Artist Info

Celine Dion

Rising from humble beginnings in the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec, Celine Dion became one of the biggest international stars in pop music history, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide. The youngest in Adhemar and Therese Dion's family of 14 children, Dion grew up in an environment full of the inherent chaos and material austerity that comes with such a large working-class family. However, the Dion household was also one filled with love for children and music, and her parents and siblings were important figures in the early development of her singing career. Celine began singing in her parents' piano bar when she was just five years old. By the age of 12 she had written one of her first songs, "Ce N'etait Qu'un Rêve" (It Was Only a Dream), which she recorded with the help of her mother and brother and shipped off to a manager named René Angélil, whose name they found on the back of an album by Ginette Reno, a popular Francophone singer. After weeks with no response from Angélil, Celine's brother Michel phoned him and said, "I know you haven't listened to the tape, because if you had, you would've called right away." Angélil dug up the tape and called the family back the same day to set up a meeting with Celine. When the 12-year-old performed in his office in Montreal, Angélil cried and set in motion the process of making her a québécois, and later international, star. He mortgaged his house to pay for her first two albums, producing a local number one single. In 1983 she became the first Canadian to have a gold record in France and she won a gold medal at the Yamaha songwriting competition in Japan. Her worldwide reputation was in the making, but success in the United States was not yet forthcoming.