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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Celine Dion
Aired October 21, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Celine Dion on her husband's battle with cancer, the death of her beloved father and the magical miracle that's changed her life forever.
Celine Dion, the biggest selling female singer ever talks next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We're in Las Vegas, Nevada. We don't travel much be we do for this guest. Celine Dion, a music superstar and old friend. She's been preforming here since March of last year. Wow, as time flies. She has her own room, she has her own show called "A New Day." It's an incredible hit. And she's had out for the past few days a terrific new book and DVD combination called "Miracle."
The photographs in this incredible work are by Ann Geddes. We'll be talking about that in a while. And we're sitting on the stage where "A New day" is performed. Was this stage built for you?
CELINE DION, ACTOR: Specifically for the show. The room, the stage, yes, was built for the "New Day" show.
KING: Now, it is an unusual stage in that it slopes down, you want to explain that?
DION: Yes, there's a 5.8 degree slope on the stage. That was Franco Dragone's idea, with his team, obviously.
KING: He directed it?
DION: Yes, He directed the whole thing. It is not an easy stage to perform on. It's very difficult, especially for the dancers to stand on a slope like this five days a week is hard. And the reason why he did that is that every seat in the house is the perfect seat. You don't have -- you never have to go, because we're like 50 people on stage. So, you never have to go and see there's a 30 if person. Because everything is like this and you see everyone.
KING: Now, the set been behind you, that changes, right?
DION: It changes constantly. This is the biggest screen in the world. And through the whole show...
KING: It's a screen?
DION: It is a screen, yes
KING: So, it's not a set? DION: It's not a set. This is a screen, and through the whole show, every song is transformed to another level. Let's say we bring every song to a dramatic experience. When people come in here, let's say their favorite song, they don't only hear it, but see the story of the song among dancers who act the story. So, you don't know where you put your eyes.
KING: How did this whole -- the original deal started in March of 2003, so you've been here a half already?
KING: You're not performing now. You come back the night after the election, November 3. You've just extended for another year, right?
KING: You live here in Vegas.
DION: We do.
KING: How did the whole package come together?
DION: Well, it was the year 2000. And we were just about to take two years off. And we wanted to make something special, like everybody else for the year 2000, lets do something special to make a long story short. We decided to bring both of other families, Rene and I, to Las Vegas to celebrate. And I...
KING: To celebrate your taking time off?
DION: To celebrate the two years off and the -- our new life in a way. Two years off was like something, we wanted to work on a baby, we wanted to take time off, wanted to spend time with our families. We came here and to make a long story short, Larry, we went to see the show from Cirque du Soleil. And I remember seeing to Rene, can I have visuals like this on stage while I sing songs?
He really didn't think I was serious. And we talked again. He said you would really be stable in one place for, let's say a year? I said yes, I think I would. And we talked about it. And I went to see the cast after the show "O," and Franco said I was touched by the fact you came to see those people after show. I said they changed my life. They changed the vision what was I had of show business.
KING: So, did you come to Caesar's Palace with the idea of them building a theater for you?
DION: Well, that's Rene's part. That's his...
KING: Why did he take this hotel?
DION: Well, he went -- he'd been coming to Las Vegas for 30 years or so as someone who loves to play black jack and poker. Yes, he's a gambler and everybody knows that, this is part of it. And I'm glad he's a gambler. That's a big gamble to sign a contract for three years at Caesar's Palace. Everybody thought we were crazy. I'm proud of him. And let me tell you something, most of the people I'd say, they thought it was going to be like "The Titanic." I don't know if you remember, but the vibe in show business with "The Titanic," was it's going to be a flop because it's too much money, it's too big, it's not going to work. The same thing with this. It's like, they can't perform three years, five nights a week, it's impossible. We take a show at a time.
We've been here, and let me tell you, not only as an artist, to have the privilege of performing in a theater on that stage, to have the stability of having a home. I know where the milk is. I sleep on the same pillow. Sleep on the same bed every night. It might sound ridiculous for people to say oh, you know. For us to be -- having the stability of the same home every night, on top of having the biggest gig in show business, best of both worlds.
KING: Some risk for Caesar's Palace, though.
DION: Not only for Ceasar, for all of us us.
KING: They had invested building -- they built this theater. I mean, they -- this has to last a while, right?
