1995-2001 - Worldwide domainationAfter she had climbed the basic steps to stardom, Céline begins her domination of the worldwide music. She begins with the France market with the D'Eux album then she keeps on with her success in English with number one and sales now counted in dozens of millions of copies per album!
1995Celine received another World Music Award, in Monaco, again for being the best seller for a female Canadian singer.
At the Juno awards, the title of female singer of the year escaped her, but she received 2 other Junos for her The colour of my love album.
She released another album in French, D'eux . That album was written (lyrics and music) and produced by Jean-Jacques Goldman, a great French songwriter.
During the summer, the sales of that album are unbelievable, selling more than 57,000 copies a day in France! In only seven months, D'eux has became the best-selling French-speaking album in the history! The records set by this album are VERY impressive: best-selling French-speaking album in Canada and in the world, best-selling album in France (no matter the language), first French-speaking album certified gold in UK, etc...
The huge success of that new album in France forced Sony to produce a new edition of Les premières annees (improved package), and two new compilations as well: Celine Dion Gold and Celine Dion Gold, vol. 2.
At the ADISQ gala, she received 3 awards, related to her latest album, D'eux.
1995 surely marks a record year for Celine. Sony said she was the first artist to be both a best seller in English (with The colour of my love) and in French (in Europe)!
In December, she had huge sales in Japan, this time with The colour of my love. That album was reedited there with the added song To love you more, musical theme of a popular tv drama in Japan, Koibito Yo (My dear lover).
At the end of the year, "Tapestry Revisited", an homage to Carole King was released. Celine sang You make me feel (like a natural woman) (that song was reused for some versions of her following English album, Falling into you).
1996In its first publication of the year, the French magazine Gala nominates Celine Women of the year, as voted by its readers.
After spending the first two weeks of the year in her West Palm Beach (Florida, USA) house, Celine leaves for Europe... and then begins the awards give away (all desserved of course).
On january 22nd, Celine is made, by the French Minister of Culture, Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The Minister said Celine was the best ambassador of the French language right now.
She also received a special Félix award for her whole career. The ADISQ president even went to Cannes to give the award to Celine.
Then she gave a few concerts (Marseille, Lyon, 3 nights to Bercy and 2 at Bruxelles), just to keep her voice in shape...
On february 12th, she received 2 Victoires awards (music awards from France), as French-speaking artist of the year and for the song of the year (Pour que tu m'aimes encore).
On february 23rd, she was back in the USA, where she did a private concert for Donald Trump.
At the Juno awards ceremoney, she won only one prize: best-selling French-speaking album in Canada (for the D'Eux album of course).
The first singles from Falling Into You were released on february 19th. In america and in Asia, it was Because you loved me, which is the theme song from the movie Up Close and Personal, with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer (even if that song is the only one in the whole movie, it's not on the movie soundtrack). Every where else in the world, the song Falling into you, was the first single.
The Falling into you album was released from march 8th to 19th, everywhere on Earth. There was no official launching, the album was simply put on the shelves. It was among the best sellers in almost all the countries as soon as it was released. In France, it enters at second position, the first place was still occupied by D'Eux!
On march 14th, the song Because You Loved Me reaches the #1 spot on the Billboard's Hot 100 singles, on its 3rd week only!, and stayed there for 6 weeks. That song spent 16 weeks in the top 5! But most importantly, it became the biggest Adult Contemporary (A/C) hit of all times, it was on top for 19 weeks, smashing the previous record of 13 weeks belonging to Mariah Carey and Boz II Men with the song One Sweet Day. And Because You Loved Me was the most played song in the USA (#1 in the Airplay chart) for 14 weeks!
From march 18th to april 1st, Celine gave 9 concerts in Australia and New Zealand, for the debut of her Falling Into You world tour.
On march 29th, at the 11th Irish Recorded Music Awards ceremony, she won the prize for best international singer.
On march 30th, the Falling Into You album enters the French Top 50. It enters at 2nd place, since the 1st one is still occupied by D'Eux. That album in addition to having outsold the Jackson's Thriller in France (which had the previous record 2,5M copies sold in France, D'eux sold more than 4M!) established another record... between april 1st 1995 and april 1st 1996, over a 52-week period, D'Eux was at the #1 spot for 44 weeks! The Falling Into You album was the one who kicked D'Eux off the top.
Celine stopped by Montreal to give 3 concerts in april.
Early may, she was at the World Music Awards ceremony, held in Monaco. She received the prize for the canadian artist who had sold the most albums in the world (for 1995).
Having been offered to be part of the Good Morning America show (a national morning program, on the US ABC network), Rene has said something like: "YEs, with pleasure, but since you'll soon be in Quebec for your canadian week, we'll be on the show you'll make from Quebec City". And here came the huge team of Good Morning America, for the may 16th broadcast. They made their show live from the old Quebec City and Celine gave an interview on a balcony from the Chateau Frontenac, and also another one from a stand on the Dufferin terrasse, like shows this picture.
