The diva-worthy life of Celine Dion

Celine Dion is a household name in music. Her voice has a signature to it that cannot be explained but only felt.

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The French Canadian songstress has been in the public eye since her first album hit the waves in 1990 (at least for the American audience). She was managed by her late husband, Rene Angelil, whom she was romantically linked to since she was just 19 years old, and he 45 years old. Their romance created quite a stir in the entertainment world considering Rene knew Celine since she was a child practically. However, the world (and Celine’s family) grew to love and understand their relationship.

Celine is one of fourteen children, the most talented of them all for certain. She started singing when she was just five years old, in her parents Quebec bar. Her voice was something that her mother and siblings knew would have to be shared with the world. It was her mother who actually sent her recording off to Rene by sheer happenstance. Her mother, Thérèse Tanguay Dion, had no idea what kind of stardom awaited her little girl, her surprise fourteenth child. Celine herself knew she was a good singer but had didn’t realize the magnitude of her upcoming success.

These days, Celine is known for much more than her hit song My Heart Will Go On, but also for her personal struggles and her ability to overcome them. Celine is a mother to three children, sons Rene Charles, and twins Eddy and Nelson. The children were her focal point when trying to heal from the loss of her beloved Rene in January 2016. She is constantly working on new music and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the musical world, bringing the world new music and the sound of her enchanting voice.

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Her husband’s influence

My Heart Will Go On is probably Celine Dion’s most successful song. Celine said on a national television show, however, that “[Angélil] said, ‘Let’s just do a demo. Let’s give it a try and we’ll see after.’ The demo is the real recording. I never sang the song again.” To think that she doesn’t like the song all that much since it overshadowed the rest of her music.

Celine’s mom disapproved of her relationship

Celine said in an interview that her mother was not happy with her relationship with Rene initially. “It was very difficult for her. 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… 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 fertility issues

Celine did not conceive her three children naturally. Her fertility journey began in 2000 when she underwent several surgeries to increase her chances of becoming pregnant. She continued with the journey by doing IVF for several rounds before conceiving her first child, Rene Charles, who was born on January 25, 2001. She then went on to do the same treatments to conceive her twins in 2010.

She had a near death experience

Celine was just five years old when she was back into by a semi-truck! The truck hit her hard enough to knock her down and have her hit her head very hard. She was in a coma for several days, at which time doctors were not sure in what state she would take up. Thankfully, Celine and her skull fractures awoke and no trace of any brain damage shown.

My Heart Will Go On is her least favorite song

“… 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 have no idea why Celine doesn’t like My Heart Will Go On, we could not imagine the Titanic soundtrack without the song. It is without a doubt one of the most famous songs of hers, if not THE most famous one of hers.

The French Candaian fans called her a traitor

The French Canadian’s did not like that Celine’s first real hit was for the American market in the theme song for Beauty and the Beast in 1991. It was for that song that she won he very first Grammy Award. Amidst the celebration of her first Grammy, she got called traitor by the French Canadian public for singing in English and not in French. They have since gotten over it but Celine won’t forget it.

Celine herself was a surprise baby

Celine is one of 14 children. Yes, you read that right, 14! However, her parents were pretty much done with children after number 13 came along but as fate would have it, Celine’s mother found out she was pregnant once again, this time with little Celine. Having so many children was financially very hard for her parents but they made due, initially putting Celine in a cabinet for her to sleep in.

She’s a Michael Jackson junkie

Celine and Michael were signed to the same recording company at one time. The two superstars met after Celine hit it big with her many successful songs, while Michael kept churning out hit after hit as well. Celine told Rene that she wanted to be as successful as Michael one day. We have to say that we think she has achieved her goal.

She started signing at a bar when she was 5

Before you get all up in arms about a five year old singing in a bar, Celine sang in the bar that was owned by her family, not some random one. Her family owned a small bar called Le Vieux Baril, meaning The Old Barrel, in English. The bar was in the city of Charlemagne, Quebec. Celine and her family lived on top of the bar so she was there all the time, making the bar stage her very own throughout her life.

