Céline Dion has had a very long and very successful career. The 53-year old singer went from Eurovision Song Contest entertainer to a worldwide superstar, and has created a wonderful family in the meantime.
However, Dion has also been through some very tough times, experiencing tragedy that few can imagine. Her husband, René, passed away from throat cancer in 2016, and her world was smashed to pieces.
Now, Céline and her children are making the most of life, with the singer soon to be back touring. In a new interview with Today, she’s also given an update on her dating life, five years after the passing of her beloved husband.
Céline Dion was born on March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada. She was the youngest of 14 children, and her parents, Adbemar and Therese Dion, were both into music. Once upon a yesteryear, they were actually in a band, Dion’s Family, and toured Canada when Céline was less than a year old.
Céline Dion – early life
Dion’s parents later opened a piano bar, where she performed at only 5-years of age. Even though music brought the family together, being one of 14 children wasn’t easy.
“No, it really wasn’t. I remember passing down clothes from one sibling to another – I’m the youngest child of 14,” Céline Dion told Woman’s Weekly.
“I had to walk to and from school four times a day often in snowstorms that were quite common in my hometown of Charlemagne in Quebec, Canada.”
Growing up, Dion also felt very insecure because she had a problem with her teeth. That, naturally, made school quite difficult.
“I remember not feeling my best or looking my best. I felt like a real outsider and didn’t have many friends at school, I just wanted to be at home with my brothers & sisters and my parents because that was my most comfortable zone. We didn’t have much money, but I never considered us to be poor because my parents were great survivors and they instilled that in me too,” she said.
It was clear from the beginning that Céline was a very talented young lady. At the age of 12, her parents sent a demo tape to manager and producer Rene Angelil, who at the time handled the career of popular French singer Ginette Reno.
Her voice made producer cry
She sang a song that she had written with her mother and brother, and Rene liked what he heard. He invited her to audition – and that’s where the real success story began.
“She was this homely little kid named Celine Dion. The mother did all the talking, and the girl never said a word,” Rene Angelil recalled.
“Then she started singing into a pencil, pretending it was a microphone. And what I heard was enough to make me cry. I heard a special voice like I had never heard before.”
Céline Dion was a shy, skinny 12-year-old with crooked teeth that Rene thought could be a superstar. He decided to dump all of his other clients and even mortgaged his house to put out Dion’s first album. Céline then was brought on tour alongside Angelil in Canada, Japan and Europe.
Climbing to the top in the music business isn’t something that happens over night, at least it wasn’t during an era where you couldn’t stream music and get a hold of a new album by just opening your phone.
Céline Dion – rise to fame
Yet success would eventually come to Céline, though it wasn’t until 1988 that she became recognized internationally. She represented Switzerland in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest – and contributed to one of the most exciting voting races in Eurovision history. Dion won the contest by just one point over the United Kingdom, and before long, she was a true international star.
Céline went on to become one of the biggest-selling recording artists of all time. With songs like the classic Titanic soundtrack My Heart Will Go On, Because You Loved Me, The Power of Love and Where Does My Heart Beat Now, she established herself as one of the biggest stars of the 1990s and 2000s.
Not only has Céline given us wonderful songs, but she’s also won many awards, including an Oscar and a Grammy Award in 1991 for her version of Beauty and the Beast. Six years later, she won the Academy Award for Best Original Song with My Heart Will Go On.
Rene and Céline began a relationship in 1987, and by 1991 they were engaged. Three years later, they married in Montreal, Canada, and in 2000 renewed their vows in Las Vegas.
René’s belief in Céline and her career was so strong that he remortgaged his house to finance her first record. René stood by his love through thick and thin, and they went on to have three children together.
Céline Dion – husband René
They had their first son in 2001, naming him René-Charles Angélil.
In 2007, they felt that something was missing — they wanted their son to have a sibling. They went public with the news that they were trying IVF.
Their first pregnancy via IVF resulted in a miscarriage, but they kept trying – and the seventh attempt proved a charm. In May 2010, the couple announced that Dion was 14 weeks pregnant with twin boys.
Yet besides the three decades of success, multiple awards and a Las Vegas residency, Celine has experienced her fair share of heartache.
In 1999, Céline faced one of her biggest life crises when she got word that her husband René had throat cancer. At the time, the couple had been married for 21 years.
René Angélil was much older than Céline – 26 years her senior, in fact. She took on the role of becoming his caretaker, and worked hard to look after her husband during this difficult period.
Unfortunately, in the end there was not much doctors could do – René passed away five years ago. Heartbreakingly, Celine also lost her brother, Daniel Dione, to a similar cancer on the day of her husband’s birthday.
Wonderful tribute to husband
In October 2010, Dion gave birth to fraternal twins by Caesarean section at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Losing someone close to you is perhaps the greatest tragedy one can suffer. It takes time to process the grief and the pain and get your life together again – and that is precisely what Celine tackled in her heartbreaking single Recovering.
The song, written by artist Pink, was performed for the first time by Céline Dion at the “Stand Up To Cancer” gala. Dion chose to dedicate the song to her late husband.
“I miss René every day, and the loss will now be a part of my life,” Céline said before starting her emotional performance.
Céline and her children are moving on, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve had the chance to spend a lot of quality time together.
“It was the old-fashioned family fun, simple pleasures of life, playing outside a lot, being with them, cuddling at night,” she said. “Honestly, making the best out of this.”
Céline Dion – news on dating
Dion had planned the European dates of her world tour this summer, but had to reschedule to 2023 because of the pandemic.
“The tour was canceled. The whole world shut off and it was definitely different, but for us we were very fortunate,” she told Today.
It’s been five years since Céline Dion and her children lost their beloved husband and father.
In a new interview, Dion has spoken out on what life is like without him.
“Losing my husband, for my kids to lose their father, it was quite something,” she said.
“I feel like René has given me so much through the years and still today. I see my kids, I look at them — we live with him. We still live with him. He’s part of our lives every day, so I have to say that I feel very, very strong.”
Losing the love of your life – and the grief that comes with it – is something that can’t be explained. You live with it every single day, and the mourning doesn’t come with an expiration date.
Two years ago, Céline Dion told Today that she wasn’t ready to date yet, but she admitted that she missed having a partner. Her family and friends have helped her plenty in order to try and move forward.
“Love is so big in my life”
“I miss to be touched, I miss to be hugged, I missed to be told, ‘You’re beautiful,’” Céline Dion said. “I miss what a boyfriend and I miss what a husband would do.”
So, is she ready to date now? Well, not quite. Speaking with Today, Céline says that she already has all the love she needs – from her children.
“I don’t know. I have no idea,” she told Today. “But right this second, love is so big right now in my life, with my kids, with life itself. I’m not thinking about a relationship and falling in love again. I don’t. Do I have to say that it will never happen anymore? I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Céline and her children live in Henderson, Nevada, just outside Las Vegas. As an entertainer, she’s desperate to get back to work, and hopefully soon will. For the past 16 years, the singer has had a residency at the famous Caesars Palace. Soon, she’s set to begin a residency at Resorts World, Las Vegas.
For Dion, “Sin City” has a special place in her heart.
“Vegas has given us, my family and I, an opportunity for me to be a mom, for them to be kids, for me to perform for my fans and to practice my passion and every night come home,” Céline Dion said.
“That is rare, so I really feel that Vegas has given me motherhood and the best as an artist, the best of both worlds.”
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Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be over. For people all over the world, it’s been a very challenging time, and many haven’t been able to see their family or loved ones for months.
Céline Dion – new Las Vegas show
One thing that’s going to be amazing – once everything is back to normal – is being able to go to live concerts, both small and large. With that in mind, Céline Dion’s show in Las Vegas couldn’t be recommended highly enough.
According to her, it’s going to be about giving fans a smile, and hopefully carry a sense of renewal.
“It’s going to be about an energy, about starting again, about living again, about feeling that something will come out of this, hopefully,” she told Today. “It’s about a moment.”
Céline Dion has been through so much in her life, and we’re happy to see that she and her children are doing great despite the tragedy that occurred five years ago.
Thank you for all the wonderful music, Céline. We hope to hear new songs from you soon.
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