Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 September 2019

Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

  • The Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage”
  • She said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager

QUEBEC CITY: After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.
At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.
The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already hit the airwaves, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”
Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.
“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”
So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.
“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.
“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again... so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”
Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020, and will be her first world tour since 2008-2009.
Her show was almost two hours of mastery, as she performed some of her greatest hits — from “I’m Alive” to “My Heart Will Go On” — as well as new material to an ecstatic crowd of roughly 20,000.
“It was really impossible to miss Celine at home,” Nicolas Delivre, a French university exchange student in Montreal, told AFP.
Donald Berard, from Quebec City, said he had grown up listening to Dion. “We love her like a member of our family.”
“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.
The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.
In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”
The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.
Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.
At a press junket last Friday, Dion told Radio-Canada: “There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine.”
“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”


Birthday tributes pour in for US-Palestinian DJs Simi and Haze Khadra

Palestinian twins and DJ duo Simi and Haze Khadra celebrated their 27th birthday this week. File/Getty
Updated 20 min 30 sec ago

Birthday tributes pour in for US-Palestinian DJs Simi and Haze Khadra

DUBAI: US-Palestinian twins Simi and Haze Khadra turned 27 on Tuesday and, naturally, social media feeds were flooded with birthday tributes for the DJ duo. Though the twins, who share a joint Instagram account, couldn’t exactly celebrate their big day with their nearest and dearest due to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders in the US, their family, friends and fans made sure to take to various social media platforms to celebrate their big day.

“Happy Birthday to my sisters @simihaze! I’m pretty much the only person who could always tell you apart. You are both so much cooler, smarter, funnier than me but hey you're stuck with me forever! (sic)” wrote their older brother Fai, alongside a series of heartwarming images of the siblings as children. “Love you, thank you for always having my back and being the best sisters a brother could ask for,” he said.

The twins took to the comment section to respond, “Omg Fai!!! These pics. Love you more than you can imagine. Thank you thank you love you x1000000000 (sic).”

Born in Saudi Arabia and having grown up in Dubai, Sama and Haya Khadra, known around the world by their moniker “SimiHaze,” also received a special message from model Bella Hadid.

Part-Palestinian Hadid shared three photos of herself with the twins on her Instagram Stories,  captioning them: "Happy," "Birthday," and “To bunny 1 and 2.”

Part-Palestinian model Bella Hadid also shared a special birthday tribute to her friends. Instagram

Also taking to social media to celebrate the twins was Justine Skye. The singer uploaded a photo of the trio from their space-themed 24th birthday party and captioned it, “Happiest birthday to my twin angels! I love you guys so much, incredible supernatural beings.”

A$AP Nast, member of hip hop collective A$AP Mob, also posted his own heartfelt tribute, posting a snap of the sisters and captioning it: “I wanna wish a major happy birthday to the adventurous, the iconic, the lovely, the beautiful and the stylish, the unmatched, the two most gangsta twins I know. I love you both loads and I’m so happy we met (sic).”

The birthday girls made sure to thank well-wishers for their thoughtful messages, writing on Instagram: “Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes. We feel so lucky to have the most fulfilling friendships and to continuously feel completely surrounded with love and light. Today marks another year of commitment to learning, loving, and having more fun!”

Naturally, the fashion set — including Imaan Hammam, Hailey Bieber, Alexander Wang and Joan Smalls — took to the comment section to wish the twins a happy birthday.