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1994: Céline Dion marries her longtime manager

The Story

On Dec. 17, 1994, singing sensation Céline Dion marries her longtime manager René Angélil in the most talked-about wedding in Quebec history. Wearing a pearl-studded silk dress with a 23-kg train and a headpiece containing 2,000 crystals, the pop diva is greeted by hundreds of fans outside the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal. "It's great! It's good for her, " one fan says in this TV report. In front of some 500 guests, the 26-year-old superstar says "I do" to Angélil, who is 51.

Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: Dec. 17, 1994
Guests: David Foster, Natalie Richard
Host: Paul Hunter
Reporter: Scott Laurie
Duration: 2:13

Did You know?

• Céline Marie Claudette Dion was born on March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, a small town east of Montreal. She is the youngest of 14 children.

• René Angélil was born on January 16, 1942 in Montréal. He was in a group called "Les Baronets", which was dubbed the "Quebec's Beatles." After his singing career, Angélil started managing artists including Quebec superstar Ginette Reno.

• A 13-year-old Dion met her manager and future husband Rene Angélil, who is 25 years her senior, in 1981. After hearing Dion's demotape, Angélil was so determined to make her a star that he mortgaged his house to finance her debut album.

• The much-publicized big names including Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Mariah Carey failed to show up for the couple's wedding ceremony.

• Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his wife Mila, along with songwriter/producer David Foster were among the 500 guests in attendance.

• Dion and Angélil banned all journalists and photographers from their wedding. The couple later sold the exclusive photo rights to a weekly magazine, 7 Jours, for $200,000.

• 7 Jours's special edition of the Dion/Angélil wedding contained some 100 photographs and behind-the-scenes details such as Dion sleeping in on her wedding day followed by a breakfast of oatmeal, bananas and peanut butter on toast.

• It was Dion's first wedding but Angélil's third.

• On January 5, 2000, the couple renewed their vows in an elaborate wedding ceremony, complete with live camels and birds at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The Arabian Nights themed event, which paid homage to Angélil's Syrian and Lebanese roots, reportedly cost over $2 million.

• The couple has three sons: René-Charles, born Jan. 25, 2001, and twins Nelson and Eddy, born Oct. 23, 2010.

• Dion is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. She was named the Recording Industry Association of America's top-selling artist in 1998.

• Dion has received the Order of Quebec (1998), the Order of Canada (1998) and was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999.

• Dion has won a whopping 20 Juno Awards throughout her career, the first of which she won in 1991. She has been nominated for a total of 59 Junos.

Also on December 17:
1792: The first session of the Parliament of Lower Canada opens in Quebec City.
1796: Novelist Thomas Chandler Haliburton is born in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He was the first Canadian writer to gain international recognition after the publication of "The Clockmaker" in 1836.
1991: Joey Smallwood dies in St. John's at the age of 90. Smallwood led Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949 and served as the province's first premier until 1972.



And the Juno Went to… more