Up until recently, the Twittersphere would have you believe that Celine Dion is dead. She isn’t. Rather ironically, the 45-year-old’s album is titled Loved Me Back to Life (out now). Dion, whose career has spanned 30 years, is moving on lyrically and melodically. Here, in a roundtable interview in London’s The Dorchester hotel, Dion chats about her love for Adele, album cover nudity and her latest record.
It’s your first English language record in six years. Why did now seem the right time to put an album out?
I haven’t stopped, to be honest with you. I started a new show in Las Vegas almost three years ago, then I did a French album and also had two babies. Do the math: time goes fast too.
Were you trying to reinvent yourself with this album?
You can’t reinvent yourself every five years. For 30 years I have been using the same recipe. This time round, we’re trying to freshen up and modernize — it’s a second wind. I’m not trying to reinvent myself but at the same time I’m not going to go on with singing My Heart Will Go On, Because You Loved Me and The Power of Love.
There are elements of Adele in this album. Is she an influence?
She has an influence on my life. Period. I love her. I’m taking hot tea everyday and I’m hoping she’s going to pop up and have tea with me.
Will you collaborate with her?
I haven’t got the guts to ask for a duet. I just would love to meet with her. If I see her, I would be star-struck and tell her that I’m her number one fan. Every soundtrack that I do, I find ways to sing her songs through my warm-up but I wouldn’t be so tacky as to ask her to sing with me.
Cher mentioned recently on a talk show that the crowds in Vegas during her residency were “very, very old, often sedated and didn’t seem into the music.” Now that your residency is almost over, can you say how you honestly felt about it?
She is very, very old, so the crowd is going to be old. (Gets up and walks away in mock shock). I’ve seen Cher perform and she is amazing. Hmm, the theatre itself is formal when you come in. It’s not like you can rouse the crowd with Do You Believe In Life After Love; it’s all gentle claps and hums. You really have to understand that it brings that mood.
What’s your experience?
Musically it gives me the possibility to enjoy my music. I can sing 70 shows a year, whereas I was doing 200 or at best 160 per year and I couldn’t breathe (pants like a dog) and then I go home every night. As an artist it gives me an opportunity to do my work and be happy about it.
Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Sky Ferreira have all stripped for recent album covers and editorials. Were you ever tempted?
(Laughs) I’m too gorgeous for doing that. No, I’m glad I didn’t have to do that and I didn’t feel the need.