The untold truth of Celine Dion

Céline Dion is a powerhouse. Born on March 30, 1968, the renowned French Canadian singer has been in the spotlight for most of her life. As noted by Biography, she launched her career at the tender age of 12 and recorded nine albums in French over the next six years. It was 1990's Unison, her first English album, that truly catapulted the singer to widespread fame, though, by bringing her voice to a larger audience. Two years later, she cemented her status in pop music history by recording the theme song for Beauty and the Beast. The song won both a Grammy and an Academy Award, and made it to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After that, Dion became a part of our cultural lexicon. Her tremendous success was not without setbacks, though. From her impoverished childhood to the loss of her beloved husband, René Angélil, Céline Dion has had to overcome many challenges in her life, proving that she is more than a singer — she is a survivor.

Music is in Celine Dion's blood

Céline Dion's strong and mature voice impressed audiences from a young age. She comes by her powerhouse pipes honestly, having grown up in a family of musicians, as noted by Biography. Her parents, Adhémar-Charles and Thérèse, formed a singing group called Dion's Family, bringing the young Dion on tour with them when she was just a baby. The family later opened up a piano bar, giving 5-year-old Dion her first taste of the spotlight by letting her perform for the customers.

Dion was particularly inspired by her mother, whom she described to People as "a great musician" who "loved to sing." It was Dion's mother who helped her write the demo song that would enthrall manager and producer René Angélil so much that he mortgaged his home to finance the then-12-year-old's first album, La Voix du bon Dieu.

At least one of Dion's 13 siblings seems to share her musical talent. A 1988 live performance uploaded to YouTube shows Dion sharing the stage with sister Claudette in a powerful duet.

Celine Dion grew up poor

Megastar Céline Dion comes from humble roots. The youngest of 14 children, Dion did not always have an easy life when she was growing up. With so many children in the family, their house in Quebec was overcrowded. "We were three, four in the same bed," Dion told CBS News. "I did not have a bedroom. Up the stairs, before going in the bedrooms, there was a little ramp. And my bed was there." She continued, "So everybody went up, they saw me, and I could wave goodbye and goodnight."

Despite the lack of money, Dion insists that her family wasn't poor where it really mattered. "We were given love and affection and support," she told Vanity Fair. "What else did we need?" Sounds like Dion has her priorities straight.

Celine Dion met her future husband at the age of 12

Céline Dion was just 12 years old when she met the love of her life, although she didn't know it at the time. It would take another five years for her to fall for her manager, René Angélil, in spite of their 26-year age difference. Dion's mother did not approve of the relationship at first, but she eventually came around. "She had no choice," Dion told Access Hollywood. "Love won."

Angélil passed away from cancer in 2016, and Dion is still grieving his death. "I will probably grieve for the rest of my life," she told Digital Spy in 2017The singer told CBS News that she does not see herself falling in love again. "I'm still in love with him," she said. "And I have the love of my children. I have the love of my fans. I love the people that I work with. So my life is not empty of love."

She added, "But there's a song from Sia, 'I go to sleep and imagine that you're there with me.' And I go to bed with him. And I come on stage with him. And so I'm still married to him."

Celine Dion struggled with infertility

Céline Dion struggled for years to have a child, as reported by the Daily Mail. Her battle with infertility made having children difficult, but she finally had three children who were all conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF). After giving birth to her first child, René-Charles — who, by the way, has grown up to be gorgeous — she went through another six rounds of IVF before conceiving her twins, Nelson and Eddy.

Dion was determined to have another child, even if it cost her the career she had worked so hard for. She had signed a contract with Caesars Palace but postponed her shows in order to undergo treatments. "People stop because it's very expensive but I kept on going," she told Daily Mail. "I was not going to stop just because I had a contract for singing. I would have hated every song for the rest of my life, so I said try to postpone the Caesars Palace shows because it wasn't a good enough reason for me not to try for a baby. A life or a contract? I couldn't live with that."

Fame isn't that important to Celine Dion

In spite of growing up famous, Céline Dion didn't go through the rebellious phase that so many child stars do. Instead, she has always seemed quite focused and down to earth. While she's a household name at this point of her career, she still doesn't care very much for fame. The singer prefers to focus on the important things in life, like her three kids who she told Magnifissance are what she is "most proud of" and are her "biggest success." This, said Dion, is what defines her life rather than her fame and her awards.

The fact that Dion has managed to stay grounded in spite of her estimated $800 million fortune (per Celebrity Net Worth) is impressive enough, but she also wants to help other women recognize their own worth beyond financial and professional success. As the global spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris, Dion told Elle that she connnects with the brand's "I'm Worth It" tagline. "Telling other women that they, too, have self-worth, that they are strong, is obviously really important," she said.

