her fourth French language LP, which was S'il Suffisait d'aimer.

Since then, she's fallen out of favor. Several factors have contributed to this, including changing musical tastes and her offensive political statements. Still, today's rappers can't hold a candle to Celine Dion when in terms of sheer talent. Generations from now, people digging through 20th century music archives are likely to characterize her recordings as some kind of rare gift from heaven. During the heyday of her career, this was pretty much how her fans felt.

Adapted from Jason Ankeny's article in the All-Music Guide.

Celine Dion DVDs | music



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