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Céline Dion's Life in Photos

From recording her first song at 12 years old to her special appearance at the 2024 Grammy Awards, here's a look back at some of Céline Dion's most major milestones

<p>Simone Joyner/Getty</p>  Celine Dion

Simone Joyner/Getty

Celine Dion

Céline Dion has been gracing the world with her legendary voice for more than 4 decades.

From recording her first song at age 12, to Titanic's epic "My Heart Will Go On," to her acting debut in 2023, Dion has cemented herself as a pop culture icon. In fact, in 2022, aTitanic parody musical titled Titanique opened in New York City that pondered how the events of the fateful journey would have played out if Dion herself was a passenger.

In recent months, the star has taken a step back from the spotlight after revealing her diagnosis of stiff person syndrome. She did, however, make a special appearance at the 2024 Grammy Awards to present the award for album of the year — an honor she received 27 years prior — to Taylor Swift.

Dion, who celebrates her 56th birthday on March 30, 2024, has had quite the life — here's a look back at some of the standout moments.

Céline Dion's Early Start

<p>Celine Dion/Instagram</p> Céline Dion as a child

Celine Dion/Instagram

Céline Dion as a child

Celine Dion was born on March 30, 1968, in Quebec, Canada, and grew up in a musical family. Her talent was obvious from a young age with her first singing gig coming at age 5 at her brother's wedding.

“I sang a couple songs," she recalled to CNN of the early performance. "When I started to feel the love and the warmth of the audience it got me. I said to myself, 'Really, this is what I want to do all my life. I want to be a singer.' "

She recorded her first song at age 12.

Céline Dion and Her Parents

<p>Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild/Getty</p> Celine Dion with her parents

Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild/Getty

Celine Dion with her parents

When Dion was born, she became the youngest of 14 children to her parents Adhémar Dion, a butcher and musician, and TV personality Thérèse Dion.

Adhémar died in 2003 at the age of 80 and 17 years later, Céline's mother Thérèse died at 92.

Céline Dion Meets René Angélil

Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild Celine Dion and René Angélil
Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild Celine Dion and René Angélil

Dion's career took off at a young age and after recording her first song at age 12, she signed with her manager — and later husband — René Angélil. In order to fund her first album, La voix du bon Dieu, Angélil mortgaged his home.

"While I was singing he started to cry," the singer told PEOPLE of their first meeting. "I knew then I had done a good job."

The two went on their first romantic date seven years later, when Dion was 19 years old, though initially kept their relationship private. The singer later admitted that the couple's relationship had taken a romantic turn about a year before their first date.

Céline Dion Wins Eurovision

<p>Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty</p> Celine Dion

Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty

Celine Dion

In 1988, Dion competed in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Ne partez pas sans mo" and won.

The night was important in other ways as well, she wrote in her memoir, Céline Dion: My Story, My Dream. She recalled that after winning a singing competition in Dublin in 1988, which aligned with the date of that year's Eurovision competition, she and Angélil spent the night together.

"I threw myself into his arms," she wrote. "Later that night, I was seated at the head of the bed, legs folded under the covers. I was happy about being alone with the man I loved."

Céline Dion Releases English-Language Music

<p>Dave Benett/Getty</p> Celine Dion

Dave Benett/Getty

Celine Dion

Dion released her first English-language album, Unison, in 1990, and shortly after released her self-titled album. The early 1990s were huge for the star, who was also featured on the iconic Disney soundtrack for Beauty and the Beast on the Grammy-winning titular duet — her first golden gramophone.

Céline Dion at the Grammys

<p>Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Celine Dion

Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Celine Dion

For her big moment in 1993, Dion went for a black knitted ensemble paired with a very '90s choker necklace. In total, the singer has been nominated for 16 Grammys and has taken home 5.

Céline Dion's Wedding Day

Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho Celine Dion and René Angélil on their wedding day
Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho Celine Dion and René Angélil on their wedding day

As the star continued to rise, her love life remained relatively under wraps, though in 1991 Angélil proposed. The pair went public with their relationship in 1993 — with Dion giving her then-fiancé a shoutout in the liner notes of The Colour of My Love: "René, for so many years I've kept our special dream locked away inside my heart. But now it's too powerful to keep inside," she wrote, according to Reuters.

At the end of 1994, the two tied the knot at the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal in a a lavish affair that was broadcasted live on television in Canada.