Celine Dion doesn't watch TV

Believe it or not, but Céline Dion doesn't even watch reality singing competitions on television. She would no doubt have been a hit on a show like American Idol, but it turns out that TV shows aren't her style. She told Woman's Weekly that she is "glad" that she was born before the heyday of reality TV. 

"If I was starting my career now I doubt that I would of had any other option than to enter one of those shows," she said. "But I'm glad that I didn't start my career now. I don't watch TV and so I can't say that I'm a fan to be honest."

Dion added that everything is about her kids these days . "I'm not part of the music industry and what's going on these days, I just perform and then go back to my family," she said. Clearly family comes before work — and TV time.

Celine Dion is a homebody

Céline Dion is not your typical celebrity. In spite of the glitz and glamour of her life, Dion would rather kick up her feet at home than go out to nightclubs or walk red carpets. Dion's rejection of the nightlife scene isn't because she has become tired of partying over the years, either. Dion has never considered herself to be "a party girl," as she told W magazine in 2007. Even back then, she preferred staying at home to going out, saying that one of the perks of having an older husband (Angélil was 65 at the time) was that he didn't want "to go out twice a week." Dion revealed that she wouldn't have merely disliked going out regularly, but she said, "I would go crazy."

In 2018, Dion told The Sun that, after the death of her husband, hanging out at home consisted of a lot of family-bonding time with her kids. She revealed that she likes to watch a lot of television with her twins, Nelson and Eddy. "I'm discovering Disney," she shared.

Celine Dion is not bossy... she's the boss

It should come as no surprise that Céline Dion calls the shots. After launching her handbag and accessory line and parting ways with her former manager, Aldo Giampaolo, she made it clear that she's in charge. "Let me be clear.... I am the boss," she said to journalists at the launch of her line (via Montreal Gazette). 

In the wake of her husband's death, Dion found new strength. "I went through a lot and I'm not the only one," she said. "People have gone through a lot, and so they probably understand what I'm saying right now. Sometimes when you go through a lot, whether it's disappointment or a loss, there is a force that takes over when you believe."

Celine Dion is a total fashionista

If you aren't already looking up to Céline Dion as a major style icon, it's about time that you do. In 2016, she started working with stylist Law Roach, who works with other big stars like Ariana Grande and Zendaya.

Roach told Elle he was "freaking out" when Dion's team approached him. "I mean, you have superstars and you have legends," he said. "Celine is an icon. She is an absolute icon." 

Roach has helped the singer revamp her style, but he said he was surprised at how fashion-savvy Dion was even before they met. "The thing about Celine is she's very into fashion," he said. "She reads the magazines and she's very current. Which I was surprised about." Roach further noted that designers have been loving Dion's look. "Everyone's clamoring to dress her now," he revealed.

Celine Dion is a driven perfectionist

Céline Dion's driven personality has no doubt played a huge role in her incredible success. She puts in long hours to make sure that her music is flawless. Diane Warren, who has written some of Dion's most iconic songs, told Billboard what is "impressive" about working with the singer. "I went to her show, and it's almost two hours," she said. "She's not lip-synching. She's singing songs that aren't easy to sing. Then we went in the studio at 11:30 at night and she stayed until, like, 4 a.m. and would not leave until it was perfect." Warren noted that this was just all proof that Dion would always be successful.

According to Warren, Dion's dedication is a rarity in the music industry. "A lot of times you work with singers and they're like, 'Aw, I'll finish next time,'" she said. Dion, however, always gives it her all.

Celine Dion believes being cool is about being confident

There are so many reasons to admire Céline Dion, but one of the biggest reasons that she's a role model is because she is so unabashedly herself. With Dion, what you see is what you get. She told The Guardian in 2007, "For me, being cool is to feel happy and stable and sure of myself. I think when you become a parent you become more involved in life. I take every decision more carefully."

Dion is living life on her own terms, as we all should. She noted that she felt the need to "prove" herself in the music world when she was starting out her career, but those days are long gone. She explained, "Not any more. I'm doing this for fun."

Celine Dion is an open book

While some celebrities are reclusive and share few personal details with the public, Céline Dion has always worn her heart on her sleeve. Dion believes that her realness and authenticity are why she is so beloved by her many fans. "I've been an open book all my life," she told V Magazine in 2012. Dion admitted that she has been criticized for being so honest with the world, but said that she had no intention of putting on a persona for the public. "I'm like this in my real life," she said.

Being an open book isn't just about allowing her fans to see into her real life, though. To Dion, the phrase also conveys her belief that she is the author of her own story. In 2016, she told Elle France (via ET Canada) that she doesn't have her future mapped out but that she is excited for the journey ahead of her. "I like to think that my life is an open book and there are still plenty of pages to write," she said.

