The Philippine Star
Celine Dion's greatest hits
The famed and certainly multi-awarded Celine Dion will be having her first concert series in Manila on July 19 and 20 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. Note that word, first. Unless you are one of the privileged who had been able to catch her during her residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, then this is indeed the very first time you will get to see the diva from Montreal perform live.
And as far as live performances go for us Pinoys, the artist has to perform his hits, or in this case, her hit songs. That should be no problem for Dion. She has hundreds of recordings and has sold nearly 300 million records in her career of nearly 40 years. Here now is a list, the songs that her Filipino audience would want to hear her perform live. These are not all No. 1 sellers, although a lot of them are. But these are the ones we have learned to love over the years.
Topping the list of Dion’s mustsings is definitely My Heart Will Go
On. Composed by James Horner with lyrics by Will Jennings, it is also known as the theme from the motion picture Titanic. Directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet,
Titanic was the first film in history to break the billion-dollar ceiling in box-office gross. It also engendered a hit song that was just as monumental. Dubbed the song of the century, My Heart
Will Go On gave Dion her second Oscar trophy in 1997. It also won the Golden Globe plus Grammys for Record and Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Performance for Dion.
And there are more. Pinoys so love Dion’s lustrous, over-thetop style, I am sure they will leave the MOA disappointed if she fails to perform any of these: Beauty And The Beast, composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, from the Disney animated feature of 1991. Showbiz lore says that Disney did not have any money left for the pop version of the theme song, so they asked this not as well-known Canadian singer named Celine Dion. Still unsure, they next drafted soul balladeer Peabo Bryson to turn it into a duet. We all know what happened next. The song gave Dion her first Academy Award. When I Fall In Love from the soundtrack of Sleepless in Seattle in 1993. This was another duet but I am sure Dion can also sing it live. Better yet, maybe, local promoter Ovation Productions can ask a local singer like Martin Nievera to sing it with Dion. With her permission, of course. The Power Of Love from 1993. This was actually a cover of a hit by Jennifer Rush but the arrangement and the production by David Foster turned it into Dion’s own and it became her first No. 1 seller. To Love You More from 1995. Another No. 1 hit produced by Foster. This was an original composition by Foster and Edgar Bronfman Jr. It featured Japanese violinist Tao Hakase and was the winning piece that launched Sarah Geronimo to stardom. Because You Loved Me from 1996. This was the theme from the movie Up Close and Personal that starred Robert Redford and Michelle Pffeifer. This was again a No. 1 seller. Dion was having number ones for breakfast daily during that time. All By Myself in 1996. This was a cover of a big hit from the late ‘70s by Eric Carmen. But thanks to the Foster production it became a distinctive Dion song. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now also in 1996. Aha, here is a new, more rock sound from Dion courtesy of Meat Loaf frontman Jim Steinman. Again, a No. 1 hit. I’m Your Angel from 1998. Another new sound, this time courtesy of the controversial R. Kelly. This was a duet that Dion and R. Kelly did as the carrier single for her Christmas album, These Are Special Times. Tell Him from 1996. This was a composition by Linda Thompson and Walter Afanasieff and a duet by Dion and the legendary Barbra Streisand. And for this, both divas turned to their most reliable producer, Foster. The Prayer from 1998. Once again, here are songwriters Thompson, Afanasieff with Alberto Testa and Tony Renis and Foster as producer. The song is a duet by Dion and tenor Andrea Bocelli for the soundtrack of the animated feature film Quest For Camelot. I do not remember much about the movie but the song has certainly remained a timeless favorite. Tickets to the July 19 show sold out months ago but you might still be able to get some on July 20. Dion always puts up a good show and I believe it is time we hear more of those lovely ballads again.