“I promised myself I wouldn’t cry,” I thought, silently. There I stood, a couple of hundred feet away from a woman who has made such a profound impact on my life and love for music. It all proved too much for me. The climactic acme of the song hit, and there I was, in the midst of thousands of people at the Billboard Awards, hysterically crying to “My Heart Will Go On.”
“I started at 5 years old in the kitchen table with my family supporting me. I know where I’m from and I know exactly where I’m going.”
I can’t remember a precise time in which I was introduced to Celine Dion. She’s just kind of always been this powerful source of music and inspiration in my life. Countless hours I’ve spent listening to her albums, front to back, until the discs grew too worn and scratched to be played. A voice that has made me smile, moved me to tears, and comforted me through some of the most difficult times, Celine and her music are a part of me.
“Everything that I decide to do means something, otherwise I don’t do them.”
But beyond the music, there is so much more to Celine than pure, raw talent. Possessing one of the greatest voices of all time, it’s hard to look at Celine as anything other than a superstar. From her chart-topping success as the second best-selling female artist in the U.S. and best-selling Canadian artist, to record sales of over 200 million copies worldwide, Celine’s career has reached untouchable heights. Yet, what truly inspires me about Celine is her genuine, unwavering love for life. She is a woman who is first and foremost so in love with life it seems as though no matter what she is faced with she prevails with beauty and grace. This love for life encompasses everything she does. It creates an infectious energy that you can’t help but feel whenever you listen to her speak or watch her perform. She is utterly vivacious.
“I worked really hard, and I surpassed myself… I didn’t have, visually, what it took. I was not pretty, I had teeth problems, and I was very skinny. I didn’t fit the mold.”
I’ve always identified with her sense of humor. She’s a goof, constantly being a jokester. She loves to act ridiculous, never worrying about what people think of her. Whether this is her rapping “Who Let the Dogs Out” or walking around the stage like a chicken, she leaves everyone around her on the floor laughing. She isn’t worried about being cool. With a whimsical aura, she’s just unapologetically herself. This essence is something I’ve embraced my entire life. I’ve never worried about being cool, embracing Celine’s perfect illustration of how to remember to laugh often and just enjoy life.
“I’m passionate about my fans and my shows. But my biggest reward in the success that is my life are my husband and kids.”
Kindness. An honest kindness. It seems as though, especially with celebrities sharing the caliber of Celine, that honest kindness is rare to come by. People are human and often get caught up in extraordinary heights of fame. It becomes difficult to remain humble. Celine has never had a problem with this. Throughout the massive levels of success she’s obtained, she always remains entirely humble. Being a mom comes before anything to do with her, remaining passionate about being a good mother, wife, and human being. She’s giving, as she was fervently active in post-Hurricane Katrina aid. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dion donated $1 million to the victims of the storm. She also held a fundraising event for the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami, which subsequently raised more than $1 million. Coupled with her philanthropy, Celine has had her own share of heartache. Her niece died in her arms of cystic fibrosis, which sparked Celine’s dedication to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She is the foundation’s National Celebrity Patron. In January of 2016 her husband of twenty-two years René Angélil died of throat cancer, leaving her a single parent of three young boys. Her brother dying two days later. Nevertheless, she continues to grace the world with perseverance and a smile on her face. Her deep-rooted strength has carried her through each heartbreaking tragedy, leaving her a role model for so many.
“I looked in the audience. There were no strangers. Everybody was singing and cheering and hugging. That was a beautiful picture to look at.”
Celine makes you feel. She just has one of those voices. The rare ones that come along once in a lifetime, resonating with everyone. She forms a connection with her listeners, making her words cut poignantly to the soul. Greatness personified, there will never be another voice or soul as beautiful as Celine Dion.