Celine Dion still a woman of heart
Titanic debuted at the box office 20 years ago this December, preceded 11 days earlier by the release of its main theme as a single. Before “My Heart Will Go On” reached No. 1 in February 1998, Celine Dion was already one of the best-selling female artists in the country; “Heart” catapulted her to even another level, making her a household name and an icon worthy of sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin. And over the years, she’s collected a whole new generation of fans—young adults that first heard the soaring soprano sing “Near, far, wherever you are” as passengers in their parents’ SUVs, began showing up wherever she performed.
It’s a transformation that began in earnest after the passing of Dion’s husband and manager René Angelil in January 2016. By February, she had made a triumphant and emotional return to Celine, her second residency at the Colosseum since her debut in 2003, with her version of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” taking on a renewed significance. Dion began to be perceived and portrayed in the media as a resilient survivor as much as an adult contemporary diva, and she began an ascent into a career stage marked by respect and reconsideration.
Her coming out to the public at large as a newly invigorated pop-culture grand dame was beyond question when she turned heads in May at the annual Met Gala in New York City, wearing a silver and black Versace gown chosen by her new stylist, Law Roach. On May 21, she performed “My Heart Will Go On” at the Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where she sang the song beneath a high chandelier 20 years to the month after she recorded it. Fellow Canadian and top award winner Drake expressed his profound admiration, and her performance was critically lauded in the press.
Dion went on to tour Europe for the summer, selling out concerts and setting numerous attendance records. The tour placed her in Europe for Paris Fashion Week, where she attended runway shows, wore designer gowns and posed nude for a photo that made waves on Vogue’s Instagram account.
She ended the summer in Montreal, where she introduced her handbag collection to fans who were promised 30 seconds of Celine time at a rare meet and greet. Meanwhile, five-star reviews for her eponymous Colosseum concerts continued to increase at review websites.
Unlike reviews of the past, many of these seemed to be coming from younger authors who considered Dion’s music as contributing to the soundtracks of their lives. A new generation of fans was rediscovering Dion, and Yelping about it. They surely contribute to the continuing popularity of Celine the residency, which marked its 1,050th performance when Dion returned to the Colosseum Sept. 19 to launch her fall shows. In Montreal, Dion promised that a new album would be out by next year, but for now her most devout followers and new followers can rest assured they can catch her at Caesars Palace with 4,000 other fans.
Caesars Palace, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3-4, 6-7, $55-$500 plus tax and fee. 855.234.7469