Céline Marie Claudette Dion, OC, OQ is a Canadian singer, and occasional songwriter and actress. Born to a large, impoverished family in Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record. In 1990 she released the anglophone album Unison
, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world.
Dion first gained international recognition in the 1980s after she won the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival and the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest. Following a series of French albums in the early 1980s, she signed on to Sony Records in 1986. During the 1990s, with the help of her husband, René Angélil, she achieved worldwide success with several English and French albums, becoming one of the most successful artists in pop music. However, in 1999, at the height of her success, Dion announced a temporary retirement from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She returned to the music scene in 2002 and signed a four-year contract to perform nightly in a five-star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from pop, soul, and rock to gospel and classical, and while her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. In 2004, after amassing in excess of 175 million in album sales, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award from the World Music Awards show for becoming the "Best-selling Female Artist in the World". In April 2007 Sony BMG announced that Celine Dion had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.
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