An intimate sit down with Céline Dion

Where does her heart beat now?

At home with her family, Céline Dion speaks openly on spirituality, the meaning of true success, and what fans can anticipate when she returns to Vegas this summer. 

 

 CÉLINE DION
CÉLINE DION

 

As the red curtain opens, the sold-out crowd erupts into screaming and applause with a standing ovation, before even one note is sung. Céline Dion appears as an angel, donning a flowing white gown adorned with Swarovski crystals and supermodel blowout hair.  A powerhouse disguised as a princess, Céline’s voice imparts a high-voltage current of electricity and silky vibrato. She delivers each number with a core of conviction and ripe emotion that has audiences cheering one moment, and wiping away a tear the next.

“There’s something magical about showbiz that only the fans and only the stage owns,” the French-Canadian singer, 47, says in an interview with Taste of Life. “When you sing it live, it’s like singing (that hit) for the first time. I can’t explain it, other than it’s magic.”

It’s that passion that keeps bringing Céline back to the entertainment industry for over 30 years. During that time she’s stepped away from stardom periodically to start a family, rest her vocal chords or in the case of last year’s sabbatical, to care for her husband René Angelil as he recovered from surgery. The “Loved Me Back to Life” diva recently announced she’ll resume her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on August 27. 

“We are back [in action]. We are still together and stronger than ever,” she says with a fire of enthusiasm in her voice. “René is a champion. I loved him all my life. I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I am his favourite singer and he wants to see me back on the stage singing again!”

René continues to be involved in the artistic direction of the show, but has stepped down as manager to make way for Aldo Giampaolo, a former head of Cirque du Soleil, to steer Céline’s career. 

René’s ongoing cancer fight has been a strenuous one for the couple, who share three sons, René-Charles, 14, and twins Eddy and Nelson, five.

You can feel her strength as she speaks. Growing up, she may have been the baby of her family, but today she is the rock — putting aside her own fears and anxieties to step up for those she loves. It’s not the first time she’s had to carry on despite adversity. Early in her career, Céline’s niece died in her arms after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. Since then, she has made it her personal crusade to raise money for charities that help underprivileged or sick children. 

 CÉLINE DION
CÉLINE DION

 Céline surrounded by her family; husband René, oldest son René-Charles, and her twins Nelson and Eddy
Céline surrounded by her family; husband René, oldest son René-Charles, and her twins Nelson and Eddy

Having a strong spiritual outlook has helped Céline through these most difficult of circumstances. 

“Life is not always perfect. You have to deal with it. Whatever life imposes — sickness, or whatever, you don’t have a choice. This is life, this is nature. But you do have the choice on how you’re going to go through this. And if you don’t have spirituality you’re going to fall apart before things happen. I am very spiritual. I believe in myself, I believe in my family, and I’m positive. Through this, you show your children how to deal with things, and how to be strong.”

Céline transformed from talented teen in the ’80s to international superstar in the ’90s. Her parents and 13 siblings had all been musicians, and from the age of 5, Céline was entertaining those who came to her parents’ small club in Charlemagne, Québec. 

“When there’s music in your life, there is happiness,” says Céline. “I had one dream. I wanted to be a singer.”

At the age of 12, together with her mother and one of her brothers, Céline composed a French song and delivered a demo tape to music manager René Angelil. He went on to oversee her career and later become her husband of 21 years. 

Céline has produced 25 studio albums and received numerous awards, including five Grammys, 20 Juno Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the honour of receiving the Order of Canada. Céline’s international breakthrough came when she recorded the title song for the soundtrack to Disney’s hit movie Beauty and the Beast, and was followed by numerous hit singles including “The Power of Love,” “Love Can Move Mountains,” and “My Heart will Go On” from the Titanic soundtrack.

 Céline on stage; from her Las Vegas show “Céline”
Céline on stage; from her Las Vegas show “Céline”

A staying force in the ever fluctuating world of pop, Céline continues to evolve — her last album includes fresh material written by Australian artist Sia, and the duet “Incredible,” written and recorded with R&B crooner Ne-Yo, who has created hit singles for Rihanna, Beyonce, and Whitney Houston.