She’s extremely business savvy

Celine is one tough cookie when it comes to business. She was around her incredible cook of a mother throughout her life and therefore decided to open a restaurant called Nickels in Quebec back in 1990. The restaurant did so well that Celine decided to open another branch in Ontario as well. Dion has always been very business savvy, but making it in the restaurant industry is brutal, so this is a whole new level.

She had no problem suing tabloids

Being as famous as Celine is, there are always bound to be magazines who push their luck in the rumor and tabloid department. In the early 2000s, the National Enquirer took it a step too far and announced that Celine was pregnant with twins during the time she decided to take time off of her career to tend to her ailing husband. Celine was so livid that the magazine would post such a lie that she sued the magazine for over $20 million. The suit was settled between Dion and the magazine, with the editors printing a public apology and the money from the settlement going to the American Cancer Society in honor of Rene.

Honorary Doctorate

Celine never graduated high school, let alone attended a university. However, in 2008, Celine was awarded an honorary doctorate, making her Dr. Dion, from Laval University in Quebec. Celine was overcome with emotion at the honor she was given by the establishment, and said, “a very great honor for a little girl from Charlemagne.” Upon thanking everyone, Celine dedicated the degree to her husband as he was the catalyst of her career.

Her name was serendipitous

Celine was named after the song Celine, which was performed by Hugues Aufray, a French singer who released the song two years before Celine was born. It was serendipitous that she be called after a song, considering her voice has impacted audiences around the world and to this day her name is recognized for her talent and legendary songs.

Her discovery

Celine was discovered thanks to her mothers determination and wherewithal. Celine was recorded by her brother and mother singing a song that her brother wrote and composed. Celine sang her heart out, like only she knows how, while her mother was recording away. She then proceeded to send the recording to Rene whose information she found on the back of another CD they had at home.

A mother’s interference

Celine’s mother sent the recording to Rene with the note, “This is a 12-year-old with a fantastic voice. Please listen to her. We want her to be like Ginette Reno.” Since Rene was a very busy man, he didn’t listen to every single recording he was sent. However, Celine’s brother was stubborn and wanted to make sure he did listen, so he went to meet with Rene and made him listen to the recording. Once Rene heard Celine sing, he had her come in to sing for him.

Abnormal audition

Celine’s audition for Rene was one nerve recking one. He handed her a pencil and told her, “Here’s your microphone. Now sing as though you were in front of a sellout audience.” Celine was put on the spot but didn’t miss a beat and sang like her life depended on it. It was right then and there that Celine won over Rene’s heart. He immediately became her biggest fan, and remained that way for the rest of his life.

Rene’s tears

Looking back at that audition years later, Celine remembered, “While I was singing, he (Rene) started to cry, I knew then I had done a good job.” Rene didn’t miss a second and signed her on the spot. Her voice needed to assistance but her look did. Rene had a vision for Celine and knew what it would take to get into the American mainstream. Celine would need a slight makeover to get things going.

Rene’s big gamble

Rene believed in Celine so much that he put his own money into her first album. In 1981, Rene went so far as to mortgage his house in order to have the funds to produce Celine’s album. Her first album, La Voix Du Bon Dieu, became a Canadian best-seller and made Celine the star she knew she wanted to be. Gambler Rene knew he had a safe bet with Celine, as a gambler in life, he took a risk he knew would pay off.

Pope John Paul II adored her

It’s one thing to sing in front of a lot of people, it’s a totally different story when in the audience you have the pope! In 1984, Celine sang Une Colombe in front of 65,000 people at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The crowd was her biggest yet but it wasn’t the number of people that scared her but the fact that Pope John Paul II was in the house and was listening to her singing. It was an honor for Celine, one she wouldn’t forget.

A break for growing up

Unlike today’s child or teen stars, Celine decided to take a break from her singing career during her teens. It was a risky move on her behalf since she wasn’t the household name she wanted to be yet, but she knew that she needed a break in order to transition for herself from child to adult. Celine, took a year and a half to herself before reentering the entertainment world and setting her career on the track that brought her to where she is today.

English lessons

Celine’s break from her career was a brilliant move on her end. She came back to the world with a new image and a more mature look and feel to her. In addition to taking time to herself, she spent that time learning English and perfecting her new language. She followed up her return with a new album, her second, called Incognito. That album alone sold over 500,000 copies (a lot for that time). Incognito was also the first album to be produced by CBS, later to be renamed Sony.

America’s sweetheart

At the beginning of her career, Celine was singing to French Canadian audiences. In 1990, Celine released her first English album, titled Unison. It was with Unison that she made her transition into the American market, and did so very well. That album went on to become certified gold, thanks to singles like Where Does My Heart Beat Now. It was at that same time that Celine appeared on The Tonight Show, where host Jay Leno said that Celine was going to have a stellar career.

Losing her voice

Thanks to her success on Unison, Celine went on a US tour that ended up almost costing her her voice. During her incredibly hectic touring schedule, Celine would get bouts of laryngitis and was under extreme stress and exhaustion. She ended up having to cancel many of her shows and stay silent for three weeks in order to prevent vocal cord surgery. Celine vowed from there on out that she was going to be better about taking care of herself.

Big secret

The secret? Celine and Rene were more than professionally linked but also romantically linked. Celine said, “Maybe at 17, 18 years old, my feelings started to change for him,” she told Access Hollywood back in 2013, “I kind of saw him differently.” She announced her love for Rene by dedicating her third album, The Colour of My Love, to him. The world was surprised, that’s for sure. The age difference between the two was huge.

Nervous of the public

Celine was 19 years old when she began dating Rene. Rene was 45 years old when he started dating Celine. Rene wanted to keep their relationship a secret as he knew the world would have a lot to say about them. Celine was also nervous about the public opinion on her relationship. After years together in secret, they wanted the world to know since they also wanted to marry and have their own children.

Celine, the keeper of secrets

“I was afraid of what people would think,” said Rene to People magazine back in 1994. Celine said, “When you’re in love, you want to scream it to the world.” Celine and Rene kept their relationship out of the public eye for five full years! Celine was the one to make the push to tell the world. She expected a lot of backlash but ended up getting a whole different reaction from her fans.

Wedding of the century

Now that the cat was out of the bag, Celine and Rene could marry. On December 17th, 1994, the two married in what can only be described as the Canadian royal wedding. The wedding was held at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, adding to the whole royalty theme. The ceremony was televised for the world and her fans to take part in. There were those who said that they went a little too far with the royal theme, but they couldn’t care less.

Princess Celine

Celine wore a wedding gown that was designed by Mirella and Steve Gentile. Her dress was very much over the top but it worked for Celine and what she wanted. It took over 1,000 hours to create the masterpiece. She added to the dress with a huge 20 pound tiara that added a lot of sparkle to her wedding day attire. Everyone was talking about the wedding in the weeks prior to the event.

Home and deals

Rene and Celine have done very well for themselves. After they married, the two purchased their first home together (although each had their own real estate before they were married as well). Rene and Celine had many homes together, but the most luxurious of them all is their Jupiter, Florida estate. As you can see from the photo, the estate is breathtaking. In 2014, Celine put the home on the market for $72 million!

Rene was her all

Despite their incredible age gap, Rene and Celine were true soul mates. Celine said that Rene was her all. His cancer diagnosis and recurrence was very hard for her to deal with. She would dedicate her shows to her beloved and would be talking about him whenever she got the chance. When Rene sadly passed away on January 14th, 2016, the world felt Celine’s anguish.

Carefully chosing her children’s names

Celine chose the names of her children to mean much more than just a name. Rene Charles was named after his own father, while the twin boys were named Eddy after Eddy Marnay, who was the production brilliance behind Celine’s first five albums as well as her favorite French singer. Her second twin, Nelson, was named after none other than Nelson Mandela, former South African President who changed the face of that nation.

