Celine Dion, French-Canadian singer and businesswoman, dominated the pop charts in the 1990s. She remains a popular entertainer and is the second-highest earning musician in history.
She began singing professionally at just 12-years-old which is when she met her husband and manager Rene Angélil,38 in 1980.
Little did she know, just a few years later she would be marrying her manager who was 26 years her senior.
Born Céline Marie Claudette Dion on March 30, 1968, in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada, singer Celine Dion had recorded nine French albums and won numerous awards by the time she was 18. She recorded her first English language album, Unison, in 1990. Dion’s real breakthrough into pop music stardom came in 1992, when she recorded the theme to Disney’s hit animated feature Beauty and the Beast. She also scored a series of international number-one hits, including “Nothing Broken but My Heart“, “The Power of Love“, “Think Twice“, “Because You Loved Me“, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now“, “My Heart Will Go On“, and “I’m Your Angel“.
Life at 5
The youngest of 14 children of Adhemar and Therese Dion. Her mother intended on having no more children, but she fell pregnant again – while it was unexpected, the family were still very happy. The family had to make do with what they had which is probably why Celine slept in a draw at first.
She grew up in a close-knit musical family. Her parents formed a singing group, Dion’s Family, and they toured Canada when Celine was still an infant. They later opened a piano bar, where the 5-year-old Celine would perform to the delight of customers.
When she was just 5-years-old Celine was backed into by a truck. She remained unconscious for many days and suffered from several skull fractures. Luckily, despite doctors saying she wouldn’t make it, she healed over time.
Celine’s older brother, Jacques, and mother decided to write and compose a song, which was later sung by Celine and recorded for fun. But Celine’s mother knew that someone in the industry needed to hear the young girls talent. She found a random name and contact information on the back of a music album and contacted the music manager- who turned out to be Rene Angélil.
Celine Dion recorded a demo tape of a song she had written with her mother. Along with the demo, Celine’s mother wrote: “This is a 12-year-old with a fantastic voice. Please listen to her. We want her to be like Ginette Reno.” They sent the tape to the manager and producer Rene Angelil, who handled the career of popular French singer Ginette Reno. But just like any other music manager, Rene didn’t have time to listen to all of the tapes he was sent.
It was actually Celine’s brother, Michel Dondalinger Dion, who insisted to met Rene and requested a meeting. During the meeting he urged Rene to listen to the tape. After hearing it for the first time, Rene demanded Celine come in for an audition.
Rene was blown away by the young girl’s talent and he wanted to see her performance. He invited her to his office, handed her a pencil and said: “Here’s your microphone. Now sing as though you were in front of a sellout audience.” Celine sang on the spot and Rene was instantly her biggest fan. Celine has since spoke about the audition, she said: “While I was singing, he (Rene) started to cry, I knew then I had done a good job.”
Rene signed her immediately under the condition he would be the one to transform her into a huge star. She was talented but a little rough around the edges.
Taking Big Risk
Rene was so confident about Celine’s talent that in 1981 he decided to mortgage his home to fun her first record, La Voix Bon Dieu (The Voice of God), which later reached number one in Quebec – making her an instant star. Rene’s gamble paid off.
After her first tour Celine and Rene thought it would be best if the songstress took some time away from the industry in order to grow as a person. It was a risk as Celine was just breaking through, but it was necessary. Celine was going from childhood to adulthood and needed to find out who she was offscreen. She took an 18 month break. The choice for time off was a great one. Celine used the time to transform and to perfect her English.
Celine carried a huge secret at the beginning of her career and she kept it well hidden from the public – her and Rene’s relationship had transformed from a professional one to a romantic one.Dion quickly capitalized on her new found fame, releasing the top-selling The Colour of My Love in 1993. Dion announced her feelings for her manager by declaring him “the colour of [her] love” in the dedication section of her third album The Colour of My Love. “Maybe at 17, 18 years old, my feelings started to change for him,” Dion told Access Hollywood in 2013, “I kind of saw him differently.”
The couple began dating when Celine was 19 – Rene was 45-years-old. Rene was keen to keep the relationship secret due to their 26 year age gap. Rene and his second wife had divorced in the 1980s, and, around this same time, he and Dion had begun a romantic relationship.
In the beginning of Celine’s relationship with Rene, her mother did not approve. Celine explained: “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’.”