Late may. Release in England of the single for Because You Loved Me. As they do in UK, they released 2 versions of the single, but the second version immediately received LOTS of attention from fans. It features (in addition of the movie song) the huge British hit Think Twice, the huge Japonese hit To Love You More (first distribution outside Asia) and the song Sola Otra Vez. That last song is a spanish adaptation from All By Myself. With this song, Celine now has recorded in 4 different languages (French, German, English and Spanish - in that order).
Then she flew up for Prague to record the It's All Coming Back To Me Now video. The set is a magnigicient castle and Celine loved making this mini-movie of almost 9 minutes!
On july 19, she sings at the Opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympic games. She sang The Power Of The Dream, a song written by David Foster, Linda Thompson and Babyface. She had reharsed the day before in front of 85,000 voluntary workers invited for the occasion, then she sang in front of more than 100,000 people around her, in addition to over 3 and a half billion of tv viewers from their homes! Celine said later it was the biggest moment in her career so far. Celine gave away the money she received for the occasion with a little extra (don't know how much exactly) to the canadian team, to support canadian athletes. We can find the song The Power Of The Dream as "b-side" of the single It's All Coming Back To Me Now releases..
On july 23rd, she began her US tour. These 25 concerts ended on august 29th, after she had visited 19 states. She had to postpone the last two concerts scheduled (Portland on august 31st and Seattle on september 1st) because she was sick, these concerts have been re-scheduled for late march 1997. She suffered stomach problems. That was cause by tiredness, stress and maybe also by no totally fresh food. That is part of a huge tour.
In august, Paul Anka's Amigos album was released. That album features Spanish adaptations of Anka's hits. These songs are sung in duet with various artists. Celine sings Mejor Decir Adios (It's Hard To Say Goodbye) in Spanish, while Anka sings the verses in English. That is a VERY good song.
On august 23rd and 24th, she gave 2 mini-concerts every day to the prestigious Ceasar's Palace casino. Rene and the Rock-Detente network (FM radio stations in Quebec) had set up a trip for Las Vegas, allowing 300 quebecers to attend one of these concerts. During one of these concerts, Celine recorded a song (Quand on n'a que l'amour) and a special message for a telethon to get money for the Saguenay people, victims of awful floodings last summer.
The song Send Me A Lover is released again on other benefit compilations. In august, it was released on the album The Power Of The Peace, to celebrate the 50 years of CARA, then in september it was released on the Women for Women 2 compilation, another album to get funds for the research on breast cancer. The song was used as a single (for radios only) to promote that album in the USA.
The For Our Children Too compilation was released in september. It's the sequel of the For Our Children album released in 1992, for the pediatrics AIDS foundation. The second album has 2 songs with Celine. First, the album opens on a wonderful bilingual version of Brahms Lullaby, sung by Celine. Then, at the very end, there's a very good song from David Foster, Love Lights The World, sung by Celine, Peabo Bryson and Color Me Badd.
In september also, Celine's European tour began... 44 concerts from september 29th to november 29th, in addition of course of a few tv programs now and then. She had visited France, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
In late september, an important event happened in Celine's career. We learned that the Falling Into You album had reached the #1 spot on the prestigious Billboard's album chart for the next year (it was #1 for a total of 3 weeks in 1996). That was the first time a Celine album was on top of the Billboard. Here are a few statistics for your numbers lovers...
In october, a third live album (2nd with Sony) was released: Live à Paris. That albums was recorded at the Zenith concert place (in Paris of course) in october 1995. That album features mostly songs from the D'Eux album, the best-selling French-speaking album of all times. In addition to these wonderful songs, it also features the japonese hit To Love You More. A few weeks later, a videotape of these concerts was also made available, without To Love You More, even if a live video exists for this song. Finally, a single was issued, Les Derniers seront les premiers. It's the way Sony found to continue to promote (as a side effect) the D'Eux album.
On october 20th, at the La Presse (daily newspaper in Montreal, Quebec, Canada) excellence gala Celine was put aside by the jury members. They declared her out of competition, because she is too exceptional. I find that unacceptable. Of course she is in a class of her own, but it's not a reason to give her NOTHING! They simply put her aside of the competition, without even giving her a special plaque. I don't understand their position, it's not like if she had won every of their prizes in the last years, it's quite the opposite! Celine had won the title for "Personality of the year - Entertainment" only once (in 1992), and she was never nominated "Personality of the year" (above all categories).