Throughout her life, Céline has made the decision to stay away from the party scene. 

“I protect myself,” she says. “Show business can be a dangerous place. Anyone that goes in the jungle can see beauty, but you can be eaten up by nature as well.” 

She’s thankful to have been surrounded her whole career by professionals that wanted the best for her, and most importantly, to have the foundation of a big healthy family.

Today Céline finds her greatest joy in her family and acknowledges that sometimes it takes riding through sickness or sadness to realize what really matters in life.

“It has nothing to do with the albums, the money, the awards and how many records I’ve sold. I’m still on stage because I still love that part of my life, but what I’m most proud of, what I consider my biggest success, is my family — my three beautiful children.”

There’s comfort in knowing it’s mid-afternoon and Céline is in her pyjamas and bathrobe — her twin 5-year-old boys, Nelson and Eddy, playing nearby and her teenage son at hockey practice. At this moment her life seems so normal.

“I have it all,” she says.

While her three kids are certainly individuals, semblance of Céline shines through in her twins’ affinity for musical instruments and penchant for fashion.  Céline and René still own a golf course in Québec and their oldest son René-Charles is showing some real athletic potential, recently posting on his Instagram account that he “hit this drive over 315 yards…”

While we all want to be remembered, to feel that we’ve contributed something to the world, when we asked Céline what she wants her legacy to be, she answered with humility.

“I want to be remembered as the best mom in the world. I want my kids to always come back when they’re married and say, ‘Let’s go see Grandma.’ And I want to cook for all my grandchildren.”

The much-needed break has allowed Céline to come back stronger than ever for the next chapter in her career. Between training and rehearsals for her Vegas show — newly choreographed and with fresh direction from band leader Scott Price — Céline’s excitement grows as the date of her return gets closer.

“I can’t wait to be back. It feels brand new again.”

 

 Céline and oldest son René-Charles
Céline and oldest son René-Charles

 Céline with her three sons, René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy.
Céline with her three sons, René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy.

 

Photography by Alix Malka/ OSA Images/ Gérard Schachmes

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  • Paul J. Gorzkowski

    She is such a beautiful woman with the voice of an angel and a beautiful family. I’ve always been a fan of Celine Dion. She’s definitely one of the very few in the business who has any class. She even showed how classy she and her family are on her reality show.

  • [email protected]

    I used to worship Celine and her rise in fame. Look what she does with it now. Definitely doesn’t play for people that can afford her concerts. Sad she doesn’t think about the people that helped her rise to her fame!

    • Linda Smith

      Where have you been Karen……your comment ‘sad she doesn’t think about the people that helped her rise to fame’ -? Where do you get this from – Celine has and always has been grateful to all her fans – thanking them on show and videos. I wonder if maybe you think you are extra special and should have heard back from her yourself? Excuse me, but Celine has a FAMILY – a husband she has been personally nursing herself, besides her teen son, and two toddler twin boys!! Also – please realize that the only person one would worship should be God Himself!! Celine has been a pillar for her family and now her own family. She can only do as much as she can – and I know she does that!!

  • Paweł Arndt

    Wspaniała kobieta, wspaniały głos!!!

  • antonio sarroca

    Celine DIon : Comme vous le voyes touyours seul artiste ele’gance et belle voix dans le monde je vous southaite beaucoup de succe’s a Las Vegas Te vous jamime beaucoup .

  • Osas Odia

    You have an awesome family Celine and I like your philosophy.

  • Maria Vega

    Love her!!

  • Senny Hemara

    She is one of my favorite singer since I was a kid & always made my day listening to her music🎶🎻🎤.. I’m a biggest fan of Celine Dion.Love her 😘

  • Evelyn Sowell

    Celine is a wonderful artist with a gorgeous voice.She is my very favorite singer of all time, I would love to meet her someday.I like the fact that she don’t act like she is better than everyone else she’s so down to earth. Celine I am a old woman but I love your singing.never ,never change.

