Things You Did Not Know About Celine Dion

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Younger Than Her Own Stepson

Before tying the knot with Celine Dion, one of the greatest pop stars of all time, Rene Angélil has actually married twice already. He married his first wife, Denyse Duquette in 1966 and had a son called Patrick Angelil.

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Celine’s Mom Hated Her Relationship

Despite Celine’s desire to marry Rene, her mother was actually apprehensive about the two being together. “It was very difficult for her,” Dion said. “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’.”

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She Had Problems Conceiving

Despite having such a busy career for so long, in the year 2000, Celine decided it was time to take a much-deserved break. The singer took some time off to spend with her family. After many failed attempts to have children, she underwent two procedures in order to maximize her chances of conceiving. Then, on January 25, 2001, Dion gave birth to her son Rene-Charles Dion Angelil in Florida. He is her first child.

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She Almost Died

Like a true pop star, Celine Dion has had her fair share of near death experiences. Long before she became a household name, she diced with death for the first time at the tender age of five. There little Celine was, minding her own business, when suddenly, a huge truck backed into the young girl. Completely knocked out by the accident, Dion was unconscious for almost a week and even had skull fractures. But thankfully, she recovered.

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She Hated “My Heart Will Go On”

Most people know Celine Dion for her breakout single from the Titanic soundtrack, “My Heart Will Go On.” But upon first recording the hit, she believed that the song would bomb in the charts and do her career considerable damage. In an interview, she said that she hated the song: “…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…”

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They Called Her A Traitor

Another breakthrough hit for Celine Dion was the hit song from Disney’s 1991 movie Beauty and the Beast. After the film’s success, Dion won her first Grammy. But the song caused an extreme backlash from her Quebecois fans. She was accused of betraying them for her American fans. But the singer bounced back and refused to receive to the English Artist of the Year award at the Felix Awards. In her mind, she was always had a French heritage.

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Celine Was A Surprise

Amazingly, Celine is the youngest of 14 children in a family that was burdened with financial troubles. Her mother had already given birth to 13 children and even though she wasn’t planning on having any more kids, fate had other plans and she became pregnant once again. As the news were unexpected, the happy family knew that they needed to make some changes in order to accommodate baby Celine. She was forced to sleep in a cabinet drawer because there were no more available beds.

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Her Husband Put His Foot Down

Despite her apprehensions, Rene ultimately persuaded Celine that My Heart Will Go On was worth recording. In an interview with Jonathan Ross, she explained that “[Angélil] said, ‘Let’s just do a demo. Let’s give it a try and we’ll see after.’ The demo is actually the real recording. I never sang the song again.” The rest was history, and the song from 1997 Titanic won numerous awards. There is no doubt that it is Dion’s most famous song.

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A Shark When It Comes To Business

Dion’s mother Therese Tanguay Dion is renowned in Quebec for her cooking skills. And it seems like her daughter also inherited these skills. In 1990, the singer opened up a restaurant in Quebec by the name of Nickels. After much success came from this first restaurant, she made a chain out of it and restaurant soon spread to other parts of Canada, such as Ontario. She also released her own magazine, the Celine Dion Magazine.

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Suing Millions For Spreading Lies

Celine had a rollercoaster ride during the 90’s, releasing a staggering 13 albums. Also, she received bad news when Rene was diagnosed with cancer. This was a turning point for Celine and prompted her to step back from the limelight. Then, during her hiatus, the National Enquirer released a fake story, saying “‘I’m Pregnant With Twins!'” As a result, Celine sued them for a whopping $20 million. She received an apology from the magazine as well as a donation to the American Cancer Society.

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Doctor Dion

Throughout her career, Celine has received many accolades including the highest honor that her home province can give – The National Order of Quebec. She had also been given stars on both the Hollywood and Canadian Walks of Fame. Dion even received an honorary doctorate from Laval University. She called it “a very great honor for a little girl from Charlemagne.” The singer, who never graduated from high school, dedicated the award to Rene, for his tremendous influence on her life.

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It Was Her Destiny

Just two years before her birth, French artist Hugues Aufray released a song called Céline. According to Dion, she was named after the song. Then, when she was only five years old, young Celine performed for the first time at her brother’s wedding. This would prove to be the moment that kickstarted her career. And despite being part of a family full of musicians, she still stood out as a real talent. She got more confident with every performance.