DION: I mean, a lot of people take chances in life and God. Rene has taken the biggest chance when he mortgaged his house to make me do my first album, that's a gamble. That's a big chance. Some people, like people at Caesar's Palace wanted to take the chance of having us and welcoming us and build a place specifically for show.
KING: Was it a hit from the start?
DION: I think it was. I think it was, because from mouth to ear, ear to mouth, I don't know the expression in English, but I'm knocking on wood. So far, people are dancing, singing. They're coming out and Rene is talking to me and they seem to be very happy. What I want is when people come, I want them to say we're not disappointed that we came. The hardest thing for me is to -- because it happened a couple of times already, I have to admit, we had to cancel a few shows for neck problems and sinus infection here and there. It's hard. It's hard, because as an artist, for my fans, for the people who travel, they're not in their hometown, necessarily. They come all over the world, they come here at Caesar's Palace in Vegas to see the show. When the show is canceled or postponed, it's a heartbreaking for me. It's very...
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Disappointing to a lot of people.
DION: Yes, and myself too.
KING: But it's selling out, right?
Every night, you sell out?
DION: Yes. Knock on wood. KING: They come. And they'll keep on coming. We're with Celine Dion. Got a lot to talk about. Her family, her ups, her downs and extraordinary new book and DVD combination and record. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: We're back in Las Vegas on stage, on Celine's stage, where a New Day is performed 5 nights a week, although she's taking a little hiatus. Be back in November. The publication of "Miracle" an incredible book. We'll talk about that in a while. You're going to see scenes from it. Photographs by Anne Geddes, maybe the best baby photographer in the world.
KING: A DVD to go with it, new songs. She is living life here in Las Vegas, performing 5 nights a week. She has sold, by the way, more than 175 million albums worldwide. He has 5 Grammys. Just a little poor kid growing up in Montreal, who'd a thunk it, huh?
DION: Poor her.
KING: Poor her. Who'd a thunk it?
Do you pinch yourself?
DION: To be honest, I don't even think that I'm pinching myself. Let's put it that way. I don't live with it. I am conscious of what's going on around me. I am not blind. I have eyes around my head, around my heart, especially I think. I see and I feel what's going on for the last 20 years in show business.
KING: You look at Rene a lot don't you?
DION: Yes, because we're one, him and I. We're one. When I'm on stage, he's with me. And we're always together.
KING: Now you live and you helicopter here every day? How does that work?
DION: Oh no. That was...
KING: I thought you helicoptered.
DION: Before we started here, the press, I don't know who started this thing, that Celine is going to take a helicopter from Lake Las Vegas where they live and she's going to take off every day and she going to land on the roof of the Caesar's Palace hotel to do the show. It's never been an issue for me to take -- we live 30 minutes away from here. We have a chauffeur.
It's a great trip to have my husband -- finally, he stopped driving, thank God. He's in the back seat with me. We're driving. He's not driving me crazy anymore. He cannot be behind on wheel. So, both of us in the back, we talk about the day. He likes to be with me.
KING: Who started the helicopter thing?
DION: The press. The people in the industry. I think maybe there was some -- you know the press much more than me, Larry.
KING: But they've generally been good to you.
DION: They need to try to find things to get it even more -- it's spicy enough, they need to add more curry sometimes to the stuff. It's not hot enough, you know.
It's nothing. It was just a little something in a newspaper. Some stuff are even much harder than that. They need to spice it up all the time much more. Sells more.
KING: You have what is unusual in your business. Working here, signed here for a long time. You have security.
KING: In an insecure world. You're in a business that -- where -- but you have a lock. Does that appeal to you, the fact you can be based, you can be grounded?
DION: Grounded is the most important thing in my life. Since I'm a child, this is my priority in life. Are you talking, when you say security, are you talking about?
KING: You have financial security, but you also have security of knowing you're here, like you said. How many performers get to sleep on that same pillow every night.
DION: I have to say when I meet new -- I'm glad my career happened 20 years ago. When Rene went to knock on people's door. When he knocked and he said, I'm going to mortgage my house to make her do an album. David Foster, would you produce Celine. And song writers, would you write a song. We had record deal, we had people, we had a team, we had people believing and working.
Today, when I see new artists, the record company, not only record companies, but the whole industry of music went so much down. It is getting harder and harder for new artists who are very, very talented to get a record deal. What do they have to do? I feel for them.