On november 1st, Celine wrote a new page in the record book of French music industry (a book that almost belongs to her): she became the very first artist to have 3 of her albums in the French Top 20! That week, Live à Paris entered the chart on top position (her 3rd #1 album in France this year), while Falling Into You (7 months after it entered the chart) was still at the 6th position and D'Eux was still in 16th position (a year and a half after its release)! 1, 6 and 16: a triple-crown for Celine!
Still on november 1st, Celine won a Bambi Awards, for "Best Pop International Artist". That prize was given by The Burda Company, one of the biggest editors (newspapers) in Germany. It was the first time Celine won a prize in that country. We have to mention that Celine was never a big seller in Germany, till very recently. In fact, the Falling Into You album is the first big hit for her. Since its release, that album was always in the Top 15 of the charts (its peak was the 5th position), it's exceptional!
On november 3rd, it's a totally Celine (and Rene) dominated ADISQ (Quebecer musical prizes) ceremony. First, let me remind you that the ADISQ gave Celine a special award in january. On the ceremony evening, Celine won 5 other awards. Of course, she won those almost especially created for her (and she won almost all of those since they were created): "Quebecer artist with the biggest success outside Quebec" and "Quebecer artist with the biggest success in a language other than French". In addition to those, she received the Felix awards for "Album of the year - best seller" for the D'Eux album of course, "Concert of the year - singer" for the Quebecer leg of her world tour. and "Female singer of the year". Rene received the award for "Manager of the year" (his 5th time in the last 10 years), and a special homage award. Celine already won 33 Felix awards so far, someday they will have to rename these awards... :)
On november 19th, Rene Angelil reached an agreement with Quebecor (Quebec's most important publisher) and Nathalie Jean so the unauthorized biography written by Mrs Jean (this picture is the cover of that book), and which is already printed, won't be published. According to what we know from that agreement, Rene would had paid some 30,000 dollars to Mrs Jean for her work and Quebecor would had agreed to give their rights on the book to Rene in exchange for the promise to have the rights for printing and distributing the official biography. That biography is currently in the writing process by Georges-Hebert Germain (the husband of Francine Chaloult, who is the press attache of Celine since her 15 years). Mr Germain has written other biographies, including the one on Guy Lafleur (a famous hockey player). The official biography should be out next fall, for the next Montreal books fair and it will be translated in English for international distribution.
Early december, Celine is back on the American continent, and sings All By Myself at the Billboard Music Awards ceremony, where she won nothing, then she did the Tonight Show one more time.
On december 10th, Celine gave a private benefit concert, for the Quebecer Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
On december 17th, she's officially back in Montreal, on the day of their second wedding anniversary. And, as usual when she comes home, she gave a press conference (just before giving the first of 3 concerts in a row)... here are the most important points that came out of that press conference:
Finally, for Christmas, Celine and Rene showed their generosity once again. First, the couple went to Charlemagne (the home town of Celine) and bought Christmas baskets for poor people, and went deliver them themselves! Then Celine gave $100,000 (canadian dollars) to every member of her immediate family (parents and siblings), that makes only 15 of them, so only a million and a half! :) If you add to that a few other goodies and the toys for all her nieces and nephews, her Christmas gift list cost about 2 million dollars.
Finally, Celine was voted Artist of the year by VH-1 (USA video channel). She was the first to be nominated by popular votes.
You want to know what 1996 was like for Celine? Fasten your seatbelt and be ready to be astonished. The following figures could get anyone dizzy!
During this single year, Celine gave 116 concerts, in front of nearly a million and a half people! Not counting her 2 appearances at Atlanta (reharsal and Opening ceremony) in front of over 200 000 people in the stadium and 3 billion and a half tv viewers from their homes!
In the charts, it was by far the best year Celine had so far. In addition to having established new records in France (the 44 weeks #1 for D'Eux, the 15 weeks #1 for Pour que tu m'aimes encore, the 3 albums in the top 20 - all of them were #1 this year - sales of over 4,000,000 of the D'Eux album), Celine also set new records in other charts... especially in the USA where she litterally smashed the old Mariah Carey/Boyz II Men record of 13 weeks by staying 19 weeks on top of the Adult Contemporary chart with Because You Loved Me. That same song was #1 on the Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for 6 weeks (a new personal record for Celine), and the Falling Into You album was her first to reach the top position in Billboard's chart. The album has spent its 40 weeks on the chart in 1996 in the Top 9!, with MANY more weeks to come (I predict it will spend its whole first year in the Top 10). So far the album has been #1 in these countries (partial list): United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, Canada, USA, France, Norway, New-Zealand and Switzerland.
This year alone, Celine has sold about 23 million albums! That impressive figure is obtained by adding over 18 million copies of Falling Into You (in 9 months and a half only), 2 million copies of Live à Paris, one million copies of D'Eux and another million sales from previously released albums. Since its release, half a million copies of Falling Into You are sold every week! With such figures, the World Music Awards, not only for best-selling canadian artist but also for best-selling artist overall, have to be given to Celine next year. Because Celine is the one who sold more albums than anyone else in the WORLD in 1996!!! In fact, it's also her who sold the greatest amount of albums in the last 3 years, with at least one million sold in every of the last 36 months!