  • Linda Smith

    I knew when I first heard her voice she was going to be a very, very big star!! I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure of having sat in the audience at Caesars’ Palace and watch/listen to her sing. Celine Dion is one truly caring and honest person!! She amazes me at how she always stays humble and is so thankful for all that she has had. And another most important thing – how she always puts her FAMILY FIRST- no matter what!! One more important thing to note: As she herself has said “I protect myself,” she says. “Show business can be a dangerous place. Anyone that goes in the jungle can see beauty, but you can be eaten up by nature as well.” VERY, INTELLIGENT AND WISE LADY!! Any young lady hoping to be in show business should follow Celine Dions’ advice!! Thank you Celine for all your talent and for so unselfishly sharing your life with all of your fans truthfully. We want to support you through both good and bad times!! God Bless you and all your family!!

  • Jennifer Callahan-Wilson

    I have been fortunate enough to have sat on the first row two different times at Ceasars palace, for her concert, and I absolutely love love love her. I have been a fan since I was 15 yrs old, and she is by far the most amazing female singer ever. I think she has class, and style, that very few artist’s these days have, and yet, she’s still humble, and gracious to the people who helped her get there. I can’t wait to go to Vegas in September for my Anniversary to see her again… If you are a fan, I urge to go and see her on stage at least once, and experience how truly breathtaking her voice is in person, I promise you will be so grateful you did…

  • Melissa Joyce Wells

    Such an amazing Singer! And she seems like a very nice person. I have been a fan since I was a girl in Jr high school and still today her voice is so amazing and beautiful.

  • Lorraine Edwards

    There is no one quite like Celine. I love her candid and frank nature, and her zest and passion for her family. There is nothing phony about Celine Dion. None of that enthusiasm you see, and self-deprecating humor is ever a put on. She is the real deal and unique. I am so happy to see her surrounded with her children and her Rene. May God bless him with good health and a long, happy life.

  • rosiana feronica

    Really like her since i was a kid. Would like to see her live in Vegas- wish list. She’s my favourite singer of all times. Her passion, unique personality, makes everyone want to get closer and listen to her voice and be around her. Really appreciate her advice to "protect ourself". Thank you Celine. Long life and may God bless you and your family more and more.

  • Christina Dian Parmionova

    Such a nice family.

  • Mary Grace Manjac

    i love you celine i wish i could see u in person…. i wish u will visit philippines…

  • Traci Bell

    Celine, what a beautiful story! You and your children are beautiful!

  • Marko Radic

    I am a Céline’s great fan.I admire all about her but, above all, her unique, beautiful voice and emotion she fills her songs with.I started listening to her songs one or two years ago but I was drawn to it from the very first.I sincerely hope she will be singing in Belgrade soon.In my opinion, she’s a great person, both humble and witty.If I were hanging out with her I’m sure I would never get bored.She’s one in a million!I love you Céline!Greetings from Serbia!

  • [email protected]

    Celine…i saw your show live in Vegas back in 2007 and it was AWESOME!!!!!! You are incredible! You and your family are beautiful! I hope Renee is doing well. I would love to see you again!….Pittsburgh Pennsylvania would love to have you!

  • Eunice Kristy Alia

    Hello…i am eunice one of the fans of ms.celine dion here in the philippines…i just wanted to thank to my idol for helping me out cause eventhough i am an epileptic person and a bipolar i always wanted to heard her the beautiful and angelic voice of the true diva "Ms.celine i luv u and thank u for not giving up to make new moves in your career"*luv ….eka…

  • Parise Hebert

    I m from New-Brunswick,Canada. I’ve listened and sang Celine’s songs since i was a little girl.A great inspiration!! When you are blessed with a singing voice,it’s a very special thing in one’s life.We are able to express feelings of life and memories good or bad.A wonderful release of passion and compassion towards all types of people that we know have had similar experiences or memories we’ve experienced and it’s a great feeling !!!! Life is beautiful and when Celine sings she takes you to a place of love and peace!! That’s all we need isn’t it? Thanx Celine!!!!!! Tu a un coeur d’or!!!!!!!