Although American audiences only became aware of Celine Dion's five-octave vocal power in 1991 (she sang mostly in French until that point), she had been winning accolades as a singer since her teenage years in her native Canada.
The child of working-class parents in a small town east of Montreal, Celine Dion was introduced to current manager/husband Rene Angelil via a demo tape sent by her brother Michael. According to legend, Angelil was so taken by her ability that he mortgaged his home to pay for her first record date. Through the 80s she built a strong following in Canada, but it wasn't until she sang the theme for Disney's hit animated film "Beauty and the Beast" in 1991 that Dion won over the masses. She's only become more popular with each successive album, with only minor interferences -- critical derision, disagreements with Phil Spector during the making of her Falling Into You album -- sullying her rise.
Celine Dion's next English-language record, released in 1992, pushed her success further, but it was her 1993 album that truly made her a stateside star -- featuring the schmaltzy duet "When I Fall In Love" from the film "Sleepless in Seattle" and the hit single, "Power of Love." While fans fell for her VH-1-style pop sound, critics disparaged her overtly commercialized focus, penchant for cover tunes and a soulless vocal dexterity that brought little passion to her work. Poised for a big splash with a 1996 English-language record, Dion's reputation was sullied slightly by a conflict with legendary producer Phil Spector, who dropped out of work on the album after tussling with her management over the record's focus. Still, the album remained among the country's ten best-selling records more than 18 weeks after its release.