After being together for so long, the love birds wanted to get married and have children. The relationship was a secret for an amazing 5 years. Engaged in 1991, the couple tied the knot at a lavish ceremony at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal on December 17,1994. The whole ceremony was televised on Canadian national television so fans could watch the pair give their vows. Many criticized the wedding saying it was overboard and had an unnecessary royal sense to it.
“I was afraid of what people would think,” Rene told People magazine in 1994. Celine was the one who wanted to tell the public. “When you’re in love, you want to scream it to the world,” she said. Celine’s fans got behind the couple entirely – not the reaction the couple had been expecting.
For her wedding dress, Celine had it designed by Mirella and Steve Gentile and took them over 1,000 hours to created. She also wore a 20 lb tiara that made her look like a fairytale Princess.
Hated the Biggest Hit
One of the biggest and most successful songs in Celine’s repertoire is My Heart Will Go On, however at first Celine was not happy about singing it. In an interview she revealed she was dreading the moment she would record the dong. She said: “… 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…”
Dion’s international breakthrough came when she sang the track for Disney’s Beauty and The Beast in 1991. The song earned Celine her first Grammy Award but she was called a traitor by French fans in Canada. They believed she had neglected them for the American audience. Celine later tried to fix this by refusing to accept the award for English Artist of the Year at the Félix Awards show. She said she would always be a French artist, not English.
It was actually Celine’s husband that convinced her to sing My Heart Will Go On. In an interview Celine revealed: “[Angélil] said, ‘Let’s just do a demo. Let’s give it a try and we’ll see after.’ The demo is actual the real recording. I never sang the song again.” This is probably the most famous song from Celine’s 20 year career.
After their marriage, Celine and Rene purchased their first home together, they would go on to buy many homes together but the Jupiter, Florida estate was incredible. It is unclear how much they paid for it but in 2014 when Celine wanted to sell it, she wanted $72 million!
Over the years Celine has received many awards, including the National Order of Quebec, her provinces highest honour. She also has a star on both the Hollywood and Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2008 Celine became a doctor when she received an honorary doctorate from Laval University in Quebec. The singer had never actually graduated from high school, so said it was a great honour for a little girl from Charlemagne.
Before marrying Celine, Rene Angélil was married twice before. In 1966 he married his first wife, Denyse Duquette. The pair had a son who was born in 1668 – making him 3 months older than Celine.
In the first months of 2000, Celine announced she was taking some time off to focus on her family. She and Rene had been trying to have children for years, and eventually decided to use in-vitro fertilization to conceive. In May 2000, Dion underwent two small operations at a fertility clinic in New York in order to improve her chances of becoming pregnant. After undergoing many treatments, Celine finally gave birth to her son René-Charles Dion Angélil, on January 25, 2001.
As mentioned, Celine’s first child was named Rene Charles, after his own father. On October 23, 2010, at age 42, Dion gave birth to twin boys. Angelil, who was diagnosed with skin cancer in 1999, was in remission.
Twin boys are named Eddy and Nelson. Eddy was named after Eddy Marnay, the producer behind Celine’s first five albums, Nelson was named after former South African President Nelson Mandela. Dion appeared with her newborn sons on the cover of 9 December 2010 issue of the Canadian edition of Hello! magazine.
Almost Lost Her Gift
While Celine was touring she lost her voice. She was suffering from extreme fatigue and outbursts of laryngitis. Her schedule was packed and it was having an effect on her body and her voice. Doctors forced her to cancel her shows in order to avoid vocal cord surgery. The songstress had to remain silent for 3 weeks. After this scare she began a strict routine to take better care of her voice.
A Voice Worth Millions
Celine’s voice really is one in a million – not only this, but it’s also earned her many millions. Through her major success she has managed to provide for herself and her family throughout the years, her estimated net worth is $700 million.
After a two-year hiatus, Celine Dion returned in March 2002 with A New Day Has Come, which topped the charts in more than 17 countries. A year later, she began a much-hyped 36-month engagement at Caesars Palace, the famous Las Vegas hotel and casino. Dion simultaneously released the album One Heart, which did not fair as strongly as its predecessor.
Dion returned to creating French-language albums with 2003’s 1 Fille & 4 Types. Partnering with photographer Anne Geddes, she had a hit with the children’s music album Miracle: A Celebration of New Life (2004). In 2007, Dion released two albums. Taking Chances nearly reached the top of the pop album charts, and D’Elles was another French-language recording.
