Celine Dion

Photo of Celine Dion
Céline Dion is a Quebec Grammy and Juno award-winning pop singer, and occasional songwriter and actress. Dion became an adolescent star in Francophone Canada after her manager and future husband, René Angélil, mortgaged his home in order to finance her career. She also gained recognition in parts of Europe, the Middle East and Asia by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, and established a foothold in the Anglophone music market with the release of her first English album, Unison (1990) published by Sony Records.

Dion's music has been influenced by various genres, ranging from pop and rock, to gospel and classical, and she is noted for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. She released a number of chart-topping English and French records including "I'm Your Angel" and "My Heart Will Go On", before announcing a temporary break from entertainment in 1999. In 2002, Dion returned to the music scene with the release of A New Day Has Come, and in 2004, she received the Chopard Diamond award from the World Music Awards show for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. Dion currently performs nightly in her show, A New Day, at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, under a contract that extends through 2007.

A year after she learned English, Dion made a successful attempt at breaking into the Anglophone market with Unison (1990). She made sure to work with many established musicians, including David Foster and Vito Luprano. The album was largely influenced by 1980s soft rock and was fit for the adult contemporary radio format; this style would remain throughout many of her future albums. Unison seemed to hit the right notes with critics: Jim Faber of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the album was a relief, her vocals were "tastefully unadorned", and that Dion never attempted to "bring off styles that are beyond her". Stephen Thomas Erlwine of All Music Guide declared it as "a fine, sophisticated American debut". Singles from the album included "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", a mid-tempo soft-rock ballad featuring an electric guitar, "(If There Was) Any Other Way", "The Last To Know" and the title track, "Unison". The album established Dion as a rising music artist in the United States and across Continental Europe and Asia.

Dion's 1996 album Falling Into You presented her at the height of her popularity. Working with Foster, Warren and Aldo Nova, this album showed a further progression of Dion's music. In an attempt to reach the widest possible audiences, Dion's album combined many elements; ornate orchestral frills and African chanting, and instruments like the Spanish guitar, trombone, the cavaquinho, and saxophone created a new sound. The singles encompassed a variety of musical styles from dance-pop and fast-tempo, gospel-tinged rhythms to soft-rock songs and sentimental ballads. The title track and "River Deep, Mountain High" (a Tina Turner cover) made prominent use of percussion instruments. "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" (a remake of Jim Steinman's Pandora's Box short-lived band) and a remake of Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" kept their soft-rock atmosphere, combined with classical sounds of piano. "Because You Loved Me", written by Diane Warren, served as the theme to the film Up Close & Personal. The song spent two weeks at number one in Canada and six weeks at number one in the United States.

In early 2002, Dion announced a three-year, 600-show contract to appear five nights a week in an entertainment extravaganza, A New Day, at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. This move was seen as "one of the smartest business decisions in years by any major recording artist" given the poor performance of her current releases.