KING: You have double security, though. You have records, you have sales and you have a place. You have your own place.
DION: And I think I'm going to realize that when I'm done here. And I'm going look back and see how fortunate we've been through our whole lives. Not only being here.
KING: Do you ever miss touring?
DION: Sometimes I miss the rock 'n' roll side of it, like living on the edge, not really knowing what's going on, it's raining, are we going to do the show?
KING: What city are we in?
DION: Yes, oh, yes.
But since we have the baby, this is the love of our lives. I don't want to stress about where are we? We are home.
KING: Let's talk about the baby. Was that hard, to pull it off? You tried for a long time, right?
DION: We tried for six years to have a baby. And I've said it, but I cannot put it in other words than that. It feels for me that I was born three and a half years ago when I gave life to our son.
All this was worth it of that. And what I'm still doing is still worth it because of the baby.
KING: Did you find out why it took so long?
DION: Well, the main thing was the stress, wanting it too much. You can't relax.
KING: That affects you?
DION: That can affect every woman. When you want it so -- just to give you an example, very, very often in show business, when ,for so many years, people try to have children. They can't. They go adopt a child, and three months after they adopt a child, it works.
KING: So now, speaking of the baby, that leads us to "Miracle." How did this whole, incredible project come about?
DION: About five years ago, I was in New York, and Anne Geddes called Rene and she said hello, Rene, I'm Anne Geddes. Of course, I know you. We're big fans. She said, I know a little girl who is very sick. She loves Celine Dion. Is there any way that she can talk to her? And I'm making a long story shorter. And he said sure, we do that quite often. It would be a pleasure to do so.
I called this little girl. She talked to me, I called talked to her. Anne called me back. She said I'm very thankful for you doing that for me, for this little girl. Thank you so much. She said, I hope we can meet one day. She said, if you ever have a child, I would be very glad to photograph her.
KING: Hold it right there. We just called a grabber.
My guest is Celine Dion. We're in Las Vegas at her place. More on "Miracle" right after this. Don't go away.
KING: OK. So Anne Geddes said you ever have a baby, call me. And I'll be glad to photograph you. DION: We finally got together and we've met a couple of times. And when the baby was three weeks old, when Rene Charles, our baby, was three weeks old, she did photographed him the day he was supposed to be born, on February 14, exactly, I remember.
KING: Valentine's day.
DION: Yes. We went to the studio. We were in West Palm Beach and a little studio not too far away from home. We took our baby with us. She photographed the baby. I was scared, I was nervous because this newborn -- but the way her whole team managed the studio was about like 90 degrees. It was so comfortable for naked babies. She said to me, if ever you get wet, don't move, no worries. She said the team is used to it. Don't get uncomfortable. This is our lives. We're used to it. was an incredible experience. The classic music not too loud. The perfect ambiance and temperature for the baby. The ideas of being -- it was an incredible experience the way she was doing this. Not only capturing the magic. She didn't try to create but she captured it. That was pretty much what she was doing.
And then we talked on the phone after that experience. She came back home. We had dinner together. She saw the baby again. And we said, we have to do something together. And we have to think of something. And it turned out to be what she does best. Capturing magic with babies. And what I'm trying to do best, is sing. Putting those two things together.
KING: So later, you came up with -- who came up with the idea of a book?
DION: We all together came up with the idea of putting both of us together, bring the best of what we can do.
KING: In the book, it's all baby?
DION: It's all newborns. They're like one week, two weeks, three weeks old. Between one and two weeks old.
KING: Not just yours?
DION: No, mine -- Rene Charles is not -- he is in that book one time. One picture in that book. The rest is other babies.
KING: What makes her special?
DION: Like I said I don't think she's trying to create magic. She's not trying to create. If she puts flowers around the babies or little bonnet on their head, it's trying to make her laugh or just having something tearing even more. But she's not trying to create the miracle. The miracle exists. It's already there. She captures the magic.
KING: So how did we come up with the idea of a CD, a DVD, another extra -- this is quite a package.
DION: It is quite a package. KING: Was this Rene again or this was you?