Now let's talk a bit about the awards... Celine received this year one Juno award, 2 Victoires, one Irish Recorded Music Award, a World Music Award, a Bambi Award, 6 Felix (2 for Rene) and one prize given by the RFI. In addition of those, let's not forget that Celine received the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres from France and the nomination as the VH-1 Artist of the year.
1997The year begins with another award, she receives for a 4th time the Radio Rock Détente award for contributing to the success of that FM radio network (in Quebec).
Celine is also selected as the Artist of the Year by VH-1, and important music video channel in the USA.
Another compilation of Celine's early songs in French is released: C'est pour vivre. This compilation features 6 songs never released in CD format before.
In February, Celine resumes her world tour with 10 concerts in Japan and one in Korea.
On February 23rd, Celine performs in a private concert for His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji HASSANAL Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest person in the world. Every year, for the national holiday, the Sultan invites an international star for a "private" party, where the most famous people from Brunei are invited. A few years ago, the Sultan invited Michael Jackson, and paid him US$10M for a single concert. We don't know how much Celine received, but I would guess around US$10M.
On February 26, she wins the 2 most important Grammy Awards for her album Falling Into You: Album of the year and Pop album of the year.
On March 9th, she wins 4 more Juno Awards... Best Selling Francophone Album (for Live à Paris), Best Selling Album - Foreign or Domestic (for Falling Into You), Female Vocalist of the Year and International Achievement Award. This last prize was also given to two other Canadian who also dominated the music worldwide: Shania Twain and Alanis Morrissette. With these 4 Juno Awards, Celine catches back Bryan Adams at 15... the second highest number, Anne Murray is the one with the most Juno Awards with 20.
The National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) holds its national convention in Orlando (FL, USA) and gives 3 awards to Celine: Best-selling Pop recording and Recording of the year awards (for Falling Into You) in addition to Artist of the year.
From mid-March to late April, Celine tours the US again, visiting 17 cities.
On March 21st, she's on Oprah, with ALL her family (but her sister Claudette).
On March 24th, Celine becomes the first ever to perform twice on the same Oscar night. In addition to singing Because You Loved Me her smash hit single from the Up Close and Personal movie, she sang I Finally Found Someone from the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (recorded by Barbra Streisand). Mrs. Streisand prefered not to perform that night and Natalie Cole was scheduled to sing her song instead. But something happened and, 2 days before the Oscar night, Celine was asked if she could do it. She gladly accepted. She was nervous to sing the song of her idol, especially just in front of her, but she did an incredible job, Celine proved once again that the greater the pressure, the better she is.
A few days later, Barbra sends Celine flowers and a note: "I watched the tape afterwards, you sang my song beautifully and I regret I wasn't in the room to hear you, next time let's make one together. I really wish your song would have won, you are a wonderful singer.". That note wasn't left without an answer and Rene called up David Foster to write a song for Celine and Barbra... the result is Tell Him, featured on both Celine's and Barbra's albums to come.
In late March, we learn some information about Celine's new contract... We don't know the details, but we know that the signature bonus is around $100M (Canadian dollars apparently, so about US$75M), it was signed with Sony Music Canada. With this amount, it's without a doubt the biggest contract signed by a Canadian artist. We don't know the duration of the contract (usually in terms of a number of albums to do), but my guess would go for a 5 albums contract (probably 2 in English, 2 in French, and a 5th in English, French or Spanish).
On April 17th, in Monaco, Celine is the BIG winning star of the World Music Awards ceremony. She wins 3 awards: Best-selling Canadian female singer, Best-selling artist (all categories altogether!) and Best-selling Pop artist. They announced sales of 25 millions for 1996, it's the second year in a row Celine sells more than 20 millions copies worldwide! During the ceremony, she sings Call the Man with a 30-voice gospel choir.
In early May, she gives 4 extra concerts in Montreal.
On May 21st, Celine does her acting debut on American TV as she appears on the sitcom The Nanny. It's not her first acting however. In 1991, she had the leading role in a mini-series in Quebec: Des Fleurs sur la neige. That mini-series was about the story of an abused child, who in turn begins to abuse her own child. A very hard role to play, but Celine did a good job.
On May 24th, Falling Into You falls off Billboard's top 10, after spending its 59 first consecutive weeks there. It's only the 18th album spending that much time in the top 10, ever! The drop happens 2 weeks after Sony Canada announced the exploitation of the album was over. I cannot understand why Sony would abandon an album that is still in the top 10 one year after its release! Most other companies would have pushed the album a little more to see how far it could have gone.
