The year 2017 has been good as any for reminding music fans of a certain age that time is slipping by quickly. Several classic albums have marked milestone anniversaries this year — as well as some classic films, such as 1997’s romantic epic Titanic, which of course was anchored by Celine Dion’s theme, a song that’s just as famous as the movie itself.
Dion marked the 20th anniversary of the song in a fittingly large way, scheduling a performance of it at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, where she’d deliver the retro ballad among such other performers as Miley Cyrus, the Chainsmokers, and Bruno Mars.
Among these more contemporary artists, Dion holds one advantage — her innate, infallible, and sometimes over-the-top showmanship. As they say, she had one job … and needless to say, she didn’t disappoint.
Dion appeared majestically, silently encased by a massive crystal chandelier that rose and revealed her Titanic-worthy gown — a white, low-plunging number with massive angel puffed sleeves.
There were no surprises during Dion’s performance — it was safe a bet as any in Vegas to put one’s money on her ability to pull out all the stops on this particular performance, which was enhanced by clips from the film. Although her voice sounded slightly gruff and restrained at times, Dion let go completely during the final chorus, unleashing the entire power of her formidable voice
The audience responded in thrall to her magic, giving her a standing ovation for her (seemingly effortless) efforts.
Dion last graced the BBMAs stage last May with an electrifying performance of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” a mere few months after suffering the loss of both her husband-manager René Angélil and her brother to cancer. She was accompanied by her teenage son, René-Charles, as she also accepted Billboard’s prestigious Icon Award that year.
The Billboard Music Awards were aired live from the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 21, on ABC.