Singer Celine Dion is one of Canada’s most significant contributions to the music industry.
Born into a musical family in Quebec, Dion worked with her mom and brother to compose her first Francophone song at the age of 12. They sent the recording to 38-year-old music manager René Angélil, who was so impressed with Dion’s singing that he made it his mission to make her a superstar, even mortgaging his home to cover the costs of putting together her first record. It paid off because Dion quickly became a singing sensation in her native Quebec, before her name began to spread all over the world.
She had conquered the French music industry, but Angélil and Dion now wanted to take on the Anglophone market. In 1990, they released her first English album, which was well-received by critics. Her celebrity status really erupted the following year when she sang the title track of the popular Disney film Beauty and the Beast—the song won both a Grammy and an Oscar. Over the years, Dion has raked up seven American Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, five Grammys, 20 Juno Awards, and 12 World Music Awards.
As Dion made her transition from the French music scene to the English industry, there was another important shift happening in her life—her manager, Angélil, also became her much older lover. The celebrity couple started dating in the late 80s, but initially kept it a secret out of fear that people wouldn’t accept their 26-year age difference. However, they eventually went public with their relationship, marrying in December 1994. When they walked down the aisle, she was 26 and he was 52.
Despite their age difference, Dion and Angélil both wanted kids, but struggled to conceive naturally. After turning to in-vitro fertilization, Dion finally gave birth to their first son in January 2001. The celebrity couple knew that they still wanted a bigger family, and opted to freeze their extra embryos.
In 2010, Dion and Angélil revealed that after one failed pregnancy and six in-vitro treatments, Dion was expecting again, but this time it was twins. The pregnancy was the result of implanting one of the embryos that the couple had frozen eight years earlier. Dion gave birth to twin boys on October 23, 2010.