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Discovered In The Weirdest Way

Her brother Jacques and her mother wrote and composed a song together, which would eventually be used as a song for Celine to perform. But her mother knew that she was special and insisted that someone in the music industry listened to Celine. Her daughter was too talented to ignore. She looked through many albums and contacted as many executives as she could. Eventually, a producer got in touch with her. He went by the name of Rene Angelil.

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Her Mom Had To Interfere

Celine’s mother sent a demo to Rene and attached a note saying, “This is a 12-year-old with a fantastic voice. Please listen to her. We want her to be like Ginette Reno.” However, Rene was inundated with many demos and notes from excited parents who believed their child was the next big thing. After losing patience, one of Celine’s brothers got in touch with Rene. After Michel asked Rene to take a listen, Rene wanted Celine to audition for him instantly.

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Her Audition Was Far From Normal

Absolutely floored by Celine’s voice, Rene was excited to meet Celine for the first time. He was desperate to judge her based on all her attributes. After arriving at his office, Rene gave her a pencil as a pretend mic and said, “Here’s your microphone. Now sing as though you were in front of a sellout audience.” So she did, and in one performance, Rene was an instant fan and would continue to be her fan for the rest of his life.

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Rene Burst Into Tears

Celine recalled just how emotional the audition was for Rene. “While I was singing, he [Rene] started to cry,” she said. “I knew then I had done a good job.” At that very moment, Rene signed her and knew that he wanted to make a star out of her. He knew it would be tough, as Dion was young and had a lot to work on. She also knew that she had a lot of work to do if she wanted to fulfill Rene’s vision.

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High Stakes Gambler

Rene knew that with a voice that was so beautiful and powerful, he had a winning formula on his hands. So he took some extreme measures to maximize her chances of getting famous. In 1981, Rene mortgaged his house so that he could provide enough funding for Dion’s first record, La Voix Du Bon Dieu. But his sacrifice paid off, and the song went number one in Canada. Even though he was known for gambling, this was the biggest risk Rene ever took.

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The Pope Loved Her

It wouldn’t be long before Dion would become world famous. When Pope John II visited Quebec in 1984, the singer performed the popular French anthem Une Colombe for him in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The arena held over 65,000 people, making it her biggest audience at the time. And even though she went on to perform for many other famous people, Dion has always considered the Pope to be one of her favorite people to perform for.

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She Demanded Time To Grow Up

After touring, upon advice from Rene, Celine decided to take some much-needed time off, 18 months to be precise. This was considered by many to be quite a risky move, especially because Dion was still an up and coming artist. But Dion knew that it had to be done. She was going through many changes, transitioning from a girl into a young woman. She knew that she needed to go through a natural progression off-stage as well as on it.

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Learning English And Going Global

It turns out that her time off was very helpful for her career. When the singer returned to the spotlight, fans were happily surprised by Dion’s evolution into a more confident figure. She also became a much more proficient singer in the English language. On the back of this came her comeback album Incognito, which sold over half a million copies. It was the first album she released after signing to CBS, her new record label.

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America’s Sweetheart Was Born

In 1990, Dion made huge strides in her career, releasing her first full-English album, Unison. The career move propelled herself into American stardom and she was now a popular figure throughout the world. It wouldn’t take long before the album was certified gold in the U.S. The most memorable single from the album was “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” which was a top 10 hit. But then something unexpected happened just before Dion was about to embark on her American tour…

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Almost Losing Her Voice Forever

On the brink of her tour, Dion lost her voice. The singer had been suffering from laryngitis and was generally tired from such a busy schedule. Despite eagerly wanting to perform, her doctor instructed her not to due to her inflamed vocal cords. The deal was simple, either take a break from singing for a month or be forced to undergo surgery. It was completely unnatural for the songstress to take such a long break from singing, but she heeded the experts’ advice.

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Revealing Her Big Secret

On the personal side of life, things were moving at a rapid pace for Dion. After many rumors during the early stages of her career, the singer finally revealed to the public that she had moved from a professional relationship with Rene to a romantic one. She revealed everything in the sleeve of her album The Colour of My Love. “Maybe at 17, 18 years old, my feelings started to change for him,” Dion said. “I kind of saw him differently.”