DION: You can blame Rene. He doesn't mind. The way to have three different things, Larry, it's not everybody can afford a beautiful -- I mean, it's a big book. There's 180 pages in this book, 100 pictures in that book. There's a CD and a DVD. That's the first -- the whole package. The second is like a special booklet with a DVD and a CD with songs. There's 13 love songs.
KING: New songs?
DION: New songs. There's old standards as well. And only the CD. There's three versions. The whole package deal, the special CD with the DVD and some pictures, 60 pages and only the songs.
KING: How did you pick the songs?
DION: All together as a team always. Ann, her team, Rene, the producers, us, all of us together. This whole thing was like I was with her in what she was going to do. And they were with us when I was recording this song. She was actually in the recording studio with me.
DION: We recorded in Las Vegas, yes. I recorded those songs if I'm not mistaken, around March and around June we did photographs. The most amazing thing I have to share with you. I find this amazing is that when she came about, I'd say maybe in March when she came while I was recording, she -- I don't know how exactly, but there was announcement in newspapers or on the radio saying to mothers who are pregnant, five, six, seven months old if they want to be photographed in the book, I'm doing this special. She's met the mothers six months old, seven months old pregnant before photographing the babies. She met the mothers before the babies were born.
KING: Wow. And you watched her work? You watched her take pictures.
DION: I was with the babies. A lot of those pictures, I was in the recording -- there was about a whole week of shoots. Every day, there was about 20 mothers with their husbands and their newborns. There was like a nursery there. It smelled newborns. Perfect temperature, comfort zone for everyone. I came in the picture and I met all of them. They fed the baby, I take specific position that Anne wants. They put the baby on me. The mothers are crying. They can't believe their baby's going to be photographed. It's such a souvenir, an incredible thing. There was about 20 mothers and newborns every day for a week. I met about 100 children.
KING: All the song are love songs?
DION: All the songs are love songs.
KING: Any lullabies.
DION: Lullabies. We didn't know to call it love songs or lullabies. To me, it's very similar. We call them love songs.
KING: The theme that runs through them all is miracle, celebration of a new life.
DION: Because I can't find any other words and it is a miracle.
KING: I watched the birth of my two little boys.
DION: Isn't that amazing?
KING: What's it like? I've watched it. What's it like to be there, to be it? What's it like to have a human come out of you?
DION: Did you ever think about what it is to give birth?
KING: That's what I'm asking. What's it like? If men could give birth there would be no one in the world. Population would be zip.
DION: It is probably the most dramatic moment of your life when you think about it. It is very dramatic. And it's the most extraordinary. My mother and father, they've done it 14 times. It's the most painful thing and the most dramatic thing. To have done it 14 times, because it's miraculously incredible.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Celine Dion. "Miracle" is out now available everyone as a CD, a DVD and a book. You can get all three, you can buy one of each. It all relates to a wonderful girl, Celine Dion who has a great family. We'll talk more about that. I told you that that set behind Celine is not a set. It's a movie screen. When we come back, it's going to look different. We'll be right back.
KING: As we come back to LARRY KING LIVE, it's Celine's room at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The scene has changed behind her on this magic set screen. It's now LARRY KING LIVE. It's the whole world with all our little box colors that you see on our set every night when we're in our normal spot in Los Angeles or Washington or New York. They can do magic things now, huh?
DION: Pretty much. That's why it's extraordinary to be stable in one place, to be able to give to the fans something more than music and lights. But magic, experience, it's like traveling. Bringing every song to another level, like I said to you before. That's why we cannot technically travel with a show like this. Otherwise, we'd go everywhere. That's why people come here, because it would be impossible to have that.
KING: Rehearsing it must have been a riot.
DION: Rehearsing it was quite, like, three months here. But rehearsing in Belgium before for many months as well.
KING: Let's discuss some things current. How is Rene? DION: My dear husband.
KING: He doesn't have the cancer?
DION: No. I'm always afraid to say that. But technically, this is cancer-free.
KING: Were there some hairy moments?
DION: There's been very scary moments since the first day it happened. And still. I think it stays with you. I don't want to talk for him, but my feeling, my point of view once it's touched you, it's for the rest of your life. It's like it feels this way.
KING: The cancer was where?
DION: It was here. It was in his throat.
KING: Were you with him when they told him he had cancer?
DION: We were in Dallas. I was touring. The doctor came to the hotel, because out of nowhere, it popped on the plane. And then the doctor from the hotel came and said, I don't like this. He should go see a specialist. But we were together.