Céline Dion at the Oscars

<p>Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty </p> James Horner, Celine Dion and Will Jennings

Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty

James Horner, Celine Dion and Will Jennings

Of course, one of Dion's most famous songs to date is "My Heart Will Go On" from 1997's Titanic, which won both the Grammy Award for record of the year and the Oscar for Best Original Song. For her big night with the film's composer James Horner and Will Jennings, who wrote the lyrics, Dion stunned in replica of the famous Heart of the Ocean necklace seen in the film.

Céline Dion as a Mom

<p>Ethan Miller/Getty</p> Celine Dion with her newborn twin sons in 2011

Ethan Miller/Getty

Celine Dion with her newborn twin sons in 2011

While many know and love her for her music, Dion told PEOPLE in 2007 that being a mom is what's most important in her life.

"You know, I'm not really a singer. My life is to be a mom," she said. "It is what I enjoy the most. It is my most amazing reward. I will take a chance with my music. I don't take risks with my family."

Dion welcomed her first son, René-Charles, on Jan. 25, 2001, and named him for his father. In 2010, they became a family of five when the couple welcomed twins Eddy and Nelson — named for producer Eddy Marnay, who produced Dion's first five albums, and Nelson Mandela.

Céline Dion in Las Vegas

<p>courtesy of George Bodnar/Getty</p> Celine Dion in 2003

courtesy of George Bodnar/Getty

Celine Dion in 2003

In the early 2000s, Dion kicked off what would be a storied 16-year-tenure at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

“I’m both proud and humbled by what we’ve accomplished at the Colosseum since we began 16 years ago when René and I first shared this dream. This entire experience has been a huge part of my show business career, one that I will cherish forever,“ Dion said at her final performance of the residency in 2019. “I have so many people to thank, but the most important ‘thank you’ goes to my fans, who gave us the opportunity to do what we love.”

In 2021, the singer was set to return to Sin City though postponed those shows indefinitely due to "unforeseen medical symptoms" before later announcing her diagnosis of stiff person syndrome.

Céline Dion on Tour

<p>Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis via Getty</p> Celine Dion performs in 2008

Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis via Getty

Celine Dion performs in 2008

In addition to her Las Vegas shows, Dion has embarked on numerous tours throughout her career including 2008's Taking Chances Tour, named for the singer's song of the same name (pictured here).

Céline Dion Rehearses for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

<p>Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty </p> Celine Dion

Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Celine Dion

In 2019, Dion was tapped as one of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day performers and she sang a new song, "Imperfections."

Céline Dion and Her Decades-Long Love with René Angélil

Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage René Angélil and Celine Dion in 2013
Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage René Angélil and Celine Dion in 2013

In 2016, Dion's husband died just days before his 74th birthday "after a long and courageous battle against cancer," the family shared.

"Before he left, it was very, very difficult for all of us," Dion said later that year. "For me especially, and my children, to see the man of my life die a little bit more every day. And when he left, it was kind of a relief for me that the man that I love, the only man that I kissed, the only man that I loved."

She continued, "I never kissed another man in my life. So the man of my life was my partner, and we were one. So when he stopped suffering I said to myself, he's okay. And he deserves not to suffer."

Céline Dion Makes Her Acting Debut

Sony Music Entertainment Canada/Columbia Records Celine Dion in 'Love Again'
Sony Music Entertainment Canada/Columbia Records Celine Dion in 'Love Again'

In 2023, Dion made her acting debut in the film Love Again which featured many of the singer's songs, including five new ones. The soundtrack marked the first release from Dion since 2019.

"I had a lot of fun doing this movie," she said in a press release for the film at the time. "And to have the privilege of appearing with the beautiful and talented actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sam Heughan in my very first feature film is a gift that I will cherish forever."

Céline Dion Spends Time with Her Sons

<p>Celine Dion/ Instagram</p> Celine Dion and her sons

Celine Dion/ Instagram

Celine Dion and her sons

While she has taken a step back from performing in the wake of her diagnosis, the singer has continued to share moments with her fans on social media. In November 2023, Dion shared this sweet snap of herself and her three sons enjoying an outing  to catch the Montreal Canadiens game.

"My boys and I had such a fun time visiting with the Montreal Canadiens after their hockey game with Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas Monday night," she wrote on Instagram. "They played so well, what a game!! Thank you for meeting us after the game, guys! That was memorable for all of us."

Celine Dion Makes Her Grammys Return in 2024

<p>Amy Sussman/Getty</p> Celine Dion and her son, René-Charles

Amy Sussman/Getty

Celine Dion and her son, René-Charles

At the 2024 Grammy Awards, Dion made her first public appearance in three months to present the award for album of the year — an award she first took home 27 years prior. She was escorted to the stage by her eldest son, René-Charles Angélil, before announcing Taylor Swift as the winner.

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