Artists: Celine Dion

celine_dion1.jpgBorn 30 March 1968, Charlemagne, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The youngest of 14 children, Celine Dion was a vastly popular artist at home long before her success in the US and European charts as 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 the first song for her, 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 Dion, despite a 26-year age gap). Following a series of albums addressed to her French Canadian audience she made her English language debut in 1990 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. Her duet with Peabo Bryson on the title 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 centerpiece 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 Grammy's, 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 the 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, Diane 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 multi-fold 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 its follow-up Falling Into You, simultaneously topped both UK and US charts in 1994 and 1996, and "Because You Loved Me" became the best-selling adult contemporary single ever. Dion was chosen to sing (in front of billions of television viewers) at the opening of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA. In 1997, she released Let's Talk About Love, and achieved another huge worldwide hit with "My Heart Will Go On" from the soundtrack of the blockbuster movie, Titanic. She also collaborated with the Bee Gees on "Immortality", and R. Kelly on "I'm Your Angel", both of which were predictably international hit singles. The singer took a break from performing in the late 90s to concentrate on conceiving a child. She gave birth to a son Rene Charles in January 2001 and announced that her music career would remain on hold while she tried a new career as a mother. The lure of singing meant Dion was not away for long, returning in March 2002 with A New Day Has Come. The album went straight to the top of the US charts.