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 b. 30 March 1968, Charlemagne, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Celine

Dion is the youngest of 14 children, and was a vastly popular artist at

home long before her success in the US and European charts and took

up the mantle of the 'new Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey'.

Her parents and large family had a singing group and toured playing

folk music, the influence of which was soon felt. It was Dion's mother

who wrote her her first song, which she recorded with her brother at

the age of 12. Together with Mrs Dion, the two siblings were sent to

the office of René Angélil, then a local rock manager, who took over

the young star's guidance (later, in December 1994, he married

Celine, despite a 26 year age gap). Following a series of albums

addressed to her French Canadian audience she made her English

language debut in August 1991 with Unison, an impressive

achievement as she had only learned English in 1989. Although this

produced four hit singles her true international breakthrough arrived

with the soundtrack of the Walt Disney movie, Beauty And The Beast .

The titled track went to number 1 in the US and earned an Academy

Award for Best Song and a Grammy. Following a tribute collection

comprising Dion's interpretations of the songs of Canadian writer

Luc Lamondon, she concentrated on developing an international

audience. 'Beauty And The Beast' formed the centrepiece of her

second English language album, which also produced the hit singles

'Love Can Move Mountains', 'Water From The Moon',

'If You Asked Me To' and 'Did You Give Enough Love'.

In its wake Dion became a veritable staple of awards ceremonies,

making a second appearance at the Grammys, becoming a personal

favourite of The Tonight Show 's Jay Leno, and herself hosting

Canada's Juno Awards where in 1993 she won the

Female Vocalist Of The Year Award for a third time in succession.

Before the release of a third English language set, Dion recorded

'When I Fall In Love', the theme tune to the hit movie Sleepless In

Seattle. This was included on The Colour Of My Love alongside a

cover of Jennifer Rush 's AOR classic, 'The Power Of Love', also

released as a single. It saw her work with songwriters including

David Foster, Dianne Warren, Phil Goldstone, Albert Hammond,

Charlie Dore and Ric Wake. A similarly impressive cast of producers

added Guy Roche, Aldo Nova and many others to a project seemingly

without budget restrictions. Regardless, Epic Records investment

was repaid multifold by the astonishing singles success of

'Think Twice', which spent several weeks on top of the

UK charts and also charted strongly in the US during 1995.

The album, and it's follow-up Falling Into You,

simultaneously topped both UK and US charts in 1994 and 1996.

Dion was chosen to sing (in front of billions of television viewers)

at the opening of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

 

Encyclopedia of Popular Music Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 1998