Celine Dion will go down as one of the greatest singers in music history. The Canadian diva has a voice like no other and a sterling reputation to match. She's an artist who's larger than life, even as life has recently dealt her some unbelievable hardships. But no matter what is thrown in her way, Dion always soars above it and above anyone else in the female pop world. These ten songs represent the absolute best of Celine Dion:
When you think of Celine Dion, you think of big ballads, and this was one of them. She was actually the second act to record it, being preceded by the group Pandora's Box, but she left the biggest impact. Her version went Platinum in the US and charted on over a dozen lists around the world. The legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber told songwriter Jim Steinman that Dion's version would be "the record of the millennium." Not quite, but it did announce her as one of the biggest artists of the millenium.
This is the song that got completely overlooked. From Dion's 1997 album Let's Talk About Love, "Us" was buried at the back of the record and had no chance being on the same CD as "My Heart Will Go On." But if you found it, you found something really impressive. This was Dion not just as a diva but as a storyteller. The song is basically an argument with her significant other asking what's more important than their relationship, and you can hear the whole thing unfolding through the power of her voice like a musical monologue.
Dion ramped up her production when she came out with "A New Day Has Come," which features more going on behind her vocals than any other song she's recorded before or since. There's plenty of instruments and all sorts of effects at work. But you can't blame her for doing it, because somehow she makes all the components fit together. The song is a radio-friendly tune that re-established Dion's dominance on the pop scene. Others might be more popular in the moment, but she could easily adapt to the times and remind us that there'd never be another artist like her.
A staple of romantic playlists everywhere, "The Power of Love" is one of those songs that comes and goes. It's possible to forget about it for a while, but then you're listening to the radio or going through your playlist and you get sucked back into it all over again. With this track Dion resurrected the idea of the classy love song that didn't have to turn into schmaltz. It's since inspired some wonderful covers, most notably the one from "The Voice" finalist Chris Mann. She'd surpass this with other songs but it deserves a spot simply for its staying power.
Here's an old one but still a very good one. This song is taken from Dion's very first English-language album, way back in 1990. At the time it peaked at number four on Billboard's Hot 100 and number two on the magazine's Adult Contemporary Singles Chart. 26 years later, it still holds up as an interesting song, because it's an indicator of the greatness that was to come. Dion delivers a great vocal performance, but one that she would obliterate in later years, making this sound like her warm-up song.
Fans may not know that Dion was not the first person to cover this song. That was Patti LaBelle, who recorded it both for her album Be Yourself and the soundtrack for the 1989 James Bond film "License to Kill." (You can hear LaBelle's original version here.) Dion came along in 1992 and covered the song to much greater success, thanks to having a much more pop sound that turns it into a full-blown ballad. Fast fact: "If You Asked Me To" comes from the pen of Diane Warren, who would later write Dion's even bigger hit "Because You Loved Me."
Dion was cheerleading for the world when she recorded this song, and that's what makes it so fantastic. "That's The Way It Is" is an unabashed inspirational anthem, bolstered by the songstress's powerful vocals. The entire purpose of this track is for it to be a feel-good pop tune and it accomplishes that objective in spades. Whatever you have going on in your life, you can put this song on and feel like it doesn't matter. Or maybe just wind up singing along with that easy to remember chorus.
There's something about a Disney theme tune that always captivates audiences. For years, the company has been able to recruit some of music's biggest names to sing the end credits music from their movies, and creates hit after hit. There hasn't been one better than "Beauty and the Beast," which Dion recorded with R&B singer Peabo Bryson for the 1992 flick. It takes everything that was great about Angela Lansbury's initial performance of the song and preserves that while adding just the right amount of star power and production. This is what movie themes should be, even if it was eclipsed by the two songs ahead of it on this list.
How do you manufacture a chart-topping success? Team a fantastic singer with a songwriter who's made a career out of pop hits. That's how we got "Because You Loved Me," which re-teamed Dion with Diane Warren, who's also responsible for the likes of Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" and LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live." This song won a Grammy and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. It's the most saccharine of love songs, yet you can't help but love it anyway. Too bad that the movie fared much worse than the theme song.
Just try finding someone who hasn't heard this song. The love theme from James Cameron's blockbuster film "Titanic", it exploded into the public consciousness when the movie became one of the highest-grossing pictures of all time. But even if it hadn't been associated with the movie, this track would still have been a smash hit thanks to Dion's soaring vocals and the music courtesy of elite composer James Horner. Dion will probably always be best known for this song, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Celine Dion isn't just one of the best vocalists in the music world, but she remains one of the busiest. Dion will be continuing her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in May and June, before embarking on another residency at Montreal's Bell Centre beginning Jul. 31. Tickets for all shows are currently on sale at AXS. Don't miss your opportunities this spring and summer to see a living legend! Fans can keep up with the latest news and information on Celine Dion at AXS.