Céline Dion returns home after ending Las Vegas residency with a bang
Over 16 years, and 1,141 shows, Dion changed the way people see crooning in Sin City
After 1,141 concerts over the span of 16 years, Céline Dion is coming home to Quebec.
Well, for the summer anyway.
Dion's performance included beloved hits like It's All Coming Back to Me Now; a tribute to her late husband René Angélil; an appearance by her three sons; and a boppy, energetic new song, Flying On My Own.
"There was a lot of emotion in the room," Dion said after the show. "I really wanted to stay as strong as possible. I'm proud of myself."
She sang for 4,298 spectators from around the world. Fans roared during the two-hour show, and Dion returned the praise.
"I love you more!" she told the adoring crowd, thanking fans more than once for following her to Las Vegas.
'She made it cool'
It's been 16 years since Dion packed up her life and moved to Sin City for a new venture that was, at the time, uncommon for a pop star.
She was coming off the chart-topping album A New Day Has Come. And a gig in Las Vegas was thought to be the kind of thing an artist does in the twilight of their career.
But Angélil saw potential and made arrangements, which included the construction of $95-million concert hall to house Dion's show.
"When René made that decision, everyone said it was crazy," said Stéphane Laporte, director of the documentary Céline autour du monde.
"Now Lady Gaga wants to do it, [and] Elton John.… She made it hot; she made it cool to have a Las Vegas residency."
Dion's success in Las Vegas came on the heels of Cirque du Soleil's decision to create its own long-running shows there. For more than a decade, some of the hottest tickets in the entertainment capital of the world were for acts with Quebec roots.
"She and I, we controlled probably the majority of ticket sales in entertainment in Las Vegas over the last 15 to 20 years," Cirque co-founder, Guy Laliberté, told Radio-Canada.
Dion says she'll spend the summer in Quebec, before leaving on a world tour this fall.
With files from Radio-Canada