Celine Dion wants you to know that it's never too late. At 51 years old, the singer is just now finishing up a Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace, putting on a performance four nights a week that involves sparkling gold gowns, a simulated waterfall, multiple gyrations, and a legendary high-kick that causes the audience to let out a single primal scream as adorations like "I love you" echo from the nosebleeds.
Though she's been famous worldwide since she was just a young Canadian singer competing on Eurovision 30 years ago, it's here now where Dion has found herself in the middle of her own renaissance, or, rather, a "Dionaissance." That's credited in part to a few very talented stylists, who have transformed Dion into a variable style icon, and also, in a strange twist of fate, nearly predicted her next move. In February, Dion was spotted out in Paris wearing an oversized hoodie that read in big, bold letters: "I’m Worth It." One month later, Dion has now landed her first-ever beauty deal as a global spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris, the beauty brand known for the same slogan.
Though this partnership feels like a natural fit, as Dion told Refinery29 during a panel discussion with ABC News' Deborah Roberts in Las Vegas, this is something she actually did not see coming. "I never thought that L'Oréal Paris one day was going to ask me, at 50 years old, to become an ambassador," Dion, who turned 51 this past weekend, says. "It’s a miracle. You know, it’s never too late."
It's a miracle largely to Dion because, as she explained, she was once far from the confident, glamorous woman we see today. "When I was so young, not feeling confident, not feeling pretty, having problems with my teeth, being very skinny, being bullied at school… singing was a way for me to express myself," Dion says.
One of the other ways Dion asserted herself was through beauty and self care. "Don't tell me that you don’t believe that feeling good and looking beautiful is not helping you to walk sexy and to focus and to have a vision and to say, 'This is where I want to go because I have something to say and today I will be heard,'" Dion says.
Dion gets emotional when she talks about the power and strength of women, tearing up while talking about what women like her mother and grandmother had to deal with, and the silence that was expected of them. "The world is changing," Dion says. "It’s about time. It’s about time that women, in society today, become stronger."
She even gets choked up thinking about the power of something as simple as having a really good hair day. "The things we put on ourselves, the cream and the hair color and the conditioner and the nails and the makeup, it’s not just about, like, Oh I feel beautiful and sexy," she says. "Feeling beautiful makes you feel strong. And feeling strong makes you succeed."
In her own life, Dion's strength has certainly been tested. In 2016, Dion's husband and longtime manager, René Angélil, died after a long battle with cancer, leaving her a single mother to three sons — René-Charles, 18, and Eddy and Nelson, both eight. Rather than taking a few years off, as many expected her to do, she instead became more public than ever, frequenting haute couture shows and gaining a new following of enthusiastic fashion fanatics.
"I've never felt as beautiful or as strong, and I really think the best is yet to come," says Dion, who plans on releasing a new album, launching a children's clothing line, and then going on tour again, all the while serving as a L'Oréal's spokesperson, which will first have Dion advertising Excellence Hair Color.
As she told us: "Oh, you think I’m done? I’m just starting."