While she no longer dominates the charts as she once did, Celine Dion remains a popular entertainer. Forbes magazine reported in June 2009 that the singer earned approximately $100 million in 2008, making her the second-highest earning musician on the magazine’s list, after Madonna.
A Sad Goodbye
In August 2014, Dion cancelled all of her shows scheduled through March 22, 2015 to focus on her 72-year-old husband, whose throat cancer returned, and her children. “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,” the singer said in a statement.
The superstar also dealt with her own health issues in 2014: according to a press release, she had “inflammation in her throat muscles” which prevented her from performing in her Las Vegas show. Dion apologized for “inconveniencing her fans” and thanked them for their support during her hiatus from performing.
In a 2015 interview with USA Today, the singer spoke about her husband’s battle with cancer: “When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” she said. “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine.’
Dion described her conversations with her husband about his illness. “”I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.’ And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”
On January 14, 2016, Rene lost his battle with cancer and passed away a few days before his 74th birthday in the family’s Las Vegas home. He left behind Dion and their son Rene-Charles, age 14, and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, and three adult children — Patrick from his first marriage to Denise Duquette and Anne-Marie and Jean-Pierre from his second marriage to Anne Renée.
Two days later, Dion’s brother, Daniel, died at age 59, also of cancer. The songstress found positivity in the situation and said: “René (her husband) escorted my brother. It was perfect.”
Celine’s mother is a brilliant cook, and this passed on to Celine. Celine started her own restaurant in Québec called Nickels in 1990. It was so successful she then decided to turn it into a chain with stores introduced in Ontario, too. She also has her very own magazine, Celine Dion Magazine.
Like many superstars, Celine has tried her hand at other industries, including TV. The Canadian star can boast TV credits in Touched by an Angel, The Nanny, All My Children, Hell’s Kitchen and Muppets Most Wanted.
Although Munoz and Dion have been seen together in Paris and on stage dancing together, a representative for the singer told Extra that they are just friends. Another source told TMZ that their relationship is platonic.
In early 2017 it was rumoured that Celine was dating her back-up dancer Pepe Munoz.
TMZ reports that the two met through mutual friends in Las Vegas, where Dion has a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Dion then asked Munoz to join her on her international tour. Since the two both have an interest in fashion, they have become good friends and were seen together at fashion shows.
” They are very good friends together. It is nice to see her having somebody to go out with,” a source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “She’s in a great place and projecting a whole new Celine and level of confidence and exuberance. Nobody knows when — and if — they’ll be together next.”
In a Vogue interview, Munoz said he got the call to join Dion’s team as a backup dancer in June 2017. He was very surprised and said “yes” right away.
“She’s the kind of person [for whom] the day has no schedule, no time, no nothing, so whenever she feels the creativity coming, that’s what happens,” Munoz told Vogue. “I’m going to be honest, I was freaking out… Then five minutes into it, she makes you feel welcome, like you belong to the family, and like you’re part of the group,” he said of rehearsals.
Munoz also praised Dion’s fashion sense.
“She’s absolutely fearless with her style, her dancing, her performing, and as a person in her clothes,” he told Vogue. “She gives [fans] a surprise and a shock, because the looks are outrageously wonderful. She wears the clothes, the clothes don’t wear her, and that’s super-important.”
Incredibly Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Shania Twain all share an ancestor with Celine! His name was Zacharie Cloutier and he was a French-Canadian man who fled France in 1634 and moved to Canada or ‘New France’. What a talented gene pool!
It seems that mansions, super cars and luxurious holidays are just not enough for the rich and famous these days.
Some of our favourite celebrities have even forked out for an alternative mode of transport- in the form of private jets. Some of these celebs even choose to pilot their own luxury planes.
Here is a glimpse into how the other half live.
Celine Dion’s Jet
Celine’s private jet can fit 14 people on board – it has a bathroom and a gallery complete with extremely luxurious fixtures. But being worth millions, Celine doesn’t just have one private jet…
Celine’s 2nd Jet
Celine also has a Global Express XRS, which enables to her to fly to any one of her mansions worldwide, not to mention reaching her own private island.
Celine And Rene Angelil
Celine and recently deceased husband Rene Angelil would regularly use the private jet together as well as the pop sensation using it for her world tours!