A whole new world

With a platform like Celine’s, philanthropic work is a vital part of your life. Celine has helped donate over $1 million for those effected by the Asian tsunami back in 2004, as well as the victims of Hurricane Katrina. During an appearance on Larry King Live, she said, “There’s people still there waiting to be rescued. To me that is not acceptable…How can it be so easy to send planes in another country to kill everybody in a second and destroy lives. We need to serve our country.”

Daddy Dion

Celine was very close with her mother, so we heard less about her father. However, Celine’s father was also a very important and large part of her life. Her father passed away back in 2003, on which day Celine wrote, “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.”

Teaching her children about death

Celine put a great deal of effort into preparing her children for Rene’s eventual passing. 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.” She wanted them to cope as best as they could with the tragedy.

Underage son

Rene Charles, Celine and Rene’s teenage son, presented an award alongside his mother at the Billboard Music Awards. This was the first time the public had seen Rene Charles in years and everyone was astounded to see how much he had grown up, and how well he grew into his features. The only problem with the world commenting on how good looking was the fact that he is severely underage and it is just inappropriate.

Momma Dion’s 90th

This year, Thérèse Tanguay Dion celebrated her 90th birthday. Celine, who is very close with her mother, posted this photo on her social media page with the caption: ”What a privilege for all of us to still have you around. Happy 90th birthday mom! We love you.” Her beautiful family is seen here with all of the living siblings, Rene Charles, the twins and Momma Dion in the middle with her grandchildren.

Singing her heart out

Give Celine a platform and she will sing on it. She knows how good she sounds and she is willing to bust open her vocal cords whenever given the opportunity. Once, when she was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, she decided it would be a good idea to start singing She Worked Hard for the Money, by Donna Summer. This was after a discussion about her accessory line and how hard she worked on it. Seems appropriate.

Losing her brother

As if losing her husband was not horrific enough, Celine also lost her brother, Daniel, to cancer just two days after her husband had succumbed to the disease. It was without a doubt the most difficult week of Celine’s life, testing her true faith and stamina in life. Her children were there by her side through it all, which she credits a her savior. She said, “René escorted my brother. It was perfect.”

The only famous member of her family

Celine is one of 14 children. That’s a lot of siblings. Despite having so many of them, she is the only famous one of the lot. Her older sister Claudette also wanted to be a musical star but didn’t succeed like her younger sister. She did experience minor success in the music business but nothing like Celine. Rene did Celine a solid and produced two albums for Claudette, which did pretty well with the older audiences.

Fashion money

She can sing, she can act, she can dance and she can design! Is there anything Celine Dion doesn’t know how to do? The Jill of all trades has a very successful fashion line in addition to her stellar musical career. Her line has over 200 pieces within and includes accessories and bags. According to a statement she made to People magazine, her handbag collection was inspired by her mother and children.

Television gig

Celine is definitely all about signing but that doesn’t mean that she can’t mix it up every now and then. Her television and film credits include, Touched by an Angel, The Nanny, All My Children, Hell’s Kitchen and Muppets Most Wanted. On All My Children, Celine played a heightened version of herself, singing her song Taking Chances. She said this before she performed, “I hope this new song in some small way will touch the hearts of all of us.”

Rene’s diagnosis

Her beloved husband, Rene, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999 for the first time. He also suffered several heart-related issues over the years. Rene was diagnosed and had surgery once again for throat cancer in 2013. In 2015, Rene announced with Celine that the cancer had returned and spread and that his time was limited. Rene passed away on January 14, 2016, just two days prior to his 74th birthday.

Her net worth

Singing herself all the way to the bank, Celine Dion is worth an astounding $700 million! Her net worth is comprised of her many homes, cars, and other luxury purchases, but also from her millions upon millions of dollars in earnings each year thanks to her Las Vegas residency and tours around the world. Needless to say, she is never wanting for money.

September 11th hit close to home

Celine returned to her singing after the birth of her beautiful twins that also coincided with the September 11th terror attacks. Upon her return, Celine sang God Bless America at a benefit concert. Chuck Taylor, who was there and saw her, said, “the performance…brings to mind what has made her one of the celebrated vocalists of our time: the ability to render emotion that shakes the soul. Affecting, meaningful, and filled with grace, this is a musical reflection to share with all of us still searching for ways to cope.”