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Fearing The Public

The reality was that they had actually started to date when Dion was only 19. And amazingly, Rene was twenty-six years older than her. Despite being proud of being together, the couple knew that many people would voice their opinions about the age gap. But this was a different type of relationship altogether. They couldn’t hide the truth any longer and eventually, Celine and Rene decided to take things to the next level. They wanted to get married and have a family.

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She’s A Fantastic Secret Keeper

Before revealing the truth, the couple kept things secret for over five years. “I was afraid of what people would think,” Rene said in 1994. But ultimately, it was Dion who insisted that the right thing to do was tell the public. “When you’re in love, you want to scream it to the world,” she said. But after revealing their news to the public, many people, including her fans, reacted in a way that she could never anticipate.

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Going Overboard

On December 17, 1994, Celine and Rene finally made the ultimate commitment and tied the knot. They had their wedding at one of Canada’s most beautiful locations, Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica. To make matters even more epic, the couple had the ceremony broadcasted on Canadian national TV. At this point, Dion was virtually Canadian royalty, and they felt like the fans deserved to attend the wedding too. But many media outlets criticized the event, believing that Celine and Rene had delusions of grandeur.

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Bridezilla Or Royal Princess?

Mirella and Steve Gentile designed Dion’s iconic silk wedding gown. It took the fashion couple over 1,000 hours to make it from start to finished. The most memorable thing about the dress was that it had a 20 foot long train. It also had a 20 pound tiara that Dion wore elegantly. Her dress, along with the wedding, in general, was the subject that everyone seemed to be talking about, both in Canada and the rest of the world.

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Pricey Homes And Multiple Investments

Most newlyweds make the mature decision to save up before investing in their own home together. But for Celine and Rene, this wasn’t an issue. Due to their fame and fortune, the couple already had a string of estates even before their nuptials. But their most extravagant property had to be the one they acquired and later sold in Jupiter, Florida. The stunning $72 million mansion included three pools, a golf course, and even a water park.

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He Was Her Everything

After her phenomenal success with Titanic, Dion hit the jackpot when she did her Let’s Talk About Love world tour. But even though she was raking it in, bad news came her way. Rene had been diagnosed with cancer and she found this out during one of her shows. Despite feeling terrible, she performed a song paying tribute to her lover. Sadly, Rene passed away on 14 January 2016, only two days before he would have turned 74.

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Her Children’s Names Were Chosen Carefully

Happier times for the two came in 2010, when Rene announced that his wife was pregnant with twins. This was a huge moment for the couple, after Celine was treated with IVF for the sixth time in her life. On October 23, 2010, Celine gave birth to twins Eddy and Nelson. She named Eddy after her favorite songwriter, Frenchman Eddy Marnay, the producer of her first five records. Their son Nelson is named after South African revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela.

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Dreaming Of Changing The World

After the Asian tsunami of 2004, Celine Dion decided to take action and helped to raise $1 million for the people who suffered from the natural disaster. She also donated $1 million to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She criticized the U.S. government, saying, “there’s people still there waiting to be rescued. To me that is not acceptable…How can it be so easy to send planes in another country to kill everybody in a second and destroy lives. We need to serve our country.”

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Her Secret Dad

Despite not being as heavily documented as her mother, Celine Dion’s father actually played a large part in her life. Adhemar Dion lost his life in 2003 and daughter Celine commented about his effect on her on the day he passed away. She said, “My dad was and is still my number one fan since I was a very little girl. I know that my dad would want me to be here tonight on stage with everyone I love, doing what we love.”

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She Prepared Her Kids

After Rene tragically passed away, Dion knew that the kids would find it difficult to accept such terrible news. But she was open about how she handled the situation, saying, “I’m proud of the way I prepared my boys for their dad’s death. In life, you never know what’s going to happen, so you should never wait for tomorrow to do what can be done today, to say I love you, or send a thank-you note…The future is now.”

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Her Son is Too Young

Celine’s son, Rene Charles Angelil caused a lot of noise on social media after he presented an award with his mother at the Billboard Music Awards. For many it was the first time they had seen him as a young man and many Twitter followers became not-so-secret admirers of him! One fan jokes about the fact though that he was only 15 years of age. “Shawn Mendes is 17, Celine Dion’s son only FIFTEEN. Thanks #BBMAs for making us all feel like fat old perverts.