KING: All right. What did you do? Was it chemotherapy? What worked?
DION: He had the surgery. He had the chemotherapy and the radiation.
KING: Living with a cancer patient, you have to be up all the time?
DION: You know, I think he knows it now, because I've talked about it before, but through this, Rene had found a way to give me the biggest gift that he could have given me. What I say by that, through his period of knowing, living with cancer, Rene is the manager. Rene is the bus. Rene decides everything. He's the leader. I'm trying to do things the best I can.
KING: He's the controller?
DION: When he said to me -- because I knew he loved me. The day he said to me that he needed me, he gave me the tools that I needed. I kind of became in charge of my own self. He gave me strength and I took -- to take care of him, to take care of us. Not only being the loved one, but being part of the team as well. He gave me so much strength and he said, you know I love you. But he said, I need you. When somebody loves you, it's all right. It's beautiful. But when somebody needs you because you make a difference in their lives, suddenly, love becomes another -- growth. I never thought we could love each other more, because we loved ourselves and each other and the family and our friends at the max. I never thought that we could love each other more.
KING: Did you have conscious thoughts of losing him?
DION: Every day, I'm afraid to lose the people I love. Cancer or not.
KING: You lost your father since last we spoke. He lived to 80, though.
DION: 80 years old and I have to say, it's very difficult, when you lose a parent, when you lose a close, close, close one.
KING: No matter how old they are?
DION: No matter how old they are. Even though if you expect it, you can never be prepared for it. But I have to say, and I will always remember this for the rest of my life, I couldn't sleep that night and I had a show the next day. I was going to see my dad in two weeks. I knew he had cancer and I knew he was sick. And at 5:15, I said to my husband -- he said, you're not sleeping. I said I can't sleep. I said if my father pass away, are we going to fly to Montreal right away? He says of course, honey. Don't think about this. He said, I'm going to let you rest, I'm going to go in my room, get the business started, all that. He goes in his room, he comes back ten minutes after and says your father passed away. He said good-bye to me. I know he said good-bye to me. So that night, I came on stage.
DION: Yes. Beginning to end, I was singing like there was a boy very far, very far, I couldn't sing. But I did it for my dad. The people at the audience, at the beginning, they didn't know anything. They must have said she's crazy, she's losing it, she's got the Vegas throat, what's going on. After the second or third song, I said, I lost my dad this morning. They felt very uncomfortable. I'm sorry to all of them that I put them through this, but I did it for my dad. I needed to do it. I did it for him. I flew the next day. We took a break and I flew and I went to see my dad. And I have to say my dad was 80 years old. He hated -- scared of hospital. He died at home in my mother's arms. Barely no pain. In his sleep. In his beautiful Lazy Boy. We cannot ask for better. It was great. We're very thankful for that.
KING: What's Vegas throat?
DION: You know, Vegas throat, here it's very difficult, because we're trying to, first of all, for a singer, you need the humidity. These are muscles. You need the flexibility, the moisture. It's like facial cream. You live in the desert. It's not possible to live in the desert.
KING: My wife sang here last week. She said you have to have vaporizers, air conditioning, don't put it on.
DION: So what we did, when we came here, I said, Rene, I don't want flowers. I don't want caviar. I don't want champagne. But if they really want to know what I want, I want humidity. They thought we were crazy because we're trying to humidify the desert. But the stage, the dressing room and our home is humidified to about 55 percent to 62 percent humidity.
KING: We'll be right back with the incredible Celine Dion. "Miracle" as a book, a CD, a DVD available everywhere.
KING: Last year, we were in Vegas, and our families got together, Celine's and ours and our two little boys and her little boy. It was a great evening watching...
DION: It was wonderful.
KING: Chicken fingers, that's all they ate.
DION: Can you believe it, chicken fingers and fries, party time, ice cream.
KING: Rene Charles will be 4 in January. How's he doing and what's mother motherhood like?
DION: I don't think there's a bigger reward in life. There's nothing compared to being a mother at home, to help your babies, to help your son, to take the right words and experience and ask questions. It's already starting for me to not knowing what to say already and he's 3 1/2 years old. I'm in trouble. But he's doing fantastically well. He's a normal little kid, who has...
KING: Can you be a normal little kid?