Canadian walk of fame

Canada gets a little jealous every now and then. While in the beginning the Canadian people weren’t entirely supportive of Celine’s crossover to the America charts, they eventually realized that they have a serious star on their hands and granted her her much-deserved star on the Canadian walk of fame in 2003. Here we see her happily receiving her award and honor.

Mutual ancestor

What do Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, Madonna, Shania Twain, and Celine Dion have in common? More than you think! The super talented singers and actress all share a single ancestor, Zacharie Cloutier. Cloutier was a French-Canadian man fled France in 1634 and landed in what was then called ‘New France’ in Canada. He must have come from one seriously talented gene pool to be the great-great-great-great-great ancestor (we could go on and on) of these incredibly special women.

Multilingual singer

We all know that Celine sings and speaks both French and English. However, did you know that she can also sing in German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin? We certainly had no idea! Granted that she can memorize the songs but it is still quite complicated to pull off a decent accent when singing, something that singers everywhere struggle with.

Golfer

Celine the golfer! For the longest time now, Celine has loved the game of golf. She not only loved to watch and play the game, but her and Rene loved landscaping the course. In 2008, the couple decided to invest millions of their money in renovating the golf course at the Le Mirage, in Terrebonne, Quebec. Once the renovation was done, Rene and Celine stated, “a visit to the Mirage is an adventure in itself.”

Accolades

Celine is one of the most decorated artists in music history. She has also performed during the most prestigious award shows to date. She has performed a total of six times at the Academy Awards. She knew what the audiences would love and the fact that her songs were in many famous films, so it only made sense that she would sing Because You Loved Me, and My Heart Will Go On.

Coping without Rene

After Rene had passed away, Celine needed something, or someone, to hold on to. She held her children close to her to help her heal. “I miss him a lot for my partner, for the man I was embracing, kissing, making love with.” When asked about how she deals with the pain, Celine said – “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.”

A wife’s dedication

It is no secret that Celine was a very devoted wife. She loved Rene Angelil desperately and so when he was diagnosed with his cancer once again, she took a solid two years off of her own singing career to tend to him. She went as far as postponing her Las Vegas residency and cancelled an entire tour to be with Rene. She said, “I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband’s healing, and to do so, it’s important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children.”

She loves to sing covers

Celine can pick whatever song she wants to sing and she is sure to make it sounds amazing. She loves singing covers to her favorite songs and artists. Some of her favorite covers are for songs like I Drove All Night, All By Myself, and Beautiful Boy. Celine also likes to sing alongside other famous and talented faces, such as Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand and Luciano Pavarotti.

Keeping her son’s life normal

Teenage son, Rene Charles, is just a regular teenager, and Celine will do whatever she can to make sure his life remains as normal as possible. Rene Charles, who is currently in high school, is all about his social media presence, his studies, and playing both golf and hockey. The only time we saw him was when he presented an award with his mother.

Eurovision winner

Few people know this but Celine actually represented Switzerland during the 1988 Eurovision competition that was taking place in Ireland that year. She was a newcomer at the time and had no idea what would become of her. However, despite the fact that she was young and inexperienced, she not only succeeded but won the competition! She beat the United Kingdom by a measly 1 point but won nonetheless.

She’s younger than her stepson

Celine has been married once in her life but her longtime husband was married twice prior to meeting her. In 1966, Rene married Denyse Duqette. They proceeded to have one son together, Patrick. Patrick was born in 1968. Celine was born that same year, three months later, making her stepson Patrick actually older than her! Needless to say Patrick didn’t feel too warm about his step mother, but we are sure that over the years he warmed up to her.

New beau?

Celine’s love for her late husband is still very apparent in statements and interviews with her, but is it possible that she managed to find love again? Recently rumors have been circulating that Celine has been dating someone in secret – Pepe Muñoz, one of the dancers on her team. They are photographed together often and sure seem very close. The 32-year-old Spanish dancer is also a very talented illustrator, with a massively popular Instagram account where he posts his drawings.

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