Celine Dion to end run on Las Vegas Strip with nothing to prove

Updated September 29, 2018 - 10:55 pm

Deep into a late-night phone conversation, Celine Dion seems suddenly struck by a revelation.

She has nothing to prove.

“I guess that’s really it; I feel like I don’t have to prove myself. I don’t have to prove anything,” Dion says. “When you don’t have to prove anything, it gives you a lot of space.”

Dion has just ended a lengthy session at the Studio at the Palms, where she’s recording her next studio album, set to be released next year.

But this chat starts with Dion’s decision last week, equal measure inevitable and surprising, to announce the end of her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Dion’s final show is June 8. She opened “A New Day …” in March 2003. The Colosseum, known as “The House that Celine Built,” as Elton John regularly referred to the venue, has become a dominant venue on the Strip.

Dion has effectively built the model for superstars to open similarly scaled theater residencies in Las Vegas, as the Colosseum has been host to superstars such as Sir Elton, Cher, Bette Midler, Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, The Who and Reba, Brooks & Dunn. The venue is a performance destination and an annual industry leader for box-office profits. Dion started all of that.

By the time she steps off the stage in June, she will have grossed more than $700 million in ticket sales in her two resident productions, “A New Day …” from 2003-2007, and “Celine,” which opened in March 2011. By the time she reaches closing night, she will have performed more than 1,100 shows in two residencies.

Moreover, Dion lives in Las Vegas with her family, including 17-year-old Rene-Charles and 7-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. Her dedication to philanthropy during her time in the valley has been extraordinary. Characteristic of her generosity was a $500,000 donation from her first performance after the Oct. 1 shooting.

Dion has given one interview — this one — since announcing Monday morning that she would end her run at the Colosseum. Highlights from that conversation:

She’s not interested in specifying why she made this decision now: “The little that I know, and it’s enough for me to know, is that I know I have a contract roughly until June,” Dion says of her current contract with AEG Live, which does expire in June. “Exactly when, I don’t know. I don’t like endings, so I looked at it more as turning a page in a chapter of my career. For me, I’m just not there yet.”

That’s because she has about 50 shows to perform this year and next: “I’m the kind of person that really lives day to day,” Dion says. “I don’t even really want to think about the ending right now, to be honest with you, because people that are around me in my life are kind of freaking out a little bit, and I’ve got shows to do. I’m a mother, and I have kids to take care of.”

She downplays her effect on the rise in superstar residencies in Las Vegas: “I don’t want to sound pretentious. I didn’t start anything,” she says. “The entertainment business in Las Vegas started way before me. I didn’t start anything. The music industry had people like Frank Sinatra, Elvis and names way bigger than me, and it all started way before me. But we had a plan, we believed in it, and then we stayed here.”

She feels great physically, at age 50, and remains eager to take the stage: “You can’t just get older and think of gravity, because you would be miserable. Can you imagine just thinking about getting older?” Dion says with a laugh. “I am getting older, and I like to call it older because as I am moving forward through my life, but I feel younger and I don’t know why. I still enjoy singing all of my songs, seeing people as if it is the first time I have sung them, and feeling their energy come back to me.”

Rene Angelil, her late manager and husband, is the reason she is not wary of gambling: “My husband was a gambler, and that was all positive for me because, as a gambler, he took a lot of chances because he was a gambler,” she says. “Rene believed in this very strongly, and so did Franco (Dragone, creator of “A New Day …”), and all the people involved who put money into it. I was dreaming. That’s my job, to dream and take care of my kids and try to sing as good as I can.”

This is not an end: “Every night I’m looking into the balcony, and I realize people are still coming and after how many years?” she says. “So, it drives you and that’s why I don’t like to talk about ending. I don’t want to have a bittersweet conversation (laughs)! It’s been 15 years! I have raised my children here! I’m a Las Vegan! Right now, that is me.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Entertainment
Black History Month Festival
Las Vegas residents gathered on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd, to celebrate Black History Month. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing