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C?line Dion
1981
Canada
Solo Artist
From humble beginnings in a rural French Canadian home town, Céline Dion has risen to international superstardom like a shooting star. Céline has been called the premier contemporary pop vocalist of the Nineties. She has earned music industry accolades from around the world: Grammy Awards in the US, Juno and Felix Awards in Canada, and World Music Awards in Europe. The entire world has seen Céline Dion literally transform herself from a gifted pre-adolescent into an international superstar.

Born in Charlemagne (a small town 30 miles east of Montreal, Quebec, Canada), Céline is the youngest of 14 children of a highly musical family. Her parents, both musicians, operated a small club, and on weekends, the entire family performed and entertained the local population. From the tender age of 5, Céline sang with her siblings and quickly acquired the ability to perform live. At the age of twelve, together with her mother and one of her brothers, Céline composed a French song which would forever alter the course of her life.

The demo tape containing the song was brought to the attention of René Angélil, a well respected personal manager. In January 1981, René was so taken by the voice of the young Céline, that he became determined to make her an internationally known talent - he even mortgaged his house to finance the recording of Céline's debut album!

Céline began to receive recognition for her talent in 1982, winning the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in Tokyo, along with the coveted Musician's Award for Top Performer. In 1983, she became the first Canadian ever to receive a Gold Record in France.

The streak of recognition had only just begun.

By 1988, Céline had established a strong name for herself in her native province of Quebec, where she was enjoying superstar status, receiving numerous Felix Awards and racking up platinum albums. That same year, Céline won the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin Ireland, where she performed live before a television audience of 600 million viewers throughout Europe, the USSR, the Middle-East, Japan, and Australia.

In September, 1990 Céline released 'Unison' - her first English-language album and her first for Sony Music - and scored a breakthrough US hit with the Top 5 single "Where Does My Heart Beat Now".

Céline's international breakthrough came when she recorded the title track for the soundtrack to the animated Disney hit movie 'Beauty and the Beast.' The song went to number one and garnered an Academy Award and a Grammy Award. "Beauty and the Beast" formed the cornerstone for Céline's second English language album, called simply 'Céline Dion.' That album produced four more hit singles including "Love Can Move Mountains," "Water From The Moon," "If You Asked Me To" and "Did You Give Enough Love." In Canada, the album went six times platinum and set the stage for an incredible streak of Juno Awards.

On December 17, 1994, Céline Dion and René Angélil were married at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.

At this time, the Céline juggernaut started rolling at a momentous pace in the UK. British fans took extremely well to "Think Twice," a ballad on 'The Colour Of My Love.' For five consecutive weeks, the song and album stood on top of the respective British charts, an achievement not replicated since 1965 and the heyday of The Beatles. "Think Twice" remained at number one for two more weeks, surpassing the magic million mark to become only the fourth million-selling single ever in the UK by a female artist.

With 'D'eux,' Céline achieved what everyone thought was impossible - introduced French music to the upper reaches of the British charts. The world had truly discovered Céline Dion.

Blessed with one of popular music's great voices, she has crossed all barriers - even that of language - with her electrifying series of international hits. With her breakneck pace of recording, video shoots, touring and appearing on TV shows and awards specials, it seems like Céline has time for little else. Not the case when it comes to an important cause. Céline has used her talents to further the cause of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, one of Céline's most emotional songs ("Vole," from the 'D'eux' album, later translated into English as the song "Fly," which appears on the 'Falling Into You' album) is a touching memorial to her niece, Karine, who was taken from her by this disease.
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