Whether you’re a 90s baby or a baby boomer, you probably have a soft spot for Celine Dion. From her heart-wrenching ballads to powerful live performances, Dion has dominated the world of music for decades.
Spending all of her adult life in the music industry has made the singer wary, since many people have tried to take advantage of the singer and her many talents. We finally get a sneak peek into this cut-throat world, in which Celine Dion lives.
Nothing could have prepared Celine for the unexpected news she received back in 1999. Her beloved husband, Rene, was diagnosed with throat cancer. Doctors informed the couple that over time he would lose all his basic living abilities.
Celine, thus, had to be his caretaker which presented a big challenge for their relationship. She went above and beyond to take care of Rene and was very eager for him to enjoy his life despite the diagnosis.
Her Life Is Never Dull
To say Celine Dion’s life is dramatic is quite the understatement. Since she was born she has faced a number of challenges, and sometimes things from her past still come back to haunt her.
She has experienced huge success with her career, had to face living in the public eye, experienced a forbidden love affair, and has a number of health problems. Still, whenever you see her she seems to have a smile on her face. She is one tough and talented lady!
Celine’s Mom Hated Her Relationship
Celine’s mother was very much against her relationship with Rene. Celine stated, “When I told her I had some really strong feelings for Rene she tried everything to kill him and make me snap out of it”
She continued “I was very frustrated and mad at first, but she tried to make me understand that this man tried marriage twice before – he has three children, he’s not responsible, ‘I want the perfect Prince Charming for you’.”
She Had Problems Conceiving
Celine Dion is a music legend, but even legends need to take a break every once in a while. The singer did just that in 2000, in order to spend some much-needed time with her family. Unfortunately, she had another personal problem plague her at this time.
She tried multiple times to get pregnant with Rene, but to no avail. Following her failure to conceive, she had a couple of operations in order to help the process along. Fortunately, she finally fell pregnant and welcomed her first son, Rene-Charles Dion Angelil on January 25, 2001.
She Almost Died
It seems like the singer has not only had an eventful later life, in the music industry but also had a very dramatic childhood. At just the tender age of 5-years-old, Celine had a near-death experience.
Obviously, this was all long before her Hollywood days but we assume such a traumatic event must have shaped her singing in one way or another. Celine was hit by a truck and was knocked unconscious for almost a week. Her skull was fractured but she was able to recover fully.
She Hated My Heart Will Go On
Following the first recording of, “My Heart Will Go On,”, do we even need to explain the song?, Celine hated it and thought it would bomb the music charts. She even thought it would damage her career as a musician.
She stated,“…I didn’t really like the song, at first. I did another song for a movie before. It was very successful, and I thought we were pushing our luck…” We are sure, the singer is very happy that she turned out wrong in the end!
They Called Her A Traitor
Celine Dion had a huge hit from “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991. It actually earned Celine her first Grammy! While this was great, the popularity of the song and the Grammy actually caused a huge fan retaliation against her.
The song and publicity actually ended up inciting anger amongst her fans in Quebec. Celine is of French Canadian heritage and, due to the response of her fan base, she actually ended up refusing to accept the English Artist of the Year award at the Felix Awards.
Celine Wasn’t Planned
Did you know that Celine is the youngest of 14 siblings? The family hadn’t actually planned on having more children, due to the already extensive financial burden that came with funding the lives of 13 children already. Fate, however, had other plans in store.
In fact, due to their circumstances, Celine was forced to sleep in a cabinet drawer during the early stages of her existence, since, because it was such a big family, there were simply not enough beds. Oh how the times have changed for the better!
Her Husband Put His Foot Down
Despite her initial apprehension about “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine’s husband, Rene, persuaded her to record and release the single. While interviewing with Jonathan Ross, she said, ” “[Angélil] said, ‘Let’s just do a demo. Let’s give it a try and we’ll see after.’
“The demo is actually the real recording. I never sang the song again.” What a good decision to record the demo! After it was released in 1997 it became a huge hit and earned Celine a number of awards. It is her most popular song to date.
A Shark When It Comes To Business
Dion’s mother is named Therese Tanguay Dion. She is well known in Quebec for her cooking skills. Celine seems to have inherited her mother’s skills – in fact, in 1990 she opened her own restaurant in Quebec called “Nickels.”
Celine worked hard to make this a successful venture and, as a result, it developed into a chain of restaurants. A couple of years down the line, there are a number of restaurants in various locations around Canada. It seems that singing isn’t Celine’s only talent!