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Momma Made It To 90

Despite being through everything together, Dion’s mother is still going strong. To this very day, the pair are as close as ever, and Therese Dion reached the amazing milestone of 90 years of age. In honor of her mother, Celine posted photos of the two together online along with some emotional captions. Dion wrote in both English and French, saying, “What a privilege for all of us to still have you around. Happy 90th birthday mom! We love you.”

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She NEVER Misses A Beat

Many celebrities are notorious for being a difficult people to have interviews with. But not Celine Dion. She gives her all in every single interview she has, and gives whoever she is speaking with a private performance. When Ellen DeGeneres interviewed her, she complimented Dion on the jewelry she was wearing that day. This compelled the singer to start chanting the Donna Summer song, “She worked hard for the money.” Naturally, the audience burst into applause.

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Without A Brother

Despite having such a successful career, Dion has also faced her fair share of misfortune throughout her life. Tragically, the singer lost both Rene and her brother to cancer in the same week. It was the worst week of her life. But Celine never let the tremendous loss destroy her and as she always would, put a positive spin on the untimely event. During an interview, Celine said so eloquently that “René (her husband) escorted my brother. It was perfect.”

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Her Siblings Never Made It Big

After coming from such a large family, it should be no surprise that Celine wasn’t the only Dion who tried to make it into the big time. Her older sister Claudette was also determined to make it in the music industry. But unlike her superstar sister, Claudette never made the same sort of buzz as a singer. She made a little bit of money from her musical endeavors, but nothing like her sister Celine.

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Making Money Off Her Fashion Sense

Even after such a successful music career, Celine Dion took her business ventures to the next level when she released her own fashion line. After being renowned as one of the music industry’s best-dressed stars, she was urged to start to design her own clothes. Her line has over 200 items, including bags and accessories. The most amazing thing about her designs is that they are inspired by her family. Her mother and twin sons were her main inspiration.

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TV Debut

Celine’s talents don’t end with music and fashion. Dion has also ventured into the world of TV and acting, having a string of roles. One of the most memorable appearances was in the soap classic, All My Children. However, it wasn’t such hard work for Dion. She was simply asked to play herself and sing her song “Taking Chances.” “I hope this new song in some small way will touch the hearts of all of us,” she said.

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Her Husband’s Diagnosis

Nothing would prepare Celine for the news she would hear about her husband. In 1999, Rene was diagnosed with throat cancer and it over time, he would lose his basic abilities. This meant that Celine was forced to become his caretaker as well as his lover. The dynamics of the relationship certainly changed as a result of Rene’s health. She did everything in her power to take care of him and make sure he had the best quality of life possible.

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A Voice Worth Hundreds Of Millions

There is no denying that Celine’s money maker is her voice. Because of her raw talent, she was catapulted from humble beginnings to absolute superstardom. Others recognized her incredible talent from such an early age and were willing to believe in her and endorse her. Before she knew it, Dion was a worldwide success, and her bank account certainly reflected her massive success. Dion’s net worth currently stands at $700 million.

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9/11 Hit Her Hard

After the delivery of her twins and the September 11th attacks, Celine Dion returned to the spotlight with a performance of “God Bless America” at the concert America: A Tribute to Heroes. “The performance…brings to mind what has made her one of the celebrated vocalists of our time: the ability to render emotion that shakes the soul,” Billboard’s Chuck Taylor wrote. He continued, “Affecting, meaningful, and filled with grace, this is a musical reflection to share with all of us still searching for ways to cope.”

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A Canadian Star

Hollywood has the most iconic Walk of Fame in the world, but did you know that Canada also has its own version of the star-studded path? The land of the maple leaf has produced its fair share of household names. Celine Dion is one of the only celebrities to have stars laid down on both the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and Canada. Her Canadian star came first in 2003, followed by her induction into the Hollywood version.

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They Are All Related

Amazingly, all of the celebrities in this image are distantly related to Celine. Shania Twain, Madonna and Beyonce are just a few of the celebrities who have been able to trace their families back to French-Canadian Zacharie Cloutier. This was a man who fled France in 1634 to find a better life the other side of the Atlantic. He founded one of the first families in “New France.” Apparently, Jack Kerouac and Alanis Morissette are also related.

