By Keen Zhang
After her triumphant concert in Shanghai, Celine Dion flew to Beijing the following day at the invitation of her close friend Yang Lan, a famous Chinese TV hostess. The two women were born on the same day.
Exclusive video of Celine Dion's The Power of the Dream performance in a Beijing studio on April 12, 2008. Videos courtesy of Sina.com
Celine's only engagement in Beijing was an appearance on the TV talk show Olympic Songfest, hosted by Yang Lan. Celine's husband, René Angélil, accompanied her to the studio where around hundred of her fans were waiting outside.
Some of her fans had followed the diva from Shanghai to Beijing the same morning on other flights. Her most devoted and die-hard fan, an elderly American lady who has seen over 119 of Celine's concerts was also there.
Celine Dion didn't offer any explanation for the cancellation of her Beijing concert planned for April 13, saying that this was a matter for her management team while she was solely focused on music and performance. But she expressed her willingness to return to China to hold concerts in the future.
Celine Dion and Yang Lan
Since I had an invite to the chat show, I was among the cheering throng thrilled to watch the Canadian singer deliver three of her classics. The first was The Power of the Dream, which she originally sang live with composer David Foster at the piano during the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Games in 1996. The song has never been sung since. It was truly wonderful to hear it sung out loud once again to celebrate the upcoming 2008 Beijing Games.
The second song was Titanic theme My Heart Will Go On. Probably everyone on the planet can sing a line or two from this song. Celine's powerful vocal performance reduced the audience to tears, but not before four Chinese folk musicians had played an instrumental version of the song on ancient Chinese instruments including a pipa (Chinese lute), a dizi (Chinese flute), a guzheng (Chinese ancient zither), and an erhu (Chinese fiddle).
"This is the first time I have heard Titanic played this way, really, it was extremely touching," she commented before the launching into her own version.
Celine Dion shares her love story with husband René Angélil
Celine spoke wisely and clearly about her dreams, her singing career, her marriage, family, her child, the challenges she faced and her love for her husband, René Angélil. Mr. Angélil, who did not appear until the middle of the show, revealed a little secret to the audience: that the couple had their first kiss when Celine won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988.
The show ended with an emotional outburst after Celine talked about her late father. When it came to the final number Alone, she poured all her emotion into it and burst into tears after finishing the song.
The TV show is scheduled to be broadcast on Beijing TV channel 1 on the afternoon of April 20.
Celine Dion voiced her support for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games and called on people to "keep the dream possible for our young kids" during a press conference held later.
Celine Dion and Yang Lan also revealed they planned to collaborate on the launch of a jewelry brand named HVLove Ltd, but said that due to tight schedules, they had postponed the launch ceremony.