Why Celine Dion Disappeared From The Public Eye For 18 Months

Celine Dion became a music sensation in the U.S. in 1991, when she and Peabo Bryson sang a song for Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." According to the star's official website, her song "The Power of Love" followed in 1993, and Dion was well on her way to becoming a bona fide American pop star. However, many didn't realize how famous she already was in her native Canada and throughout Europe.

These days, Dion is arguably most well-known for the emotional ballad "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie "Titanic," but before that, the songbird amassed an impressive catalog of hits on her 1992 self-titled album, including "Nothing Broken But My Heart" and "Love Can Move Mountains," per Spotify. According to Forbes, Dion has sold more than 220 million albums worldwide, and she has also found success in her personal relationships, too! Early on, her talent led her connect with manager René Angélil, whom she would go on to wed in 1994. In the years before their marriage, Angélil helped guide Dion's career as a teen, leading her to record nine French-language albums, via Biography. He also watched over Dion as she performed at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal for 60,000 people and toured throughout Quebec in 1985, according to the singer's website. But by the following year, Angélil and Dion realized that she had to take a break.

Celine Dion needed time to grow up

After a whirlwind few years as a teen whose star was on the rise, Celine Dion realized she needed a break from the spotlight. As CBC Radio reported, she and manager René Angélil decided that 18 months out of the public eye would be the perfect amount of time to give her some breathing room and help her emerge as an artist ready to take on the American market.

Dion used this time to shake up her look and perfect her English. She also took dance and voice lessons, as CBC Radio notes. Per the outlet, the budding superstar returned to the stage with shorter, permed hair, fancier clothes, and a more bilingual vocabulary. Her new and improved English skills were pivotal to the making of "Incognito," an album which sold over half a million copies, according to her official website. The time away that Dion took to work on herself paid off in spades, as she not only won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988, but also made a name for herself in America with her first English album, "Unison," according to her website. The album's single, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now," went on to peak at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, according to Billboard.

Tragedy changed the course of Celine Dion's life

While Celine Dion had successfully broken into the U.S. market, there was no denying that she elicited all the right emotions in listeners with her expressive and powerful voice, whether she was singing in English or French. Hit after hit followed her hiatus from the spotlight. Through it all, Dion also became a wife and mother, marrying the man who took her under his wing as a teen and made her famous, per Vogue France. As Hollywood Life notes, the singer had three children with husband René Angélil: René Charles and twins Eddy and Nelson. In 2016, her husband died from throat cancer, according to NBC News.

When she was caring for her husband, Dion described the experience of watching someone you love die. "When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you," she told USA Today. "You have two choices. You look at your husband who's very sick and you can't help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that's sick and you say, 'I got you. I got it. I'm here. It's going to be just fine.'"

Celine Dion is taking a break from performing ... again

For the past two decades, Celine Dion has settled in La Vegas, where she raised her children out of the spotlight, and performed at Las Vegas residencies, per The Daily Beast. In November 2021, Dion was set to begin a new and abbreviated residency, but canceled her performances due to "unforeseen medical symptoms," via Twitter. As her statement outlined, the show was postponed until March of 2022. It further revealed Dion had been suffering from "severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing." 

The "My Heart Will Go On" singer told fans she was "heartbroken" over the news. "My team and I have been working on our new show for the past eight months, and to not be able to open this November saddens me beyond words," she wrote in the social media statement. "I feel so bad that I'm letting them down, and I'm especially sorry for disappointing all the fans who've been making their plans to come to Las Vegas. Now, I have to focus on getting better ... I want to get through this as soon as I can." It sounds like another break from the spotlight might be just what Dion needs.