Keep Calm and Celine Dion my Instagram feed told me. Easier said than done when you are in a park with a voice that can knock squirrels out of trees at 500 yards. The nicest diva in the business is as bonkers as she is brilliant and she and her fans wouldn’t have it any way. She is fresh from parading around Paris Fashion week in a jaw-dropping array of outfits crazier than anything you’d see on the catwalks, but she is so clearly loving every second of her life right now that it’s impossible not to grin along with her. And then that grin becomes a giddy scream as she hits the stage, your ears start ringing and goosebumps gaily party all over your entire body and you have possibly the best night of your life.
Josh Groban warmed up the crowd with easy charm and that incredible voice but we were all here to see one woman. The woman. As 70,000 fans screamed, Celine casually sauntered out in her version of park-wear – a casual sapphire blue glittering jumpsuit with enormous 80s puff sleeves and a matching rock – and belted out The Power of Love. Cos she’s our lady….
Throughout the night, she whoops, she fist pumps, she struts, shimmies and even does the robot. She may be covered in jewels worth more than the entire GDP of a small country but she is so ridiculously likeable and so clearly loving every moment that the crowd is utterly beguiled. All I can hear around me between the screams and singingalongs is how lovely people think she is.
Back on stage she delivered a funky I’m Alive and an epic Because You Loved Me before the first costume change – an emerald green gown with diamonds at her neck and another gigantic matching rock on her finger – to belt out a spectacular It’s All Coming Back To me Now.
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She doesn’t just sound as good as a record, every song comes with extra runs and trills and pourquoi pas? Speaking of which,next up was the gorgeous French language Por Que Tu M’aimes Encore, which united the international crowd better than any government seems to do these days.
A rocking cover of The Voice had the crowd bellowing it back to her delight, before Think Twice had the ecstatic women next to me screaming and swaying. One was the mum, who cradled her belly and told me: “This was special to me before these girls were born.” Two are her daughters and a third, Lauren, is their mate. Lauren and I bond and belt and weep and wail together the whole night. No need to think twice about it, Celine delivers emotions across the generations.
As if that wasn’t enough, it kicked up to a whole new level for a barnstorming All By Myself, but a deeper cut (and my personal favourite) To Love You More had tears streaming down my face. I blame the hay fever…
Another costume change and the jewel theme continues with blood ruby red sequins for a Prince medley of Kiss and Purple Rain followed by an exhilarating River Deep, Mountain High.
There’s time for one last change into a ravishing canary yellow ruffled concoction for the big finish. Some might say it’s titanic…
The Irish pipes begin, the crowd sighs, the queen sings and brings it home in majestic style. Her love for what she does truly goes on, while ours seems to just keep growing. It’s an almost religious experience and even the lady herself is visbly moved.
And then, devastatingly, it’s the final song, Lennon’s Imagine – the perfect theme for a crowd of all ages, nationalities and sexualities united in song by an extraordinary singer.
Somehow it’s all over, Lauren gives me a kiss and a hug goodbye and we spill out onto the London streets in our thousands, a brother and sisterhood of man, ears ringing, throats hoarse, eyes red and hearts full.
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