In a Monday night chat with Andy Cohen on his late-night Bravo talk series, Watch What Happens Live, the legendary songstress, 51, admitted she wasn’t initially a fan of “My Heart Will Go On,” — the song that is now famously linked to the film and to her iconic career.
“It is true,” she confirmed to Cohen, 51, and his audience members, after being asked about her original thoughts on the song, adding that she’s “glad they didn’t listen to me” and recorded the song anyway.
The song, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Feb. 28, 1998, propelled the Titanic soundtrack to a 16-week run at No. 1 and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. It went on to win Best Original Song at the 1998 Academy Awards, and the Grammy Award for record of the year.
“It didn’t appeal to me. I was probably very tired that day — very tired,” Dion continued. “My husband [the late René Angélil] said, ‘Let’s hold on.’ He talked to the writer and he said, ‘Let’s try to make it, like, a little demo.'”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
“I sang the song once and they built the orchestra around it. I never re-sang it for the recording. So the demo is the actual recording,” she recalled, joking, “But after that, I’ve sang it about three gazillion times.”
James Horner (who died in 2015 in a plane crash at the age of 61) famously composed “My Heart Will Go On” in secret, after Titanic director James Cameron was initially hesitant about the idea of including a pop tune in his maritime blockbuster.
In what has since become a heralded snippet of cinema lore, Horner — working with lyricist Will Jennings — decided to take the film’s most memorable musical strain and commit words to it. The song ultimately came together in a vivid burst of creativity in the spring of 1997, just as Horner was wrapping up the orchestral tapestry that would eventually become the film’s soundtrack.
Finding a voice for the melody proved to be a no-brainer for Horner. “For me, the only person that could do it was Céline,” he once told Billboard.
RELATED VIDEO: Kate Winslet Reveals Her Most Special Memory From The Set of Titanic
Dion celebrated the song’s 20th anniversary in May 2017, when she took the stage in a stunning white gown and sang the famous ballad at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The performance was particularly poignant, as Dion lost husband Angélil to a years-long battle with throat cancer in January 2016.
It was a return to the Billboard Music Awards for the singer, who has won seven previous trophies at the show — including six in 1998 after “My Heart Will Go On” was released.
“This song means a lot to me, and it has played such a huge role in my career,” she said in a statement prior to the ceremony that year. “I’m so grateful to the late James Horner, and to Will Jennings, for writing it and creating the opportunity for me to be part of Titanic — an amazing film whose legacy will continue for generations to come.”
Dion, who recently released her new album, Courage, previously told Cosmopolitan, “When I was ready to sing the song, I had tears in my eyes, and I could feel my knees shaking because I was getting very emotional. … Singing the theme was a magic moment for me.”