Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ goes on and on and on

It’s the year 2017. You’re in the car, listening to the radio. The opening notes of “My Heart Will Go On” start to play. You:

(a) Scramble to change the station, turn down the volume or throw yourself out of the vehicle, because you would rather be a passenger on a doomed cruise ship than hear that gentle flute again.

(b) Crank up the volume and grab a fake microphone, because it’s your time to shine: “Near … far … whereEVER you are … I believe that the heart does go on …”

Even though some people (ahem) will happily admit to the second choice, it’s understandable that others can’t bear to hear the Céline Dion hit even one more time. The ubiquitous power ballad, better known as the “Titanic” theme song, has become a bit of a pop culture punchline since the record-shattering film’s release 20 years ago. With all the mockery (even Kate Winslet has said that hearing the song makes her feel like throwing up), it’s easy to overlook the iconic track’s unbelievably massive success.

First, the numbers: The single sold 1.7 million copies on its own and propelled Dion’s “Let’s Talk About Love” and the “Titanic: Music From the Motion Picture” soundtrack to each sell tens of millions of albums worldwide. The ballad, written by Will Jennings and James Horner, also won record of the year and song of the year at the 1999 Grammy Awards, in addition to best original song at the Oscars.

Plus, it played on the radio. Constantly.

“It was one of those records that just wouldn’t die,” said John Ivey, president of contemporary hits radio programming strategy for iHeartMedia.

When the song came out in 1997, Ivey was the program director at Kiss 108 in Boston, a Top 40 station. He remembers the phone lines blowing up with moviegoers requesting the song.

“I think it was a combination of the perfect artist in Céline – who sings it so powerfully, and her popularity was at a great peak anyway – and then the movie being on fire,” he said. “I don’t know we’ve seen much like it since.”

According to Billboard magazine’s oral history of “My Heart Will Go On,” the studio hoped to incorporate a hit song into the film for marketing purposes. Except “Titanic” director James Cameron was reluctant to have a ballad roll over the end credits. Dion also wasn’t thrilled about recording yet another movie song – especially when she already had so many, from “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991 to “Because You Loved Me” in 1996, which was on the “Up Close and Personal” soundtrack.

But after it was released, everyone was taken aback at the impact. “Titanic” co-star Billy Zane told Billboard about the weepy scene when the song played at the movie’s premiere.

“The most stoic and stalwart pillars of the industry … they were beside themselves,” Zane said. “When she hits the high note in ‘Near, far, wherever you are’ – bam! The floodgates open.”

News publications at the time marveled at the song’s sales, even as they also poked fun at the cheesiness factor. The Washington Post called it a tune that “starts off with Enya-like tenderness and Celtic melancholy before colliding with the iceberg of overproduction.”

Over the years, as with anything extremely popular, there was plenty of “My Heart Will Go On” backlash, particularly as it became overplayed. The Atlantic noted that it has been voted the most irritating song in history by the BBC, and Maxim wrote, “The second most tragic event ever to result from that fabled ocean liner continues to torment humanity years later.”

Still, that didn’t stop Dion from bringing down the house with her recent 20th anniversary performance of the song at the Billboard Music Awards in May. And it continues to be the rare hit that will be forever associated with a film that matches it in popularity.

“The interesting thing is that it’s so inextricably tied to the movie,” said Smokey Rivers, an operations manager at Scripps Radio who worked at pop stations in St. Louis when the ballad was released. “You could not use ‘My Heart Will Go On’ about something else … the song is clearly about ‘Titanic.’ They can’t be separated.”

—-

To mark its 20th anniversary, “Titanic” is returning to select theaters for one week starting Friday.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like