Another single, Call The Man is released is some countries, like Australia and England. But it clearly shows it's just a last breath before the album dies... there's not much effort made on the promotion: they used the cover already used for the US edition of All By Myself and they used the Je sais pas video and simply changed the soundtrack!
On May 25th, Rene's mother dies in the evening, at the age of 82.
In late May, release of a "new" collection of early French songs in Europe: The Collection 1982-1988. I say "new" because it's in fact 2 existing collections that have been put in the same box. Those two CDs are Ne partez pas sans moi (same as Gold) and C'est pour vivre.
In June, Celine tours the biggest stadiums of Europe and sings before huge crowds ranging from 35,000 and 70,000 people to end her 16-month tour around our little planet, after more than 150 concerts on 4 continents.
In July, Celine begins learning golf with a professional golfer and her husband... Of course, she practices at their own golf club: Le Mirage (The Mirage). You can check out the golf club's web site at: http://www.golfmirage.ca. The golf club is now private.
On October 7th, "Tell Him" has its first runs on radio waves... This incredible duet is rejected however by non-Adult radio stations. Even if the song is a large Adult Contemporary hit, involving 2 of the best female voices ever, Sony won't release the single in the USA because it's not having a broad enough support to put the song on top of the charts. The song will have a huge success all over the world however, since it will be released all around the world, but USA.
On October 26, Celine is, once again, the big star of the ADISQ gala night. She wins 5 awards: Album of the year, best seller and Album of the year, Pop Rock (for "Live à Paris"), Quebecer artist with the most success outside Quebec, Quebecer artist with the most success in a language other than French and Female singer of the year. Rene leaves out with the award for Manager of the year.
In late October, the song Be The Man is released in Japan. This song is also used on Japanese TV, for a regular series, and there's something very special about that song... it's released in 2 versions: English and Japanese. Yes, Celine recorded that song in Japanese. Japanese is the 5th language in which Celine records and Be The Man is the 12th song Celine recorded in two languages.
During the fall, many books on Celine were released all around the world. A total of 6 books on Celine were released this fall alone! 4 in French and 2 in English. There's a LARGE difference in seriousness and quality among these books. Half of those books barely worth the paper they're printed on, the rest are good, but not extraordinary, not even the authorized one, written by Georges-Hébert Germain. None of these should be used as an absolute reference on Celine.
On November 16, the 5th English album of Celine is released: Let's Talk About Love. Before it was even released, Sony announced they had orders for 10M copies worldwide! This is THE most expected album of the fall, all around the world. The sales skyrocketed right at the beginning, and the album quickly tops the charts all around the world, smashing sales records in Canada and other countries. After only 3 weeks in Canada, it's been certified diamond (1,000,000 copies!), and had sold more in Canada than in the USA (a market 10 times bigger!).
On November 18, she's on Rosie O'Donnell Show. An interesting show... Celine and Rosie talked about Barbra Streisand, who will be Rosie's guest a few days later, and of course of Celine's new album. The day after, Celine appears on Good Morning America.
On November 20th, Celine wins the Amigo Award (in Spain) for the Best international female artist.
On December 1st, Celine sings in London during the ceremonies for the 50th wedding anniversary of the Queen Elisabeth II.
On December 19th, the movie Titanic is released and begins to be a huge success. The love theme of that movie, My Heart Will Go on, sung by Celine, is also a huge success all around the globe.
1997 was supposed to be a year off for Celine... yet here's a summary of what happened this year:
Yes, it was indeed a slow year for Celine, not surprising she had time to play golf! :))
1998Once again, the year begins by a whirlwind of awards for Celine...
The first in row is a Golden Globe Award... On January 18th, the song My Heart Will Go On, which is the love theme of the hit movie Titanic, wins the award for Best original song for a drama.
Then, on January 26th, Celine wins her first American Music Award, for Best female Pop/Rock artist.
Another distinction for My Heart Will Go On happens a few days later (January 29th), as the song has shattered the all-time record for the largest radio audience, it was heard by 105,577,700 listeners during the week ending January 27. The previous record was for Donna Lewis' I Love you Always Forever with 101 million, in May 1996. Two weeks later, My Heart Will Go On shatters its own record with 117 million listeners. Let's also remember the 3rd most played song is another Celine song: Because You Loved Me.
On February 25th, Celine sings My Heart Will Go On at the Grammy's. She was supposed to sing Tell Him with Barbra Streisand, but Mrs Streisand was sick and didn't attend the ceremony. Celine doesn't win anything this year... but watch out next year. :)
On March 23rd, Celine sings My Heart Will Go On at the Oscar Night, it's her 3rd presence at the Oscar Night, singing for the 4th time. The song wins the Oscar for Best Original Song. It's the second time a song performed by Celine wins an Oscar, two out of 4, that's an excellent score establishing Celine as a great performer for movie themes.