Celine Dion's album Courage helped her heal

Céline Dion has experienced phenomenal triumphs in her life, but she has also dealt with a lot of grief. Instead of allowing her heartbreak to overcome her, though, she has channeled her pain into her music. Dion explained to People that music is a source of healing for her.

In fact, her album Courage — the first English-language album she released after her husband passed away — helped Dion heal from losing the love of her life. She told CBS This Morning that she poured herself not just into the production of the album but also into planning the tour that accompanied it. This was a big change from how she previously recorded albums, saying that she hadn't wanted to be involved in any meetings, preferring to leave all of the leg work to her husband. "I just wanted to sing the best way that I could and that's it," she said.

Dion didn't just find working on the album cathartic, but contributing to its production also helped her realize that she's "not just a singer."

Losing her mom hit Celine Dion hard

On Jan. 16, 2020, Céline Dion's mother, Thérèse Tanguay Dion, passed away. The loss came as a blow to the singer, especially as it came just two days after the four-year anniversary of her husband's death. As noted by Entertainment Tonight, Dion's mother had been battling health issues for some time and passed away surrounded by family at the age of 92. Dion was on her Courage World Tour at the time of her mother's passing, but she did not cancel any performances. Instead, she powered through her heartbreak and performed the day after her mother's passing, dedicating the performance to her beloved mom.

In an interview with People, Dion talked about how much she adored and missed her "amazing" mother, revealing that, in addition to being a talented musician, her mother was "an amazing cook" who "was incredibly funny and loved to laugh." Dion added, "She was my hero."

Celine Dion is open to finding love again

While Céline Dion previously said that she could not see herself falling in love with anyone but René Angélil, she began to open her heart to the possibility of falling in love again a few years after his death. In 2019, more than three years after Angélil's passing, she told CBS This Morning (via O, The Oprah Magazine) that, while her late husband will always be with her, the pain of losing him has subsided.

Dion made it clear that she wasn't exactly ready to jump into the dating pool, but was open to the possibility of finding someone new in the future. "Say yes for love maybe one day, I don't know," she said.

For now, though, Dion is just going with the flow and seeing what happens in the future. "I'm not stressed at all," she said, adding that she's enjoying her life and her career. "I feel like I can do anything I want."

Celine Dion is raising her kids without gender stereotypes

Aside from her music, one thing that has helped Céline Dion cope with the losses in her life is raising her children. Dion, who is one of few celebs who raised their kids without nannies, told People that raising her children is her top priority as well as "the biggest source of my healing."

Dion takes parenting very seriously, but that doesn't mean she's afraid to think outside the box when it comes to bringing up her kids. The singer has some pretty progressive ideas when it comes to motherhood, such as her commitment to raising her kids free of gender stereotypes. She told The Sun that she believes in giving her kids "an option of trying things," revealing that her twins, Eddy and Nelson, were trying on her lipstick and boots at the age of 2 — and that she was okay with it. Dion was later inspired to launch a kids' gender-neutral clothing line with NUNUNU after her sons asked for Barbie dolls instead of action figures and were fascinated by Minnie Mouse instead of Mickey on a trip to Disneyland.

In an interview with CNN, Dion said that gender-neutral clothing is about "freedom." She added, "Giving them the opportunity, before they speak, they already have a voice."

Celine Dion feels younger than ever

Céline Dion is living her best life, and honestly, it's pretty inspiring. As she's gotten older, she's learned not to care what other people think of her and has a newfound sense of independence. Dion said that her "life started over at 50," describing herself to Elle in 2019 as "a woman assuming her own destiny."

She explained that, for years, her life was centered on her voice and that she was always practicing singing. Now, though, she's "in love with life" and has learned that "it's never too late to start." She added, "At 51, I have the sense that I am at my pinnacle!"

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dion revealed that she feels as if she's getting younger now that she has learned that "to enjoy life is important," and she loves dancing and shopping. She credits her friends with her new view on life, saying, "To go out with them, I feel like I'm younger."

This is how Celine Dion stays in shape

Céline Dion is in really, really good shape. She revealed to People that she does as much as she can to take care of both her body and her soul. This includes eating "very healthily" and making sure her body gets enough sleep. She also works out with a trainer, but her true love is dancing. Dion said that she does ballet and improv nearly every day and even has a dance partner, calling dance "one of my greatest joys."

While Dion has attracted criticism for being too thin, leaving some concerned about her health, the singer told Entertainment Tonight that she has always been on the slim side. She's more concerned with feeling good about herself than about being thin and doesn't care what others have to say about her appearance. "I want to feel strong, beautiful, feminine and sexy," Dion, who is one of many celebs who've been criticized for being too thin, told The Suntelling those who are bothered by her appearance, "Don't take a picture."