She’s used to standing ovations and thunderous applause, but Celine Dion’s first night of 16 planned concerts in her native Quebec was a standout, even for her. “I was kind of hoping people would react – not to sound conceited – would welcome me with support,” Celine told reporters at a press conference after the July 31 show at Montreal’s Bell Centre. “I’m proud when I come that the people here, they do support me. [But] I didn’t expect what happened tonight. It was just over the top."
For her first emotional concert on home soil since losing her husband René Angélil on Jan. 14, the mother of three (René-Charles, 15, and six-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy) had the undivided attention of her fans, many of whom had followed her career from its earliest days in the 1980s. She also had the support of one special audience member, her son René-Charles. “My oldest wanted to be here tonight… It touches me when he decides by himself to be at my show. It’s big for me.”
The teenager, who was also at his mom’s side when he presented her with the Icon Award at the Billboards in May, arrived at his seat at the Bell Centre in Montreal several minutes before showtime – and did not go unnoticed by fans. Many craned their necks for a glimpse of the handsome young man, while others asked him for selfies, to which he happily agreed.
Celine says he's holding his own handling the attention from fans. “Honestly, I think RC is very smart,” she told Hello! Canada. “He knows that if he comes to a show, he’s going to be asked for autographs or pictures. People will recognize him. I didn’t raise him onstage. But René and I were in show business, so he’s a show business kid in a way. And I think if it bothered him or he was shy, he wouldn’t come. So I think he kind of likes it. You don’t know how long he takes to fix his hair. [Smiles] You know, if he fixes his hair and he comes to the show, he knows he’ll see people, so he’s ready for that. I think he’s got business [savvy] in him.”
Pick up this week’s issue of Hello! for more of Celine’s reflections on her Canadian comeback – a break from her ongoing residency in Las Vegas – which is taking her from Montreal to Quebec City to Trois-Rivières. Says Celine: “I’m ecstatic to be home.”