DION: It's not a normal life, but we can be normal people. I find myself very grounded and normal person. I find my husband, friends and family very normal as well. And that's what I'm looking for. I don't need lots of friends. I need a good friend and I have a good one in Florida. She's so down to earth. She's got a family of her own that she's taking so well care of. I mean, she's more than normal.
KING: Her name is?
DION: Robin. My dear Robin. Hi. But our son is normal. He lives an extravagant life, which he's aware of, I think. But I'm scared to say that. He's going to be either, I think a golfer or racing cars. And I hope he chooses the golf. Everything about cars, he loves.
KING: That can change, you know.
DION: I hope it's going to change.
KING: What about the tendency to spoil?
DION: We are spoiling him a alot. I cannot tell you the opposite. And say no, no, we're raising him perfectly. We don't spoil him enough -- a lot, because it's very important. It's not true.
KING: Hard to say no. DION: It's not true. It's probably the hardest thing to be able to say, no. And I don't think it's what you give them that matters, it's how you raise them. Maybe I'm totally wrong. I'm just a 36- year-old mother.
KING: How do you say no? I can't say no. They've got me.
DION: He got me before I gave birth to him, he got me. We -- Rene's not helping either. He's the first one to say, we have to be careful, and turn around and give it all. Give everything. We spoil him, yes.
KING: That can be dangerous. Intellectually you know that can be dangerous.
DION: Can I say to you that you can have everything in the world. You can be very, very, very spoiled and be an extraordinary person. It's how you raise them. Even if he has everything. If the room is filled with toys, what about the sharing? Everybody who has nothing, it's mine, it's mine. They have nothing, they crave it, they want it. It's theirs. They don't want to give it away because they've never had anything. You have to understand. But if you have everything all the time, it's how you tell them you're very lucky boy.
KING: How does he like watching you work?
DION: He's never seen the show yet.
DION: When I started -- yes, it's true. When we started the rehearsals here, almost year and half ago, almost two years ago, he came backstage. And when he saw the dancers pick me up, he thought -- I don't know why, it's probably a normal feeling, I don't know. But for our son, everything that had do with show business, up to a year and a half year old of his age, the music, the cameras, the flashes, the people, the applause, the happy birthdays. Everything that was taking his mother away from him for a little while, he hated it. He went into his own therapy for a while, pressing on little teddy bears which, you know doing music.
Do do do, do do do, and it was crying and I said what's wrong honey. Nothing. Why are you crying? Don't cry. We'll put this thing away. No, no, no, it's OK. When babies are crying, they're letting out something. Comfort them. You know, mommy cries sometimes. Do you cry because it's sad? Do you cry because you're hurt? Do you cry because it's beautiful, honey? You know, mommy cries too.
I'm with you and I love you. Can I hug you? We'll cry together. That's fine. That's fine. Then not forcing him to come, he knew that it was music. The music came in his life. We brought him instruments and the music. And then he loved it. Now he's a rock 'n' roll guy. He plays instruments, it's heavy metal, rap, the whole thing. I'm like I'm discouraged, almost I'm like. He's playing the game cube thing, and I'm like the music, then I'm like it's too much for me. Back to music, he's fine. He comes back stage once in a while, with a flashlight. My brother, Michelle, who's the stage manager give him his flashlight, and he comes and he waits for me until I say good-bye everybody, thanks so much. Then he goes -- he takes my hand and he gives me a lift in the elevator with the flashlight.
And he says to me, "let's go home, mom." I say, "OK, honey, let's go home." Now he comes. I think next year, he'll be in the audience. You know how I see? I can see the last show in Las Vegas here. I can see my son and my husband coming on stage for the last song of the show when I say good night to come and get me and say "let's go home, mom."
KING: As we go to the break, I want you to do a few lines from one of my favorite songs you've included this album "What a Wonderful World."
I know it's acapella, but your pretty good.
DION: For you, I'll do it.
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KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Celine Dion. Don't forget the album, the book, the CD, the DVD is "Miracle: A Celebration of New Life." The photography is Anne Geddes. The voice is Celine Dion.
Let's touch a couple of bases before we go. Siegfried & Roy. Have you seen Roy?
