Céline Dion: For Keeps
By Jenna Glatzer
(French version: Céline Dion: Pour Toujours…, translated by Georges-Hébert Germain)
Céline Dion has long been one of the world’s most admired performers. Her unique blend of brilliant talent and an unstinting willingness to share her life has defined her career in the public eye. With new interviews and special memorabilia, Céline Dion: For Keeps will invite her fans to get to know the professional and personal parts of her life as never before.
Céline Dion is a very special collection: a combination of memoir, personal scrapbook, and looking glass into one of the world’s most admired lives. Drawing heavily from Céline’s personal archives and those of her husband and longtime manager, René Angelil, this book focuses on the key elements of her life, including her family, career, inspirations, courtship and marriage to René, show business hiatus, son René-Charles, and plans for the future– everything that makes her who she is.
Produced in the successful and stylish format of last year’s The Sinatra Treasures, each of Céline Dion’s chapters will include removable facsimiles of favorite mementos, stored in vellum envelopes. Everything from Céline and René’s love notes and family photos to special letters and her wedding program can be examined and admired in detail. This is a remarkable opportunity to share in the unique and vital life and career of Céline Dion.
About My Experience With Céline
I didn’t know what to expect when I was offered the opportunity to write Céline’s book. I hoped she’d be nice, but I tried not to have high expectations– many of my writer-friends who’ve written celebrity biographies have told me it’s very easy to get disenchanted when you peek behind the “celebrity curtain.”
I was told I’d probably meet her once, and the rest of the book would be based on interviews with René and others close to Céline. After all, she was extremely busy performing in Vegas, and when she had down-time, she cherished her time with her husband and son.
No one expected what actually happened.
It was Céline who kept asking me to come back to Vegas, kept wanting to talk more and share more. The more I got to know her, the more I was in awe of this woman. Her warmth and trust is apparent immediately, and she is amazingly down-to-earth. I’m not sure how anyone could stay so grounded with millions of adoring fans and truckloads of awards, but I’m telling you, she’s real.
The way she comes across on television– sweet, emotional, simple, a little wacky– that’s not an act. This is a woman who is genuinely interested in everyone around her, and never acts like the most important person in a room. This is a woman who is always giving back quietly; always wanting to please; always wanting to do right by her fans, her crew, her family. She’s strong, she’s smart, and she knows what matters in life.
There’s something to be said for the fact that most of her crew has been with her for more than a decade. They’ve followed her from Canada, and as one of them said, “You don’t do that for everybody. You do it for Céline.”
This larger-than-life woman became my friend. My friend who wore sweatpants and sat on the floor with me and shared “girl talk” until 3 in the morning on several occasions. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience. This is a memory I know I’ll always cherish. “Next time,” she told me, “Don’t come back for work. Come back to have dinner with Réne and me.”
(Well, okay, twist my arm!)
I got to see many sides of Céline– one minute, she’d tearfully tell me about how torn she was about returning to show business when what she really wanted to do was stay home with her son. The next minute, she’d launch into impersonations of her favorite stars, spontaneous renditions of Freddie Mercury songs, and jokes about breastfeeding.
I waited for someone to tell me, “Don’t look her directly in the eye” or “Don’t ask her questions about…” but it never happened. I waited for one little sign of “diva behavior,” but there weren’t any. Instead, I got an introspective woman telling me about her faults, her fears, and her joys. I wasn’t fascinated by her because she was famous. She was just plain fascinating, and she has the uncanny ability to make you feel fascinating, too.
She never bothered to show me her awards or her fancy wardrobe, but she bubbled over with excitement when she showed me the beautiful cards the dancers in the show gave her on New Year’s Eve. She had most of them memorized. Then she paged through the “guest book” in her dressing room that contains messages from kids (and some adults) from organizations like Make-a-Wish. These are kids with disabilities or terminal illnesses who’ve had wishes fulfilled to meet Céline, and again, she can quote most of the messages on sight, telling me which ones inspired her most.
To the fans, I say, you’ve picked the right singer to care about. Céline deserves every bit of her success, and even if she doesn’t know you individually, she cares about you right back.
So how do I get this book?
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Release date: November, 2005
List price: $39.95
Thank you to the fans, who’ve made this experience even more wonderful! Here’s a present for you…
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