It's been a year for Céline Dion. She lost her husband and a brother to cancer but she's powering back and continuing on her massively successful career. The Billboard Music Awards air live on May 22 on ABC at 8 p.m. EST and several achievement awards will be handed out. Dion is in line to receive the ICON Award for her lifetime career of achievements and contributions in music across the globe. Céline Dion has released 25 studio albums in both French and English, with 17 charting on Billboard and 12 being top 10's and four hitting No. 1 on the Top 200 Albums chart
Dion's career has been that of a fairytale. One of fourteen children, she grew up in the town of Charlemagne, Québec dreaming of being a singer. The family being musically inclined, Dion's mother Térèse and brother Jacque wrote her first song to be submitted to music manager René Angélil (who would become her husband more than 10 years later). "Ce n'était qu'un rêve" ("It Was Only A Dream") instantly made Angélil recognize that she had a golden voice and the rest is history.
Dion became well known in her native Canada and over in France after releasing her debut album La voix du bon Dieu in 1981. Her explosive voice captivated the Francophone and Dion's goals became much bigger. In the late 80's, she learned the bulk of English in six months. She then took that new language to the international stage with her worldwide debut with English album Unison.
She released a series of album in both languages following with Dion Chante Plamondon, a self-titled set and The Colour of My Love featuring "The Power of Love." Her name was known thanks to contributing to the title track of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" but her popularity would continue to grow. In 1995, she released D'eux, known as The French Album in the United States, and that release would go on to become the best-selling album in France of all time.
1996 was a game changer for Dion when she released the Grammy Award winning Falling Into You. The set released around the globe with varying tracklistings put her at the top of the world and it would go on to be one of the best-selling albums of all time, moving more than 30 million copies. And then there was "Titanic."
1997's hit track "My Heart Will Go On" would become Céline Dion's signature song. She gave the movie life with the gut wrenching lyrics and subtle but powerful vocals. The recording on the soundtrack was a one-time take, the production crew was so moved that it was perfect the first time. It was then remixed for radio and Dion's follow-up album Let's Talk About Love.
On New Year's Eve in 1999, Dion decided she'd been working for so long it was time to take a break and have children. She was gone from the spotlight for two years and returned with A New Day Has Come. A year later, she released One Heart on the day that her now famous Las Vegas residency took off in a venue built just for her show. Since then, she's sold out show after show and has outdone Elvis Presley as the most successful Vegas entertainer.
Céline's career has been a rags to riches to riches story. Since 1981, she's sold over 250 million albums in 35 years. She's won five Grammy Awards and six Billboard Music Awards.
To celebrate her ICON Award and success in music, Dion will also perform Queen's "The Show Must Go On" instead of a medley or another song from her catalog. It seems to have meaning in her life as she grieves the loss of her husband but knows that continuing on with her career is ultimately what he would have wanted.
Here at AXS, we congratulate Céline Dion for stealing our hearts for decades and earning the achievement award.