Dion performing "Taking Chances" at "Celine Dion Taking Chances Tour" Concert at Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada on August 19, 2008.
Cline Marie Claudette Dion
March 30, 1968 (1968-03-30) (age 40)Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
550/Epic/Sony (1986–2004)Epic (2004–2007)Sony Music Entertainment/Columbia (2007-present)
1 Life and music career
1.1 Childhood and early beginnings
1.2 1990–1992: Career breakthrough
1.3 1993–1995: Popularity established
1.4 1996–1999: Worldwide commercial success
1.5 2000–2002: Career break
1.6 2002–2003: Return to music
1.7 2003–2007: A New Day... Live in Las Vegas
1.8 2007–present: Back to studio
2 Artistry and image
3 Other activities
4 Selected discography
4.1 English-language studio albums
4.2 French-language studio albums
Cline Marie Claudette Dion (born March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec) is a Canadian pop singer, occasional songwriter and actress. Born to a large, impoverished family, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband Ren Anglil mortgaged his home to finance her first record. In 1990, she released the anglophone album Unison, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world.
Dion had first gained international recognition in the 1980s by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest. Following a series of French albums in the early 1980s, she signed on to Sony Records in 1986. During the 1990s, with the help of Anglil, she achieved worldwide success with several English and French albums, becoming one of the most successful artists in pop music history. However, in 1999 at the height of her success, Dion announced a temporary retirement from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She returned to the music scene in 2002 and signed a three-year (later extended to almost five years) contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best selling female artist of all time. In April 2007 Sony BMG announced that Celine Dion had sold over 200 million albums worldwide.
Life and music career
Childhood and early beginnings
The youngest of fourteen children born to Adhmar Dion and Thrse Tanguay both of French Canadian descent, Cline Dion was raised a Roman Catholic in a poverty-stricken, but, by her own account, happy home in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada. Music had always been a part of the family (Dion was named after the song "Cline", recorded by French singer Hugues Aufray two years before her birth), as she grew up singing with her siblings in her parents' small piano bar called 'Le Vieux Baril.' From an early age Dion had dreamed of being a performer. In a 1994 interview with People magazine, she recalled, "I missed my family and my home, but I don't regret having lost my adolescence. I had one dream: I wanted to be a singer."
At age twelve, Dion collaborated with her mother and her brother Jacques to compose her first song, "Ce n'tait qu'un rve" ("It Was Only a Dream"). Her brother Michel Dondalinger Dion sent the recording to music manager Ren Anglil, whose name he discovered on the back of a Ginette Reno album. Anglil was moved to tears by Dion's voice, and decided to make her a star. He mortgaged his home to fund her first record, La voix du bon Dieu (a play on words "The Voice of God/The Way of God", 1981), which became a local number-one record and made Dion an instant star in Quebec. Her popularity spread to other parts of the world when she competed in the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan, and won the musician's award for "Top Performer" as well as the gold medal for "Best Song" with "Tellement j'ai d'amour pour toi" ("I Have So Much Love for You").
By 1983, in addition to becoming the first Canadian artist to receive a gold record in France for the single "D'amour ou d'amiti" ("Of Love or of Friendship"), Dion had also won several Flix Awards, including "Best Female performer" and "Discovery of the Year". Further success in Europe, Asia, and Australia came when Dion represented Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi" ("Don't Go Without Me") and won the contest by a close margin in Dublin, Ireland. However, American success was yet to come, partly because she was exclusively a Francophone artist. At eighteen, after seeing a Michael Jackson performance, Dion told Anglil that she wanted to be a star like Jackson. Though confident in her talent, Anglil realized that her image needed to be changed in order for her to be marketed worldwide. Dion receded from the spotlight for a number of months, during which she underwent dental surgery to improve her appearance, and was sent to the cole Berlitz in 1989 to polish her English. This marked the start of her English-language music career.
1990–1992: Career breakthrough
Two years after she had learned English, Dion made her debut into the Anglophone market with Unison (1990). She incorporated the help of many established musicians, including Vito Luprano and Canadian producer David Foster. The album was largely influenced by 1980s soft rock music that quickly found a niche within the adult contemporary radio format. Unison also hit the right notes with critics: Jim Faber of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Dion's vocals were "tastefully unadorned", and that she never attempted to "bring off styles that are beyond her". Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic declared it as, "a fine, sophisticated American debut." Singles from the album included "(If There Was) Any Other Way", "The Last to Know", "Unison", and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", a mid-tempo soft-rock ballad which made prominent use of the electric guitar. The latter became her first single to reach the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number four. The album established Dion as a rising singer in the United States, and across Continental Europe and Asia.
In 1991, Dion was also a soloist in "Voices That Care", a tribute to American troops fighting in Operation Desert Storm. Dion's real international breakthrough came when she duetted with Peabo Bryson on the title track to Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991). The song captured a musical style that Dion would utilize in the future: sweeping, classically influenced ballads with soft instrumentation. Both a critical and commercial hit, the song became her second U.S. top ten single, and won the Academy Award for Best Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "Beauty and the Beast" was featured on Dion's 1992 self-titled album, which, like her debut, had a strong rock influence combined with elements of soul and classical music. Owing to the success of the lead-off single and her collaboration with Foster and Diane Warren, the album was as well received as Unison. Other singles that achieved moderate success included "If You Asked Me To" (a cover of Patti LaBelle's song from the 1989 movie Licence to Kill) which peaked at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the gospel-tinged "Love Can Move Mountains", and "Nothing Broken But My Heart".