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Master Of Many Tongues

Another string in Dion’s bow is that she can sing in a variety of languages. Most of her songs are sung in either French or English, but she has also performed in many other tongues in order to accommodate the huge variety of fans from around the world. Other languages that Dion has been known to record and perform in include Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. One thing is for sure, Celine wants her fans to understand her.

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A Staggering Net Worth

One thing is for sure about Celine Dion, she is making an absolute fortune. The singer has had a career that has spanned many decades and has seen her sell out numerous concerts, sell millions of records and receive numerous awards. She was the highest grossing artist of the 2000’s, and she also made $465 million from her shows in Las Vegas. Other business ventures include restaurant chain and real estate. Celine Dion is currently worth $700 million.

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Hit And Miss

It isn’t news that Celine Dion has recorded some of the most instantly recognizable songs from movies in the history of Hollywood. But not all of Dion’s movie numbers were of Titanic proportions. Apparently, Dion was originally tipped to record the song “Dreams to Dream” from the animated feature, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. Also, Peabo Bryson was included in the recording of “Beauty and the Beast” due to Dion’s lack of fame at the time.

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Love of Golf

Believe it or not, Celine Dion actually loves to play golf. For the majority of her career, the singer has enjoyed both watch professionals play and getting out on the green herself. In 2008, she took her love for the game to the next level when she and Rene renovated Le Mirage. She donated millions to the Quebecois club to give it a fresh look. The couple released a statement on the club’s website, saying “a visit to the Mirage is an adventure in itself.”

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And The Winner Goes To…Celine Dion

When it comes to the Oscars, Celine Dion is simply a fixture. The singer has performed at the prestigious awards ceremony the most times in the Academy’s history than any other artist. Her record sixth performance came in 2011 when she sang the song “Smile.” It was in honor of the celebrities who had lost their lives over the past year. She has also performed her songs “My Heart Will Go On” and “Because You Loved Me.”

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A Hit Out Of Hell

Celine Dion’s song “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” was actually originally going to be recorded by rock star Meat Loaf. The writer of the song, Jim Steinman, believed that the song should have been recorded by a female and as a ballad, reserving the song for Dion. But Meat Loaf eventually did get his hands on the song and recorded his own version of it. However, Dion’s version will always be the most remembered.

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Clinging On To Her Children

Celine admits that it was very tough trying to get over the loss of Rene. In an interview, she said, “I miss him a lot for my partner, for the man I was embracing, kissing, making love with. I organize myself to not feel lonely. So what’s happened is I got myself a huge bed and I sleep with my twins. My twins are comforting me a lot. I need them. I need them close.”

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She Can Pretty Much Sing Anything

When it comes to her choice of songs, it seems like there is nothing that Dion can not sing. The singer is renowned for putting her own spin on other people’s records and has made covers of hits such as Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night,” Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” and John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” She is also known to take part in many collaborations. Celine Dion has sung duets with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Luciano Pavarotti and Aretha Franklin.

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She Won By A Single Point

One of Celine Dion’s biggest triumphs came in 1988, when she got the opportunity to perform in the Eurovision Song Contest. Interestingly, she didn’t even represent France, but its neighboring country, Switzerland. Over 600 million viewers watched Dion represent a country she had no formal connection to. Regardless, Dion won the competition, beating the UK by just one vote. Her amazing moment in the competition that took place in Ireland helped propel her into superstardom.

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Michael Jackson’s Fanatic Fan

Dion came into close contact with pop royalty when she signed with CBS, the same label that the legendary Michael Jackson was signed to. It should come as no surprise that she was a massive fan of MJ and even told Rene when she was younger that she was desperate to emulate the King of Pop’s achievements. At 18 years of age, Celine was already winning multiple awards and had already released nearly ten French albums.

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A 5-Year-Old Hanging Out At A Bar

Celine’s family owned a piano bar, Le Vieux Baril, which acted as the family’s own platform for their kids, including Celine, to perform and practice their musical talents. Located in Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion was a regular performer at the bar from the young age of five. She became an instant hit with the locals. And although the bar was eventually demolished, Celine Dion would go on to become one of the most famous and successful singers in the world.

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