My Heart Will Go On sets record after record, it can now be considered Celine's biggest hit. Even if it didn't beat the 6 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts of Because You Loved Me, it was on top only for 2 weeks, it's dominating the charts ALL over the world, becoming the first worldwide success for Celine. In the past, Celine has been #1 all over the world, but with different songs in different parts of the world. This is a HUGE success... not only song is #1 all around the globe, but it's also pulling BOTH the soundtrack and the album keeping them both on top of the charts. It even became the first English song to ever top the Billboard's Latin chart!
Celine contributed to 3 other albums early this year... She first recorded Happy To Meet You for the Elmapalooza CD released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sesame Street. It's a funny, colorful song. She also recorded Here, There and Everywhere, a song from the Beatles, for the compilation album My Life of Sir George Martin. The song is very good and, according to many people, it's the best track of the album. Celine also recorded The Prayer for the soundtrack of Quest For Camelot, an animated movie.
Other contributions of Celine include a 30 seconds TV ad for the Callaway golf clubs and she teamed with Morley Candy Makers and the NARAS foundation to sell chocolates. Those chocolates are in shapes of heart and music instruments. The 14 oz box cover is made of the cover of the Let's Talk About Love.
Another compilation of Celine early songs have been released in Europe: C'est pour toi. Yes, the title sounds familiar... it's the same title as an original album released in 1985. The 1998 version of the album is in fact a short version of the double-CD The Collection 1982-1988. Anything for Budde Music to make money with the old catalog of Celine.
On April 5th, Celine gives the last concert of her Falling Into You tour. During that tour, begun on March 18th, 1996, she gave 164 concerts in 17 countries, on 4 continents.
On April 30th, Celine is bestowed with the title of Officer of the Order of Quebec. The day after, on May 1st, she received the same distinction from the Order of Canada. Those are the two highest civil distinctions that can be presented to someone. In both, there is still a highest grade in the Order... in Quebec that superior grade is named "Grand Officer" and in Canada it's "Companion". Celine will probably be promoted to the highest grades once she retire, she is still pretty young.
On August 11th, the first single (Zora sourit) of the upcoming French album is released. Playing a lot on radios both in Quebec and in France, it quenches a bit the thirst for new French songs, while waiting for the album. But the CD single will be released only after the album is out.
On August 21st, in Boston (MA, USA), begins the Let's Talk About Love tour. Celine will tour until late fall 1999 (for a total of 15 months on tour). It's a HUGE tour, in large concert places. The stage is central (first time for Celine) and it's a multi-media heart-shaped stage, with the floor being a huge TV screen covered with millions of pixels.
On September 8th, S'il suffisait d'aimer is released. It's the second album with Jean-Jacques Goldman. This album features Celine singing an engaged song in Zora sourit and a great blues in Tous les blues sont écrits pour toi in addition to great ballads. In their first collaboration Goldman wrote songs for Celine, this time he wrote more in his own style, while letting Celine sing her own unique way, like she has been singing a long time ago. Most of the arrangements on that album are simple to let Celine's voice dominate the songs.
Celine did more collaborations this fall. The first one is another duet with Paul Anka, on his Body of Work album. They sing It's Hard to Say Goodbye again, but this time only in English, after their bilingual (English/Spanish) duo from 1996. Celine also sang earlier this year with the Bee Gees and with Luciano Pavarotti, those participations were recorded and then released this fall. Celine sings Immortality with the Bee Gees on the One Night Only CD and I Hate You then I Love You with Luciano Paravotti on Pavarotti and Friends for the children of Liberia. The Bee Gees concert was also put on video. Finally, Celine met with other divas (Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Shania Twain and Mariah Carey) for a benefit concert named "VH-1 Divas Live", from which was recorded both a CD and a videotape. On this occasion, Celine sings River Deep, Mountain High and My Heart Will Go On on her own and The Reason, You've Got a Friend, A Natural Woman and Testimony with others.
On November 1st, Celine co-hosts the ADISQ ceremony (the Felix Awards). She does a great job. She doesn't win any award however... but René wins the award for Impresario de l'année (Manager of the Year), once again. He has won that award 9 times since 1987.
A few days later another CD is already released... These are Special Times, Celine's first Christmas album in English. She already made 2 in French, in 1981 and 1983, and she also made Christmas songs with the Chipmunks and for the Christmas album of David Foster. That album features great duets with Andrea Bocelli and R. Kelly and 2 songs with Celine's whole family. On this album, Celine sings in English, French, Spanish, Latin, and Italian! That album is a good mix between traditional songs and more recent ones.
Celine plays her own role in the 100th episode of Touched by an Angel, making her second appearance in a US series (after The Nanny, 2 years ago). On November 25th, a one-hour special dedicated to Celine's Christmas album is broadcasted all across US. It's her first US special.
