New biography: more revelations about Celine Dion

At a time when Celine Dion remains silent and speechless, biographies of Charlemagne’s diva are multiplying on the other side of the Atlantic. In this very detailed new biography, the French author Valentin Grimaud dissects the success of the mythical singer, who manages to cross the decades to become a legend.

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It is, according to the author, mainly thanks to her talent and her way of reinventing herself that we still love Celine Dion so much, ensuring that we are always on the lookout for the slightest gestures of the goddess. music.

“She is the most Promethean of our singers,” he exclaims. In other words, the Quebec diva is a sacred, irreproachable, unassailable, exemplary, divine and immortal singer.

If the biography begins on a note of déjà vu with the bet of René Angélil, addicted to gambling, disappointed by Ginette Reno, heavily in debt, who mortgaged her house to bet on the young unknown singer with the golden voice, the author will quickly surprise his readers with his analysis, his attention to detail and his in-depth research so that we are surprised to learn so much about the one we thought we knew by heart.

“Céline and René have constantly walked on the acrobatic thread of art and marketing, always aiming higher for the diamond voice to which nothing is impossible”, illustrates the author Valentin Grimaud. It’s a marriage of art and marketing that has led to more than 230 million albums sold and the global success that we know.

The first transformations

In addition to the physical transformations that we already knew about his hair and his teeth, it was the singer Anne-René, René’s ex-wife who would have brought a lot to his style of dress and his make-up and then sent him to Paris meets Tosca Marmor, an uncompromising opera singing teacher who apparently teaches soulless singers to develop their emotions. We are in 1982 and Céline has lived little, especially in love. Tosca will make her grow through the prism of her carefully chosen songs. By dint of work, he will be taught to bring out the syllables, to attenuate the nasality of his vowels while sharpening his gaze on the world. It was her first serious apprenticeship for the one who until then had fun imitating singers (such as Whitney Houston), who sang lyrics written in English that she did not understand. From her humble beginnings, she went from melodic quest to interpretation. But the work did not stop there.

Reading this book, we understand how hard Céline has worked over the decades. After Tosca, many of them refined Celine’s style, image and voice, allowing her to become a worldwide phenomenon.

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Even the meticulously chosen lyricists, including Eddy Marnay, pushed Céline to always surpass herself, even reinvent herself, by dint of discipline and respect for those who were on her way to greet her, see her progress and testify to her strength, her talent and courage.

challenges of success

The author had the idea of ​​taking each of his albums, about twenty, to dissect the challenges for each of them. Albums that ended in success, even if the styles are often different from each other, whether for the French-speaking or American market, Céline has always been able to adapt.

Despite all the qualifiers that the author was able to attribute to Céline at the beginning of the book in connection with Roman mythology, Valentin Grimaud comes to the conclusion that she is not a celebrity who plays the goddess like certain personalities like Madonna who plays the card of provocation or others with multiple whims whose life is strewn with drama and scandal.

Céline is none of this, she is rather the one with whom we can identify since she maintains a note of simplicity against the backdrop of her legendary humility. According to the author, she never plays the diva and always listens to others, so that she is the image of the loving woman whom we love as if she were part of our family.

One thing is certain, after so many flamboyant years, spent at the peak of glory through her residencies in Vegas and her world tours, the author wonders whether Céline realizes that her body has limits. Does she still have the sacred fire to lead a career as she did in the past since the death of her soul mate? Only the future will tell us.

– Valentin Grimaud is also the author of the biography, Mariah Carey, Casta Diva.

Celine Dion

Vestal Virgin

Valentin Grimaud

Editions The word and the rest

252 pages

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