Suing For Millions For Spreading Lies
The 1990s was a rollercoaster for Celine. She somehow managed to releas 13 studio albums and, at the same time, was forced to deal with the repercussions of finding out about her husband’s cancer. Following the diagnosis, she stepped out of the limelight and took a break.
During this break, the tabloid magazine National Enquirer released a false story stating Celine was pregnant with twins. Celine sued the magazine for $20 million. The magazine apologized to her and made a donation to the American Cancer Society on her behalf.
Celine received the highest honour Quebec can offer, The National Order of Quebec. Of course, she has stars on the Hollywood and Canadian Walks of Fame, but that didn’t stop her from being given an honorary doctorate from Laval University.
What did we say? Celine Dion can and does do it all! She stated it was, “a very great honour for a little girl from Charlemagne.” On accepting the award, she made a romantic gesture, in dedicating it to Rene, her loving husband, whom she evidently adored.
She Had No Other Choice
When Celine was just two years old, famous French musician Hugues Aufray released a song entitled “Céline.” At the age of five, she performed this song at her brother’s wedding. This must have been hugely nerve-wracking for a girl of her age, but she handled it extremely well.
This is now regarded as the breakthrough moment that kickstarted her singing career. Celine’s entire family are actually musicians, but after this performance, it was clear that she had been blessed with a little extra talent.
Discovered In The Weirdest Way
Her family recognised from early on how talented Celine was. Her mother and brother Jacques wrote a song for her in the hope that it would help her to be discovered by the music industry. It worked! A producer named Rene Angelil got in touch with her.
Celine’s mother actually sent the demo to Rene with a note saying, “This is a 12-year-old with a fantastic voice. Please listen to her. We want her to be like Ginette Reno.” He didn’t respond at first, and then one of Celine’s brothers got in touch with Rene. He pleaded with him to listen to the demo, and he finally did! He got in touch with Celine right away and invited her in for an audition.
Her Audition Was Far From Normal
Rene was moved, from the outset, by Celine’s stunning voice. When Celine came in for the audition, Rene gave her a pretend mic and said to her, “Here’s your microphone. Now sing as though you were in front of a sellout audience.” No pressure at all!
The audition was extremely emotional. Celine claimed that whilst she was singing, Rene actually started to cry. This was the moment when she knew she had definitely done a good job. Rene immediately signed her and was sure she would late become famous.
High Stakes Gambler
Despite the fact that Celine was clearly ridiculously talented, still, nothing was certain. For starters, she was very young and would need to put some serious time and effort in before she could properly begin her career as a singer and performer. Rene had a vision and he wanted it to be perfect.
He actually ended up mortgaging his house in order to ensure that her first album would have enough funding. Between the two of them, the hard work eventually paid off and her first single in 1981 was instantly a great success, hitting the top of the charts in Canada.
She Won By A Single Point
Many of you might not know this, but before Celine Dion became the acclaimed singer she is today, she was an artist who was trying to get her foot in the door. She did this by entering the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988.
The singer became a fan favourite and ended up winning by beating the UK by just one vote! It doesn’t come as a surprise that she won but, the funny thing is, Dion represented Switzerland, a country to which she has no formal connection.
She Demanded Time To Grow Up
After an excellent start to her career, Rene advised her to take some time off in order to recuperate. This was considered to be a risky move, since Celine was still just a new artist, but, contrary to advice, she still took the decision take an 18 month long break.
Taking time off turned out to be the right decision for her. When Dion returned she was more confident and an even better singer in English. Her “comeback” album is entitled “Incognito,” and it sold over half a million copies.
America’s Sweetheart Was Born
Celine released her first English album in 1990. It is called “Unison.” This helped propel her career and it made her a huge celebrity around the world. It was certified Gold in the US and included many top 10 hits including “Where Does My Heart Beat Now.”
Everything seemed to be going great, when something unexpected happened. Immediately before going on tour, Celine Dion, unfortunately, lost her voice. She was diagnosed with laryngitis and was exhausted. Despite wanting to continue with the tour, doctors strongly advised her not to sing to avoid risking further inflammation of her vocal cords.
Revealing Her Big Secret
While there were many rumours surrounding her romance with Rene, she hadn’t officially announced their relationship to the public. Finally, she made the big announcement right before the release of her album “The Colour of My Love.”
