Close up on Celine Dion | EW.com

Music

Close up on Celine Dion

The French-Canadian singer is ready to breakthrough to American audiences with ''Unison''

When French-Canadian singer Celine Dion speaks, her hands supply the punctuation. Discussing her several Tonight Show appearances, she throws her hands forward: ”Even for an American performer, it’s great to do Johnny Carson,” she enthuses. The hands shoot heavenward. ”But for a Quebec artist, it’s incredible!” So’s her success. Since Dion, the youngest of 14 children, began performing at her parents’ suburban Montreal restaurant-bar at 12, she has released nine albums in French — all of them gold, and five of them platinum, in Canada. Now Dion, 22, seems ready to collect American precious metal, too. ”Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” the single from her new album, Unison, has risen into the Top 20. For one who only began to speak English three years ago, after a quick Berlitz course, Dion belts out her new language flawlessly in glossy, mainstream pop songs. ”I want to be known as much as possible,” she says, her hands pressed between her knees. ”I want people to know me everywhere.”