The iconic Celine Dion is the newest global spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris — a title that's as deserved for her grace, beauty and resumé of accomplishments as it is for her thoughtful observations on, well, everything. We had the opportunity to hear Dion speak in Las Vegas, where she's wrapping up her longstanding residency. And we wanted to share as much of her colorful commentary as possible (though not all of it because it was twice as long, and that's just a lot) for the true Celine Dion fans out there. If this doesn't make your heart go on, nothing will.
On her partnership with L'Oréal Paris...
L’Oréal has given a voice to women around the world. Helping them to give them the tools to say, ‘Hey, we all have a voice.’ Maybe you’re not out there on stage, out there on TV. We all have a voice. L’Oréal Paris has reinforced the power of the women because they came one day with a phrase that will live forever: Because you’re worth it. Because I’m worth it. Because you’re worth it. Because you’re worth it. Because you’re worth it. Because we are worth it. We have a voice. We have dreams. With all the tools and everything they put out there in the world for over 100 years, it’s to help us find that voice inside that sometimes for so long.
Way back, women had no rights for education. I’m talking about my grandparents, my parents a long time ago. The world is changing and L’Oréal is part of that in a positive way because it’s telling women today that we have dreams and you have the rights to speak. You have the right to do and realize what you want. It’s about time. It’s about time that women in society today are becoming stronger. Is L’Oréal suddenly becoming magical? In a way without making this dramatic and over the top. In a way they’re part of it because don’t tell me that you don’t believe that feeling good and looking beautiful is not helping you to walk sexy, to have a focus, to have a vision and to say this is where I want to go because I have something to say and today I will be heard. Because it’s not the way that it used to be and it will change. Because today is the beginning of the rest of my life. As a singer, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as a partner of my workers, my coworkers, my stylists, my family who are helping me to be the best of me, I am thankful for allowing me to keep going. I never felt as beautiful, as strong and I really think that the best is yet to come. I can’t wait for my birthday…
But you know when we go to work, when we go out, when we go to restaurants, when we want to be loved, when we’re searching for love, when we’re asking for love, when we’re asking for help, when we want to be seen — no one can say that it’s just hair. Hair makes you feel sexy. Makeup, hair, all that. I’m not going to talk about every little thing, but all that makes you. First of all, you have to feel confident, very sexy, powerful and good inside. It’s inside out. But the things we put on ourselves — the cream, the hair color, the conditioner, the nails and the makeup — for me, when I change from one outfit to another, it brings out my demeanor.
L’Oréal is giving us an opportunity to walk and to feel beautiful. Feeling beautiful is not just about feeling, ‘Oh, I feel beautiful. I feel sexy.’ And that’s about it. Feeling beautiful makes you feel strong and feeling strong makes you succeed.
What if you hadn’t found music, what do you think Celine Dion would be doing now if you haven’t found that opportunity to find yourself?
Nadia Comaneci almost changed my destiny. When I was eight or nine years old, I was looking at the Olympics. Nadia Comaneci had the perfect score, and that’s my kind of deal — to reach for the best possible. Eventually, I had the privilege of singing at the Olympics in Atlanta, and they reserved a little surprise for me. They knocked at my door. When I opened the door, Nadia Comaneci was there.
Oh wow. Did you almost faint?
I did a triple-sault. I saw them coming, what do you think? But no honestly I was in shock.
So Nadia Comaneci was one, but today knowing that short and strong you can be the Olympics and doing gymnastics. But maybe thin and long, maybe I could’ve had a better chance on dancing.
So what's next?
Well, my association with L’Oréal Paris is like an amazing honor, a journey for me. Finishing the shows here is bittersweet. When we started here…they were like, ‘Eh, she’s going to die here. Her career is over.’ The show started, and they said, ‘Hm, the Titanic is going to sink again.’ They said many many things. To just make it shorter, the first night my parents were there, and I said ‘Mom, Dad hi, don’t worry we got it. Everything’s fine. Don’t be stressed.’ And about 35 minutes later I come on stage, bare feet, because I lost my shoes, and my parents were gray. I told them, `It's okay. I know what to do. Everything’s fine. We got it. We got it. We got everything except the shoes.’ Me who loves the shoes didn't fit the picture. But me, what do you think?