DION: Yes, we've seen -- we've met -- first of all, I have to say, that through the years coming here we've seen the show many times. They came to see our show at the beginning of this new experience. But I haven't seen Roy since he had the accident. We've called, we've talked many times to their manager. But I haven't seen him since he got sick.
KING: That was a sad day in Vegas.
DION: That was a very scary. And it felt like the whole, the whole Vegas was like, how do you say, grieving, you know, like -- I don't know the expression, but like to see his face, to see their faces on this big billboard. We were going to work every day, everybody, the feeling overall feeling was bad -- that was like the flag. It's like, you know, it's not the American flag, it's the Siegfried & Roy flag of Vegas. And it was -- people are very hurt from that.
KING: You left the business once, right? You took some time off.
DION: Took two years off from the business.
KING: Thinking of doing that again?
DION: Yes. Yes, I think it's very nice to kind of clean your own system and especially your heart and your head.
KING: But you love to sing.
DION: I love to sing, no doubt.
KING: Didn't you miss singing?
DION: Then, not at all. I sang every day. I got pregnant. I was lifted by life. I was singing to our son. He was moving. Life was inside of my body.
KING: Do you regard your voice as a gift? Do you believe? Are you a believer?
DION: I'm a believer. I think it was -- I think the whole family, my whole family was blessed and gifted. I think I got to be the luckiest one. Probably, yes. But it's definitely a gift.
KING: When did you know you had an unusual voice?
DION: I don't know if I knew that I had an unusual -- I don't think I know that I have an unusual voice. I know I have a gift to sing. But I think my biggest -- it's always not nice to talk about this, because you're always afraid to sound pretentious to say things like that.
I don't think I have a different voice. I just think that it's a way through my voice, I have this way of trying to capture people's heart and communicate with them. I use music to communicate with them.
But it's just a way for me to get in contact with them, because I love people very much. Coming from this large family, I love the contact with people. I touch all the time, I trust everyone. I don't see the bad in everyone.
Everybody's saying around me, be careful. I'm like don't worry, it's fine, it's fine. Sometimes you can be hurt. That's why there are people also around me protecting me from that.
When I perform out there, I don't care if I miss a note, if I miss my lines. If I don't sing totally perfectly right. What is perfect? Nothing's perfect. My voice some nights is far from being perfect. But my heart, my whole heart is always there all the time.
KING: So what you're saying is voice aside, you're communicating?
DION: I'm communicating through music. And I love doing it tremendously.
KING: As the violinist does it with the violin, as the painter does it with a brush?
DION: Absolutely. That's the way I feel.
KING: You use the instrument that your God gave you?
DION: Yes. I'm trying to use it the best I can. The biggest gift I have, and the kick when I sing in the studio, I miss the audience. They're not there. So, I'm trying to get this microphone. That's why I don't rehearse my song, and don't get ready before going in the studio, because I don't want that to become mechanical, know exactly what to do. So, I don't learn my songs very well. So when I start to sing, I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do, so when I do it, it's like I do it for the first time so I want them to be touched by it.
KING: I like that.
DION: But the stage, the people, the showtime, the dancers, the lights.
KING: Ever have a bad night?
DION: Yes. Oh, yes.
KING: Does the audience know it? I say this, because Isaac Stern once told me when he thinks he's playing the worst is when he gets the most applause.
DION: It is very true. When you come on stage and everybody around you, from the hair, the makeup, the wardrobe, the people and everyone who is working with you know you're not at your best, you have a sinus infection or a cold, your sinuses are blocked, whatever condition you are and you need your instrument to work. You can't change your chords like a guitar. You're so scared. You know you won't be at 100 percent of your capacity. You compensate.
Once you start compensating, there's a little door that opens like a magic box. I don't know what's going on. You compensate physically or kind of charismatically.
KING: You give more?
DION: You give. You don't count on your instrument. Everything has to be ready. Everybody -- everything of you has to be there. So it's not only your voice is on stage, but your whole self. And people love that. When your whole self is there, I don't think they mind about this not perfect sound. They like you. They see un-perfection there. They like it
KING: You're an amazing person. I love you. DION: Thank you.
KING: Celine Dion "Miracle." You can get it everywhere. I'll be back in a minute. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night we'll be in New York City for another edition of LARRY KING LIVE. And we're closing in on election night.
Thanks for joining us with Celine Dion in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for "NEWSNIGHT" with Aaron Brown. And good night.
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