LIFE

13 Surprising Facts About Céline Dion That Even Her Fans Likely Don’t Know

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

You may have listened to the beautiful music Céline Dion has gifted to the world more times than you can count, but have you ever dug into her equally impressive biography?

I mean really dig in to find some of the surprising information not even her biggest fans know. Luckily, you won’t have to after taking a look at the incredible tidbits we found about the talented Canadian songstress.

For instance, I always knew Céline got her start in the music business when she was young, but I had no idea exactly how old she was at the time — or how enormous her family was while she was growing up in Quebec!

Those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fascinating Céline Dion biography.

Did you know she shares a similar ancestor with several other famous faces?

Take a look below to learn even more interesting facts from our Céline Dion biography and let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite fact about the singer.

And don’t forget to SHARE with your friends and family!

[H/T: Biography]

Thumbnail Source: YouTube / Entertainment Tonight

1. She Is Younger Than Her Stepson

Céline Dion and René Angelil

René Angélil’s eldest son, Patrick Angéli, from his first marriage, was born three months before his famous stepmother.

2. You Can Call Her Dr. Dion

Céline Dion recording

She’s not a medical doctor, but Université Laval in Quebec City gave the singer an honorary doctorate in music back in 2009.

3. She Signed Her First Recording Contract At 12

Céline Dion "La Voix du Bon Dieu"

René was already managing a popular French singer, Ginette Reno, when Céline’s brother sent him a demo tape of a song Celine wrote with her mother.

After also hearing her perform in person, he mortgaged his own home to finance her debut album, La Voix du Bon Dieu (The Voice of God).

4. She Is The Youngest Of 14 Siblings

4. She Is The Youngest Of 14 Siblings

She was born on March 30, 1968, in Charlemagne, Quebec, to parents Adhémar and Thérèse Dion, and their large family was reportedly very close as she was growing up.

5. Her Wedding To René Was Broadcast Live

Céline Dion and René Angelil wedding

Along with the guests arriving in person, Canadian viewers were invited to partake in the huge celebration when the two tied the knot in 1994.

Céline was worried there would be a backlash to their relationship when she confessed her feelings for René to her fans the previous year, but was happily surprised by their supportive response despite the couple’s 26-year age difference.

6. She Performed For The Pope As A Teen

Young Céline Dion performing

At just 16, Céline sang “Une colombe,” at the Montreal Olympic Stadium in front of 65,000 people — including Pope John Paul II!

7. She Is Named After A Song

Celine Dion singing

As soon as she was born, Céline was clearly destined for a musical career path when her parents named her after a popular song by French artist Hugues Aufray.

8. Her Big Break Came At 18

Céline Dion "Incognito" video

Despite having already recorded nine French albums and winning several Félix and Juno Awards, which are essentially the Canadian versions of a Grammy, it was her 1988 performance at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin that helped boost her towards international fame. The popular program was broadcast throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Japan.

Céline represented Switzerland in the competition with the song, “Ne partez pas sans moi,” which won the top spot.

9. She Founded A Chain Of Restaurants

Nickels Deli

She opened the first Nickels Grill & Bar with four of her friends in 1990 and has since expanded the franchise to eight restaurants across Quebec and Ontario. It’s now known as Nickel’s Delicatessen, and though Céline is no longer part of their team, she is a proud part of their history.

The extensive menus include sandwiches with Montreal-style smoked meat.

10. Her First Steps Into Music Were A Family Affair

Celine Dion

The close-knit family toured Canada as a group called Dion’s Family while Céline was still an infant, then later opened a piano bar called Le Vieux Baril where she began performing at just 5 years old.

11. She Shares An Ancestor With Several Other Famous Faces

11. She Shares An Ancestor With Several Other Famous Faces

Céline is among the several familiar names that can trace their family lineage back to early French-Canadian immigrant Zacharie Cloutier, a French carpenter who made his way over to “New France” in 1634, including: Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Jack Kerouac, Beyoncé, Shania Twain, and Alanis Morissette.

12. She Got Remarried In 2000

Céline Dion at Caesar's Palace

Well, sort of — she and René renewed their vows in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, the same casino where she now performs as their resident entertainer.

13. She Speaks 5 Languages

Céline Dion performing

While all fans know the French-speaking singer has performed beautifully in both her native tongue and English, she has also shown her talent for languages by performing in Spanish, German, and Japanese.

Did we miss your favorite fact about the amazing songstress? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!