You know you can always panic or deal with the moment. So I sat down and said, ‘Anybody wears a size 8 in the audience?’ and they all stood up and I said ‘finally found my shoes.’ The curtain was pushed aside and the shoes followed. The shoes were very trained. So they found my shoes, rolled the shoes and everything was fine.
I lost my dad during the journey of A New Day. My dad who is still my biggest fan. He was entering the Caesar, the colosseum, coming like he was the Pope, showing the stage. I was leading them there and he was like, ‘She’s my daughter. This is hers. This is her colosseum. She is mine.’ He was giving me a standing ovation every single song. I would never forget that my mom was pulling his jacket. I could see a hand going down like sit down. He was and he’s still my number one fan.
We had another chapter. I thought I was going to be here for a little moment. It’s been … I don’t know. 15 years?
The rest, so much happiness. Year after year, people coming. For the last couple of years I feel like I’ve grown in a very strong and happy way through dance, through friendship, through my team, through motherhood. So it’s going to be hard, but I have a new album coming out.
Wait a minute; you didn’t tell us about that.
Well, I’m still here honey. You think I’m done? Bye bye if you've had enough.
News. Stop the presses.
Yeah, I’m coming out with a new album. Well, you think I’m not? I’m just starting. I’m coming out with a new album like it’s not enough right? I’m going on tour as well.
Has your workout — your self-care regime — changed and evolved these last couple of years with these changes in your life?
Many, many times throughout my career people have asked me, ‘What do you do for yourself?’ And to be honest with you I didn’t quite understand what they said. Don’t you think I have enough on my agenda? After that, I had two more kids: ‘What do you do for yourself?’ I was going to say, ‘You know when I have the time? When I have five minutes, I go to bed or [have] coffee or something.’
But I don’t do number paintings — like number four is yellow — but I like that. I don’t do it because I don’t have a lot of time. But to really get to the point, people ask me so many times what do you do for you. Not for show business, not for your kids. Not ‘do you go to the movies, do you read books, do you mediate, do you do yoga?’ I’ve tried many things.
Dancing has been in my DNA all my life, but I never liked to be working with choreographers and saying ‘This song will be sung right here and then the first verse you take four steps and five, six, seven, eight and there.’ I’m like, ‘No, no.’ I follow the drum to my own heartbeat, keep your eyes open, the lights on and follow me baby. That’s about it.
But the dance, the dance, the dance, the dance, the dance. But, what kind of dance? I love all kinds of dance for different people when I see them dance. Yes. But for me? I love the-I’m going to ask you if you would ask me, ‘What would you like to be?-What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Dramatic. That’s my thing. I think ballet is so romantic, dramatic, sensual, it’s like a dream and it’s so hard. I don’t want to do something that’s easy. I decided when I met with Pepe [her choreographer] that maybe it’s a sign. I don’t know because I had this idea maybe a week before leaving on tour to have a dance number. Uh, maybe you should have thought about that literally before? It’s never too late.
He was in Spain, and he came. And he said, ‘Uh how many weeks do we have to practice?’ I’m like oh no. It’s not the way we work over here. We have four days to figure it out. Let’s go to work. Let’s go to work.’ So I showed him an image and obviously because he has knowledge in dancing. He’s a dancer. He’s got many, many more talents. One day you’ll interview him, but it’s not time to talk about that right now. But, he’s been dancing pretty much all his life. So we did this number it was just for fun and this passion that was just going through my mind, in my bloodstream and all that I started to get addicted to it. But, I said how am I going to do that? How can I do that? On days off? No, I want to be with my kids. On days of work? I can’t do it before because when I do it the problem with me is that when I love something and when I want to do something, I don’t know when to stop like right now I should stop. But I won’t. But I won’t. Okay you wanted to be here, I’m here. Deal with it. If you’re jet lag that’s not my problem. Get some coffee.