Celine and Rene started to date when she was just 19 years old. Rene was 26 years older than her. Despite the strength of their relationship, they had no doubt that the public would see this as hugely controversial and they would face a lot of, in most cases negative, media coverage as a result.
Fearing The Public
They were right. Nonetheless, the couple continued to be together, got married, and started a family. It wasn’t just the age gap that shocked members of the public, but also the fact that Celine’s stepson was older than her!
Rene Angélil was married twice and he already had one son, named Patrick Angelil, with his first wife. This is is probably one of the reasons why Celine was determined to keep her relationship with Rene secret and, thus, out of the private eye for over 5 years!
She’s A Fantastic Secret Keeper
Rene stated in an interview in 1994 that he was afraid of what people might think. Celine was the one that insisted on revealing their relationship to the public and didn’t care about being judged for it. She said, “When you’re in love, you want to scream it to the world.”
Celine and Rene were married on December 17, 1994, at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. Their ceremony was broadcasted on Canadian TV. At this point, they were considered as royalty by the Canadian people and the majority of her fans wanted to see her wedding.
Bridezilla Or Royal Princess?
So as not to be outdone by any of the other Popstars or even royalty at the time, Celine wore a beautiful wedding dress designed by Mirella and Steve Gentile. It took over 1,000 hours to make it! This is, in part, due to the 20-foot long train.
The outfit included a tiara, weighing 20 pounds, that Celine wore beautifully. It matched the glamourous dress perfectly. This was complimented by some more subtly jewellery. The entire world was talking about her outfit in the days following the ceremony.
He Was Her Everything
Following the success of Titanic, Dion went on her “Let’s Talk About Love” tour. Everything was continuing smoothly when she received some life-altering news. Renee was diagnosed with cancer. She found out during a show and performed a song in his honour.
Dion found out the news, while she was performing a show. However, rather than stopping the show and risking the inevitable disappointment her fans, she went on stage and performed a song in his honour. Unfortunately, Rene lost his battle to cancer and died on January 14, 2016. He was 73 years old.
She Prepared her Kids for Death
Before all of this happened, the two welcomed twins on October 23, 2010. Celine gave birth to twin boys named Eddy and Nelson. Eddy was named after Frenchman Eddy Marnary who produced her first five albums. Nelson was named after Nelson Mandela.
Celine was faced with the huge challenge of preparing her children to understand and accept the news of their fathers passing. When reflecting she said, “I’m proud of the way I prepared my boys for their dad’s death. In life, you never know what’s going to happen, so you should never wait for tomorrow to do what can be done today, to say I love you, or send a thank-you note…The future is now.”
Accessible To All
Celine Dion is loved by the public because she is down to earth and treats her fans so well, in spite of her celebrity status. After her husband died she allowed every fan that wanted to see her, to see her. They were allowed to personally extend their condolences.
This was a very selfless gesture in our opinion since, at such a sensitive time when one wants to be alone, she allowed her fans to share in her grief. She also allowed the eight-hour funeral to be televised to allow transparency and openness with the public and her fan base.
Her Secret Dad
Celine often speaks of her mother in interviews, but rarely of her father. His name was Adhemar Dion and he passed away in 2001. She stated, “My dad was and is still my number one fan since I was a very little girl. I know that my dad would want me to be here tonight on stage with everyone I love, doing what we love.”
Celine Dion’s mother is still alive today and in good health. To this day, despite several bumps along the road within their relationship, the two are as close as ever. In fact, her mother recently celebrated her 90th birthday! It won’t be long until she receives a telegram from the queen!
Without a Brother
While Celine overall has been very fortunate with her life and career, she has experienced her fair share of misfortune just like everybody else. In addition to losing the love of her life, she also lost her brother.
Without a Brother
If that wasn’t enough, both of them died in the same week due to cancer. This fact should give everyone perspective of what is important in life and prove just how strong, resilient and deserving Celine Dion truly is.
Clinging On To Her Children
We aren’t surprised, but Celine has been very open about the difficulty of getting over the loss of her beloved husband, Rene. In a candid interview, she stated, “I miss him a lot for my partner, for the man I was embracing, kissing, making love with”
She went on to add ” I organize myself to not feel lonely. So what’s happened is I got myself a huge bed and I sleep with my twins. My twins are comforting me a lot. I need them. I need them close.” She is lucky to have her lovely children by her side.