On January 14, Celine Dion lost her husband of 22 years, René Angélil, to cancer. Two days later, her brother Daniel died of the same disease.
So when she performed at the BBMAs last night to celebrate her acceptance of the Billboard Icon award, it made sense that she chose to cover Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. After all, it’s a classic survivor’s anthem which features defiant lyrics like: “Inside my heart is breaking / My make-up may be flaking / But my smile still stays on.” Dion has now racked up nearly a decade’s worth of residency shows in Las Vegas, so the city’s T-Mobile Arena was a fitting venue for her to receive the award, and she gave the crowd the sort of grand, dramatic performance that makes her a huge live draw in the Nevada city.
Her vocals were as powerful and on point as ever, and after an impressive interlude from violin virtuoso Lindsey Stirling, Dion ended the song with a defiant punch in the air. What happened next is even more affecting: clearly moved to be receiving her award from eldest son René-Charles, Dion is too initially overcome to begin her acceptance speech. Even if you’re not a fan of Dion’s signature power ballads, this is very moving stuff.