Celine Marie Claudette Dion is a Canadian singer. Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, she emerged as a teen star in her homeland with a series of French-language albums during the 1980s. Take a look below for 33 more fun and interesting facts about Celine Dion.
1. She first gained recognition by winning both the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented Switzerland.
2. After learning to speak English, she signed on to Epic Records in the United States.
3. In 1990, Dion released her debut English-language album, “Unison,” establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world.
4. During the 1990s, she achieved worldwide fame after releasing several best-selling English albums, such as “Falling into You,” and “Let’s Talk About Love”, which were both certified diamond in the U.S.
5. She also scored a series of international number-one hits, including “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.”
6. Dion continued releasing French albums between each English record.
7. During the 2000s, she built her reputation as a highly successful live performer with “A New Day…” in Las Vegas Strip, which remains the highest-grossing concert residency of all time.
8. Dion’s music has been influenced by genres, ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical.
9. Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she also sings in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.
10. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is regarded as one of pop music’s most influential voices.
11. She has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
12. Billboard named her the “Queen of Adult Contemporary” for having the most number ones on the radio format for a female artist.
13. She is the second best-selling female artist in the U.S. during the Nielsen SoundScan era.
14. In 2003, she was honored by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for selling over 50 albums in Europe.
15. She remains the best-selling Canadian artist and one of the best-selling artists of all time with record sales of over 200 million copies worldwide.
16. She was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, 15 miles northeast of Montreal, the youngest of 14 children of Therese, a homemaker, and Adhemar Dion, a butcher, both of French-Canadian descent.
17. She was raised a Roman Catholic in a poor, but, by her own account, happy home in Charlemagne.
18. Music had always been a major part of the Dion family, and she was named after the song “Celine,” which French singer Hugues Aufray had recorded two years before her own birth.
19. On August 13, 1973, at the age of five, the young Celine made her first public appearance at her brother Michel’s wedding, where she performed Christine Charbonneau’s song “Du fil des aiguilles et du coton.”
20. She continued to perform with her siblings in her parents’ small piano bar called “Le Vieux Baril.”
21. From an early age, she had dreamed of being a performer.
22. In a 1994 interview with People magazine, she recalled, “I missed my family and my home, but I don’t regret having lost my adolescence. I had one dream: I wanted to be a singer.”
23. At the age of 12, she collaborated with her mother and her brother Jacques to write and compose her first song, “It Was Only a Dream.”
24. Her brother Michel sent the recording to music manager Rene Angelil, whose name he discovered on the back of a Ginette Reno album.
25. Angelil was moved to tears by Dion’s voice and decided to make her a star.
26. In 1981, he mortgaged his home to fund her first record, “La voix du bon Dieu,” which later became a local number one hit and made her an instant star in Quebec.
27. Her popularity spread to other parts of the world when she competed in the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan, and won the musician’s award for “Top Performer” as well as the gold medal for “Best Song” with “Tellement j’ai d’amour pour toi.”
28. At the age of 18, after seeing a Michael Jackson performance, Dion told Angelil that she wanted to be a star like Jackson. Though confident in her talent, Angelil realized that her image needed to be changed for her to be marketed worldwide.
29. She receded from the spotlight for a number of months, during which she underwent dental surgery to improve her appearance, and was sent to the Ecole Berlitz in 1989 to polish her English.
30. In 1989, during a concert on the Incognito tournee, she injured her voice. She consulted the otorhinolaryngologist William Gould, who gave her an ultimatum: have immediate surgery on her vocal cords or do not use them at all for three weeks. Dion chose the latter and underwent vocal training with William Riley.
31. Dion is regarded as one of pop music’s most influential voices.
32. Linda Lister describes her as a reigning Queen of Pop for her influence over the record industry during the 1990s.
33. On July 26, 2013, she was awarded the highest rank of the Order of Canada, the Companion of the Order of Canada, by the Governor General of Canada and the investiture ceremony was held at the Citadelle of Quebec, the same year she was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame.