Celine Dion Returns To Canada To Kick Off World Tour

 

After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.

At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album entitled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.

The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already received airplay, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”

Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.

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“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”

So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.

“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.

“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again… so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”

Carrying on with ‘Courage’

Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020. Dates elsewhere in the world are still being firmed up.

During her Las Vegas residency, the diva went on a few short regional tours, mostly in Europe and Asia, but her last worldwide tour was in 2008-2009.

“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.

The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.

In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”

The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.

Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.

“Even though it’s raining today here, it’s wonderful to see some rain because I live in (dry) Vegas so rain is beautiful,” she commented. “And the trees are just about to change colour. We’ve had two corn-on-the-cob parties with the family.”

At a press junket last Friday, Dion was described as jocular, flamboyant, effervescent, and as always, speaking her mind.

She told Radio-Canada she hoped for “a good show and a great album that will please everyone.”

“There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine. I would like that, age well. I would like that,” she said.

“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”

R Kelly Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

In this file photo taken on June 6, 2019 Singer R. Kelly arrives for a court hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

 

R. Kelly has been arrested on child pornography and other charges, the New York Times reported, in the latest criminal investigation into the R&B superstar dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 52-year-old, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, was taken into custody by federal agents in Chicago late Thursday, the newspaper said.

Federal prosecutors have issued a 13-count indictment against the singer, which also includes enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice charges, assistant US attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick told the Times.

Kelly has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls, and was acquitted in a child porn trial over a decade ago.

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In 1994 he wed his protege Aaliyah, the late R&B star who was 15 at the time.

Kelly, then 27, had produced the teenage singer’s debut album titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Their marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.

Despite unsettling claims against him, the decorated musician — known for hits including “I Believe I Can Fly” — has continued to perform and maintain a solid fan base.

But his fortunes began to shift after the January release of a six-part documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly.”

The documentary, which alleged that Kelly engaged in sexual, mental and physical abuse of girls and women, prompted Chicago prosecutors to publicly seek out potential victims.

Prior to Thursday’s arrest, Kelly was on bail for a slate of charges in Chicago, including five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

He spent three nights behind bars and was released after coming up with $100,000, 10 percent of the $1 million bail set in court.

The sex acts are alleged to have occurred between May 1998 and January 2010, according to prosecutors.

If convicted of the most serious charges in that case, Kelly would face mandatory sentences of six to 30 years in prison on each count.

In a March interview, Kelly vehemently denied the charges and said he was “fighting” for his life.

“I didn’t do this stuff,” he told CBS News.

“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true,” added Kelly, who became upset and emotional during the interview.

He denied a report by BuzzFeed in 2017 that said he had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

Kelly was also briefly detained in March for failing to pay $161,000 in child support payments he owed to his ex-wife and their three children.

AFP

Oprah Winfrey Leads Celebrities At Britain’s Royal Wedding

US presenter Oprah Winfrey arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. Ian West / POOL / AFP

 

Oprah Winfrey and Idris Elba were among the celebrities in the pews at St. George’s Chapel for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday.

Winfrey, the US talk show queen, was seen strolling through the grounds of Windsor Castle ahead of the service, as was Elba, the British actor who is a star on both sides of the Atlantic for his roles in “The Wire” and “Luther”.

Celebrities from Britain and North America took their places among the 600 guests in the chapel, including US former actress Markle’s co-stars in the TV legal drama series “Suits”.

Harry’s ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were seen going in.

Harry struggled to find lasting love, with the pair finding the scrutiny and weight of expectation all too much.

The three siblings of Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, have been invited.

Earl Charles Spencer, who spoke memorably at Diana’s funeral on behalf of his family, was seen entering the church.

His sister Jane Fellowes was to read from the Song of Solomon during the service.

Singer James Blunt, famous for his hit “You’re Beautiful” and like Harry, an army veteran took his place in the Gothic chapel.

Blunt has performed at the Invictus Games, an international competition for military veterans set up by Harry.

Nicholas Soames, a grandson of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill and a close friend of Harry’s father Prince Charles, was also among the guests.

Following the service, Queen Elizabeth II was to host a lunch in the castle’s St. George’s Hall for the 600 guests.

Charles, the heir to the throne, will be hosting 200 family and close friends from among the guests at an evening reception at Frogmore House.

Politicians have been left off the guest list, meaning there was no invite for US President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Theresa May.

AFP