Team Celine Dion and her worldwide fans have shot down a tabloid story that reported her first romance after the death of her husband and manager, Rene Angelil, a year ago. The headlines linking her with close family friend, fellow Canadian and producer David Foster were denied and even ridiculed as “fake news.”
David, 67, is reportedly dating former supermodel Christie Brinkley after his recent divorce from Yolanda Hadid. Celine, 48, and David have been friends and worked with each other for 25 years.
Here are photos of their first record album he produced and when they embraced at Celine’s Celebration of Life tribute to Rene at Caesars Palace last February after he played Rene’s favorite song, “The Color of My Love,” on piano.
Las Vegas regular David said: “He was a kind and gentle man. How did he know to be just right in every situation? How did he know how to navigate the treacherous water of the music business? Where did he learn how to treat everyone with kindness and equality?
“How did he learn how to create and maintain a global career? How did he learn not just sympathy, but empathy? I’m sure there’s probably a kinder, gentler person on the planet other than Rene, but I have never met him.”
I saw Celine’s 1,017th show Friday night at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and was impressed with the awesome power of her voice. She sounds better than ever. It is beyond thrilling. She’s the loosest, most comfortably relaxed I’ve ever seen her bantering with the sold-out audience and her band and backup singers.
There are small changes to lighting and video and drop-in lighting effects. Her opening dress is different, as well, and her hair has grown out and is a little lighter. Tickets are on sale through June 3 before she embarks on her European tour.
Celine returns for dates at The Colosseum after the tour at the end of the year, but those dates will be announced and go on sale likely in the next couple of months. Her team tells me that the current contract is for Celine to remain at Caesars through 2019, although many predict that it will be extended.
I was invited Saturday night to tag along just before midnight on a rare shopping trip with Celine as she visited Carnevale Art Gallery at Caesars in support of her backup vocalist Barnev Valsaint exhibiting his first collection of photos taken when they were on tour in Europe last summer.
Celine arrived in purple pajamas, neon sneakers and faux fur coat. You can read our full conversation here and in Friday Neon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. After buying one of Barnev’s black-and-white photos, she reflected, “With everything that’s been going on in my life in the last year, it’s been a tough road.
“But, luckily for me, I have had pillars supporting my soul, my heart, my tears, my strength, giving me strength, supporting me through the tough days. I felt so strong about his picture with the pillars. I felt steady, I felt that I was embraced, I felt safe. I felt protected, and at the same time I did not feel that it was enclosed in a box.
“I still have avenues, and my future is starting today. It was as if everything turned out to be in this picture was for me, even the lights when you go through darkness in your life. Everybody does, and you have to stay strong.
“You know when you say there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel? Well, if you look in there, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It didn’t take me three days to look at the picture. It took me 20 seconds to see that all this was for me: The avenues, the future, these are angels, this is life.
“I am protected by the people who love me for real, and this is my path, this is the road, and this is the light at the tunnel, and it’s very, very positive. That whole picture for me is positive, and that’s why I bought that picture.
“That’s why it means a lot to me, and that’s why I came tonight to support not just an artist who is singing, but an artist who sees things and has the passion of bringing things to light that we take for granted.”
Celine has signed on as a mentor on Gwen Stefani’s team on NBC “The Voice” premiering Feb. 27. Celine also will honor The Bee Gees in a Grammy salute Valentine’s Day that celebrates the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Fever,” which features six Bee Gees songs. The show will be recorded to air on CBS this year.
Celine has signed on with John Legend, Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato to salute The Bee Gees. The concert at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles is two days after the 2017 Grammy Awards. Barry Gibb, the remaining member of the group’s three principal sibling members, is attending. Maurice Gibb died in 2003, and Robin Gibb died in 2012.