The official biography is released in Europe (in French) in early fall and the Canadian English copy is released in November. A tiny, condensed, version of the official biography is sold through the Avon network. Many other books were released on Celine this year, all over the world, in many many languages.
Celine and Rene announce they will take a break after January 1st, 2000. They are preparing a great goodbye show to take place in Montreal, on December 31st, 1999. Celine will be on stage at the turning of the millinium, ending a night of special celebrations with a big band, etc... They are extremely dedicated to be in Montreal on that special occasion, and they turned down many impressive offers to sing in Las Vegas and in New York City on that night, but the show might be broadcasted in other cities of the world by satellite on huge screens.
Yes, Celine and Rene will take a break. The duration of that break is unknown, even them have no idea how long it will be. They say it will be at least 2 years, maybe 3 or 5. But even if that breaks out the hearts of her fans, they have to realize it's a common thing for top-level stars like Celine to take a few years breaks. That doesn't mean Celine will never come back. Celine and Rene want to do more things, like a movie, upon their return. I doubt Celine will be able to stay more than 2 years outside showbizness. Next orignal album from Celine will probably be around year 2003.
1999As she did on many occasions, Céline began that new year by visiting the Awards distribution ceremonies. She first picked up her second and third American Music Award, then flew to Japan to continue her Let’s Talk About Love world tour.
Then, it was time for more Grammy And Juno Awards. Then she hit on the road again... all across US for this time.
In April, they discovered some lumps and masses in René’s neck: it was a cancer. René got a surgery to remove lumps, then he got radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.
Céline began her European tour on June 14 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), with a few concerts cancelled.
On June 19 and 20, she performed in the Stade de France in Paris (France). These shows were recorded and were put on CD and video as Au coeur du stade released in September.
In August, she marked a little pause in her tour to finish the recordings of her next English album: All The Way... A Decade of Song, and record a video clip or two for this same album.
She resumed her world tour, visiting all regions of North-America in September, October and early November. Barely stopping by Montréal in late October to pick up one more Felix award.
In November, her last English album was released. The All the Way... A Decade of Song album features a mix of 9 hits that made Céline famous all around the world plus 7 new songs recorded especially for this album. The most spectacular new song is probably All The Way which also features Frank Sinatra. The contents of the 9 hits section vary from one region of the world to the other, to reflect the songs that had more impact in some regions. A second consecutive one-hour special is presented on TV in late November to mark the release of this album.
December is filled with visits to Christmas specials and talk shows in order to both promote the album and explain that she is going to take a break for a few years. Céline needs to take a break, and renew herself, refill her emotions with reality.
Of course, the year ended with the Millennium concert in Montréal (Québec, Canada). It was a huge event with opening acts from a Quebecer comic performer (Stéphane Rousseau), songs performed by 4 male singers from the cast of Notre-Dame de Paris. Then Céline arrived... and the Molson Center almost exploded under the cheers of the fans. Just before midnight, René came on stage to join Céline... and so did all Céline’s family. On the change of Millennium, thousands of balloons fell from the ceiling as people were kissing each other.
Each one of the spectators got at the entrance a gift bag from Céline and René. In this specially printed bag, each people had a wonderful agenda, a mini-bottle of sparkling wine, a plastic flute to drink the wine, a glowing stick to welcome Céline on stage, a party hat and a noise maker.
The show ended with a performance of Bryan Adams, who was the perfect guy to have the Molson Center rock!
Fans from all over the world flew in Montréal, to attend that last concert which was also presented live on TV (TVA network) from 9 PM to past 1 AM.
The duration of the break is unknown, even Céline and René probably have no idea how long it will be. They said it will be at least 2 years, maybe 3 or 5. But even if that breaks out the hearts of her fans, we have to realize it's a common thing for top-level stars like Céline to take a few years breaks. That doesn't mean Céline will never come back. Céline and René want to do more things, like a movie, upon their return. I doubt Céline will be able to stay more than 2 years outside show business. Next original album from Céline will probably be around year 2003.
2000René, Céline and 250 of their friends and relatives flew from Montréal to Las Vegas on January 2. They wanted to have a private (with less than 20,000 people around them) Millennium celebration and the famous couple also wanted to renew their wedding vows. This time, they did it using René’s own belief, the Byzantine Melkite tradition, which called for a large celebration with symbols we were not used to see. Inspired from the tales of the 1001 Nights, the set up included live camels.
Year 2000 was pretty calm professionally for Celine... that's normal since she is on a break.
On the personal life however, year 2000 brought a very good news... Celine got pregnant. She used assisted method of conception and has announced on June 9 that she was pregnant. She'll get a boy who will be born around Valentine's Day 2001.
