Singer and Las Vegas icon Celine Dion shocked many fans and those in the music industry back in 2018 when she announced her next run of performances on the Strip would be her last. In all, she performed more than 1,000 shows in front of more than 4 million people over a stretch of more than 15 years. She took her final bow on June 8, 2019. So, what has she been up to in the six months or so since?
Well, the quick and dirty answer is that she's used her freedom to play everywhere else in the world with her newly opened schedule. The singer mostly took the summer off from performing live, then officially embarked on the aptly named "Courage Tour", taking the stage for the first time on September 18 in Quebec City in her native Canada. Thanks to strong demand for tickets, more dates have been added to the yearlong tour, and Dion is now scheduled to perform 121 total shows, ending the trek on September 18 in London. Not surprisingly, the gigs have been earning rave reviews from fans, critics and anecdotally, my own mother who caught the show in Chicago.
The hit tour, while meant to expose her to audiences she may not have seen in a while, is also pulling double duty as the primary support for an album she's released since her Las Vegas residency ended. The LP, also called Courage, was released on November 15. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, marking the first time in 17 years that she had a number one album.
In addition to her role as a popular celebrity with millions of fans, Celine Dion is also a mother to three children and the widow to a husband who tragically passed away after a battle with cancer back in 2016. Photos and videos of her being a hockey mom have gone viral over the years, and while she perhaps talks about motherhood a bit less than some other starlets, it's fair to say raising her kids is still a huge part of her life as well. No doubt touring makes parenting more of a challenge, but she was able to build in almost a month-long break for Christmas and New Year and will take almost another month-long break before she does the European leg in late May.
When Dion first announced she was moving on from her Las Vegas show, there was definitely a feeling of finality about the decision. Her kids were even on hand to take a bow with her, but you never know what might happen in the future. Her Courage tour seems to be stopping in every major city in Europe, the United States and Canada that's not Las Vegas. It makes sense given how many times both tourists and locals have gotten to see her perform on the Strip, but it still feels like she needs to have a splashy homecoming at some point. I can't even imagine how much those tickets would go for, and it would certainly generate plenty of press (not that she needs it).
After the final costume change, Celine Dion will go down as one of the most important performers in the history of Las Vegas. Her residency and fruitful partnership with Caesar's changed the recording industry's perception of such deals and led to many huge performers camping out in Las Vegas, including Elton John, Britney Spears and more. She's earned the right to do whatever she'd like with her coming years, and right now, it means using that freedom for tours hitting new destinations, her first English language album in six years and, I'm sure, plenty of wonderful moments with her kids.