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Celine Dion has Japan memories

Singer Celine Dion offered words of support and condolences Saturday to those in earthquake-ravaged Japan.

“Her heart goes out to all the people over there, and she’s wishing everything returns to normal as soon as possible,” said her husband/manager, Rene Angelil.

Dion, who opens her second Las Vegas headliner residency Tuesday at Caesars Palace, drew sellout crowds on 2008 tour stops in Tokyo and Osaka.

She has performed in Japan numerous times since winning the Yamaha World Festival singing competition in Tokyo in 1982, besting 100 others.

Only 14, and representing France, she won with “Tellement J’ai D’amour Pour Toi,” a song for her mother that means, “I have so much love for you.” It was written by Eddie Marney, who wrote songs for her first five albums. She honored him by naming one of her twins Eddie.

Since that trip to Japan, Dion has embraced the number 5 as her lucky number.

During the semifinals of the competition, she found a Japanese coin, that was worth five yen. When it was announced who would sing in what order, she was told she would be No. 5. She took it as a good omen and, after she won, it has been her lucky number ever since.

Celine, who start singing at 5, opened at Caesars on March 25, 2003, and ended her nearly five-year run on Dec. 15, 2007.

Her first son, Rene-Charles, was born on Jan. 25, 2001, and baptized on July 25 of that year.

Her twins, Nelson and Eddie, were baptized on March 5.

When our conversation returned to the earthquake in Japan, I asked Angelil if he or Celine had experienced one.

Two, he said. One in Quebec in 1988 and the other in Las Vegas at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 16, 1999.

In the latter, “we were in the same suite we are in now (at Caesars). The chandeliers were swinging like crazy.”

They rushed to the lobby.

“I was still in my bathrobe. So was almost everyone else.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” tour, if it happens, will almost certainly include a stop in Las Vegas, I hear. He’s told friends it could happen, but with Charlie, there are a lot of ifs. …

Confirmed: Elaine Wynn is moving out of Wynn Las Vegas, and there are indications — no surprise — her relocation to a luxury tower will happen before the April 30 wedding of ex-husband Steve Wynn and his British girlfriend, Andrea Hissom. Elaine Wynn was spotted in New York on Thursday, at a table next to former President Bill Clinton and his group, according to the New York Post’s gossip column Page Six. …

While taking in the Mountain West Conference men’s basketball tournament this weekend, I had a flashback to one of the best college games I ever covered. I had just transferred from AP’s Cincinnati office to San Diego’s in early 1980. BYU outlasted San Diego State 96-95 in a classic that was notable for where two of the standout point guards ended up. Danny Ainge, after playing in 1,000-plus NBA games, became president of the Boston Celtics in 2008. SDSU’s point guard that night had 11 assists and still holds the Aztecs’ career record for assists. But he pursued baseball after the San Diego Padres drafted him in the 10th round. Which is how Tony Gwynn ended up in Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

SIGHTINGS

At Tao (The Venetian) on Friday: members of the Green Bay Packers, receiving a cake replica of the Super Bowl trophy. They included Brad Jones, Nick Barnett, Diyral Briggs and Morgan Burnett. … Comedian Wanda Sykes, with friends at BLT Burger (The Mirage) on Saturday. … Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Moon nightclub (Palms) on Friday. Ward was in town for an appearance at Derek Hough’s dance lesson with Clark County School District students at the Palms. Ward was with his “Dancing With the Stars” pro, Kym Johnson. … Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden, at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesars) on Friday. … Former NFL star Marshall Faulk, in town for the Mountain West Conference Tournament to support San Diego State, where he was a football sensation.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Jimmer doesn’t need to go fishing. He simply goes to a river and says, ‘You, you and you, in the bucket.’ ” — From the Twitter feed of ouin2golf2, referring to BYU scoring machine Jimmer Fredette

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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