All this to tell you that I really wanted to explore more. I was almost killing him. So I said okay. I found out that one of my dancers — in A New Day, we had like 50 dancers — Naomi who was one of the dancers for five years still lived in Vegas who is not a dancer anymore. She’s married, she has a child, she has a life now, she did her passion. But I kind of reached to her and she said, ‘Of course.’ Then I started to train with her and the only way that I can do that was after the show because before my first priority is to train my voice, sleep, be with my kids and try not to be late at the show, which that’s very hard. I try to make it better in my near future.
So anyways because a lot of mascara. I’m just joking. So the only way I can do it was after the show and they said, ‘After the show?’ I said ‘Naomi do you mind? After the show? I’ll shower quick and we can do ballet together?’ She said, ‘No, my child is asleep’ and she said ‘I’ve been doing this all my life I know the hours, there’s no hours.’ I’m like, ‘Please give it a try.’ So I trained after every show. I go a couple doors down the courtier door and she’s waiting for me. We stretched and we do the bar. We kind of improvise and I do this four times a week. People say ‘She’s a lot thinner.’ I’m working hard, I like to move and it comes with it.
Can you speak to a time in your career when you had to advocate for yourself as a woman?
Maybe it did happen, but all my life I’ve been having so much protection. Renee always surrounded me with the best people in the world, and I’ve been so protected that it never reached the other side of the fence. But I know for a fact that women were not treated appropriately for so long and that’s why I say you know what a change is going to come because right now women they go to work and they go outside. They’re not inside of the house and there’s nothing wrong with that because their role is to get the dinner ready, raise the kids and stay home. I’m insisting there’s nothing wrong with that. That is a big job, okay. But a woman to go to work and a woman to be a boss. I’m the boss now, and that’s a lot of power. I don’t play that role. I’m not going to say, ‘I’m the boss, so I don’t do that.' So it’s true that women have been treated not fairly, and I think it’s up to all of us to speak up. We cannot remain silent because we cannot be prisoners of ourselves. If we count on society to help us, to get us out of there we don’t have to. I’m sorry, but if you look at this society, do you think we’re sitting well? I don’t think so. I’m saying. It’s not pretty.
Technology is great. Technology is bad. We have to use it because we have no choice. We have to use it smartly. The smartest people for us is ourselves. We all go through things. Some people go through tough things. When I said that we have to have a voice, people cannot keep this from themselves. If we don’t have a friend, if we don’t have a neighbor, if we don’t have a sibling, if we don’t have a parent. Well, you have to find a way. There’s help out there. We have to find a way to speak our mind and become the people we deserve to be as women.
So like I said, I never felt that directly because I’m the 14th child of a family and a big army in front of me. The family has been growing for years, so I hope that answered your question.
What beauty advice would you give your younger self, say your 26 year-old self?
I don’t want to go back there. When I was 26, it was a very good year. I don’t want to go back to 26 years-old. You know when I give advice to myself I don’t know exactly what I was at 26. Again, I don’t want it to sound pretentious, but I was selling probably 25 million albums, and now we don’t sell anymore. We don’t sell records anymore. Anymore.
It’s tough. The industry has changed. Everything has changed. But, I wouldn’t give advice to myself because I feel so good now I don’t even want to think about these days, and I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to because I always had like I said I would refer to the people in my family. My mom wrote my first song because she didn’t want me to sing anywhere and any song. She said, ‘You deserve to have a career, you deserve to have your own song and that was 12 years old.’ At 26 can you imagine how grounded I was.
I know that kids today — at 26 you’re not a kid, but it's a little younger. It’s tough. I think destiny has given me an amazing opportunity for show business and for my life as a woman, as a human being. To be 50 now because the younger generation the 18-20s — who wants to be anyone that they want to be? I don’t want to be in their skin. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how they do it. I think crime is going up. Bad things are rising. It’s tough. If I could just refer to my own business that I’m in, singer. How many amazing voices there is out there as singers. Where are they? They win, whatever you call it, American Idol.
So the thing is that I don’t want to be a new artist today. Do they have a chance? Do they have a chance? The record company have a hard time to live. You don’t sell records. It’s just amazing. So I’m not going back in time. I’m not going back in time. I’m going forward honey.