On October 17, the latest Christmas album from Ginette Reno was put for sale... it features a French version of the song The Prayer. Ginette wrote the French lyrics herself.
On October 24, it's the North American release of The Collector's Edition, Volume 1. This album features harder to find songs that were only on regional editions of the album or on other artists' albums. The same album was released a week later in Europe under the title of Tout en amour.
On October 31, that's the North-American release of the autobiography of Celine. That book, written by Georges-Hébert Germain under the comments of Celine, presents us more the woman than the singer. It's not a reference book but rather an emotional guide on how Celine felt during different moments of her life or career. The French title of the book is Ma vie, mon rêve, while the English title is My story, my dream.
On November 7, it's the release of Garou's debut album. This singer is now managed by Céline and René. His album Seul (translates as Alone) features a duet with Céline (Sous le vent, translates as Under the Wind). The voices blend well and it's a very nice ballad.
Late November, Feeling Productions takes another step to diversify its field of actions. On November 24, the Feeling Productions and the TVA television network were granted a license to operate two new specialized TV channels, one in English, one in French: First Row et Première Loges.
On December 8, Céline gave 3 interviews for broadcast in 3 countries. Those interviews were done to show officially Céline during her pregnancy and to let her express herself and make the summary of her first year off. The interviews were given to Michel Jasmin for Canada, Michel Drucker for France and Oprah Winfrey for the USA. The broadcast dates vary from one country to the other.
On December 14, René makes pressure on Quebecer magazine 7 Jours to change the cover title of their magazine to be out in the newsstands the day after. René didn't like the chosen title. The magazine has to re-print over 200,000 copies and place them for sale on the Saturday 16.
2001 was a calm year professionally for Céline, since she was still in sabbatical. But in personal life, it was quite active... with many babies coming to the world.
It began on January 25 with Céline’s first child: René-Charles. René-Charles is the fourth child of René. The baby has double-citizenship; he’s an American by birth, since he was born in Florida, and he’s a Canadian through his parents.
Six months later, on July 25, René-Charles was baptized in a Byzantine ceremony. During that ceremony, he was not only baptized but also received the sacraments of first communion and confirmation. His full name is René-Charles Dion Angélil. His godparents are Linda Dion, one of Céline’s sisters, and her husband.
A few days after the baptism of René-Charles, Anne-Marie Angélil gave birth to Anthony. That boy is the first grandchild of René. The birth came less than a year after Anne-Marie married Marc Dupré. Jean-Pierre, Anne-Marie’s brother, and Annie, Marc’s sister, are the godparents of Anthony.
Earlier, on July 7, Garou’s girlfriend, Ulrika, also had a child. Garou is managed by both Céline and René since early 2000.
Beside all these births, some things did happen professionally in year 2001...
On February 20, they released in North-America, in both VHS and DVD formats, All The Way... A Decade Of Song. This video collection was made to match the CD album of the same title released in late 1999. The videos are not all classic music videos, some were simply taken from the Live In Memphis home video and from the All The Way... A Decade Of Song TV special, both from 1999.
In August, Céline marked a break in her recording sessions for her next English album, A New Day Has Come, to join Garou for his Sous le vent videoclip. Céline didn’t want to leave her baby, so the producers came to Montreal to record the songs.
Céline was shocked along with the rest of us by the terrorist attacks in the US, on September 11.
On September 21st, Céline participated in the America: A Tribute To Heroes telethon, held in New York City. Céline perfomed live the patriotic hymn God Bless America. Céline returned to Montreal right after the telethon.
On September 28, Céline took part to another benefit event to gather funds for the terrorist attacks victims and their families. That second concert, Québec-New York: Un show pour la vie, took place in Montreal and many famous Quebecers, either artists or politicians, went on stage to pay tribute to the victims. Céline sang L’amour existe encore.
On September 25, Love Makes The World, Carole King’s new album was released. It features a new version of The Reason, into which Céline is limited to backvocals.
A studio version of the God Bless America song was released in the US on October 16, a week later in Canada. This album named after Céline’s song features many other artists performing patriotic songs. The profits from that CD will also go to a fund to help the victims of the terrorists attacks and their families.
On October 28, Céline surprised almost everyone by appearing on stage to sing Sous Le Vent with Garou, at the ADISQ gala. That unexpected presence made her the star of the night, even if Garou left with 4 Félix awards.
On November 19, Céline’s mother, also known as Maman Dion, released a benefit Christmas CD. That CD features many Quebecer artists singing Christmas songs. Two dollars from each CD sale was given to foundations to help children and poor families.
The day after, Sony made available in Canada the Au coeur du stade home video. It was released in DVD format only, and its contents was identical to the edition released in France in 1999.
On December 4, the recordings of the America: A Tribute To Heroes telethon were made available in CD, VHS and DVD formats.