Diva Dion’s heart goes on after leaving Las Vegas

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Diva Dion’s heart goes on after leaving Las Vegas


C?in Dion

Celine Dion requested two things of her local organizer for her concert here: the Korean national anthem and an example of a popular Korean song.
Dion, due to perform in Seoul tomorrow and Wednesday, wanted to sing a Korean song during her show.
The JoongAng Ilbo recently held an e-mail interview with the pop diva before Dion’s first concert in Seoul in 10 years.

Q.The music market has changed over the past decade, but you seem to maintain your style.
A.I’ve been very lucky on a lot of fronts. First of all, I have a great team around me, led of course, by Rene Angelil [Dion’s manager and husband]. He’s always made the best decisions for me, and he’s always made sure I have the best songs and producers to work with, plus great opportunities to perform as an artist.

You turn 40 this month. How do you feel?
I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t think it’s that significant turning 40. As much as it signifies maturity, being a mother, a wife and having more than show business in my life really changes your priorities. I guess 40 is one of those milestones that helps you to reflect on change.

You spent four years performing in Las Vegas. Would you ever take on such a grueling commitment again?
Las Vegas was a great experience, and it gave me an opportunity to be with my son in his very early years, in a stable home environment, instead of touring the world. If the right situation were presented again, I don’t see why we wouldn’t consider looking at it.

What does music really mean to you?
Music to me is a beautiful and natural way to express my feelings whether they are feelings of joy, sadness, love, pain or otherwise. I never started out singing to be famous, or to make money. I simply loved to sing, all the time, and it’s all I ever wanted to do. All the material things that have come along as part of the music are amazing, but they weren’t set out as goals.

You’ve managed to stay very active in all aspects of your career, from performing and recording to charity work for causes, including the 2004 tsunami. How do you manage to make time for this?
I have to make time for situations like this. It’s often not a matter of choice, but a matter of obligation. I feel compelled to do what I can to help others in need. We have to give back, and I will always have time for these most important things in life.

The film “Titanic” was a major turning point in your career. How did you deal with its phenomenal success?
Well, first of all, it was a great privilege for me to be involved in such a great project. I loved being a part of it, as anyone would, and I think we took the success in stride. The opportunity to take part in the Academy Awards was thrilling. “My Heart Will Go On” and all the things that happened around it is one of the highlights of my career.

How have you managed to maintain your French-Canadian roots? (Dion released a French-language album in 2007).
I’m always going to record and perform in French. I was very happy that fans accepted my last album [“D’elles”]. It was a different kind of album from my past recordings, and I think it gave fans another side of me.

Is there such a thing as “Celine Dion downtime”?
Playing with my son, golfing with my husband ― although I haven’t been playing much lately ― and going on vacations with my family. These are my downtimes, because they don’t have anything to do with show business.

You once took a two-year break to devote time to Rene. What did you learn about yourself during that time?
I learned that I love to be a mother and a wife, to stay home and do housework. I learned that there is life after show-biz, and it’s something that’s more important than anything else on earth.

By Jeong Hyun-mok JoongAng Ilbo [myfeast@joongang.co.kr]

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