Céline Dion (born March 30, 1968) is a Canadian singer from Charlemagne, Québec. Dion was raised the youngest of 14 children and began singing at a young age.
In 1981, Dion rose to fame in Québec after her manager at the time (and current husband) mortgaged his own home to finance her first album, La Voix du Bon Dieu (“The Voice of the Good God”). In the early 1990’s Dion began writing English songs and her debut single Unison (1990) and album Colours of My Love (1993) gained international acclaim. Dion continued to release English and French albums throughout the 1990’s and in 1997, she sang the theme for Titanic, which gained her even more popularity and won her two Grammy Awards. Currently, Dion performs her show Celine at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy
Dion has actively supported many charity organizations, worldwide. She has promoted the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF) since 1982, and became the foundation's National Celebrity Patron in 1993. She has an emotional attachment to the foundation; her niece Karine succumbed to the disease at the age of sixteen.
In 2003, she joined a number of other celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including Josh Groban and Yolanda Adams to support "World Children's Day". The effort raised money from more than 100 nations and benefited orphanages and children's health organizations. In addition, Dion has been a major supporter of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, and many health and educational campaigns. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dion donated $1 million to the victims of the storm, and held a fund-raising event for the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, which subsequently raised more than $1 million. After the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, Dion donated $100,000 to China Children & Teenagers' Fund and sent a letter showing her consolation and support.
Since 2004, Dion has been involved, alongside husband René Angelil, with the Québec gay community by supporting the publication of health and HIV prevention materials in Gay Globe Magazine, owned by journalist Roger-Luc Chayer.