Singer Celine Dion honored the memory of Oscar-winning composer James Horner Tuesday with a heartwarming tribute.
On her official website, the 47-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer posted an emotionally stirring statement about the late composer in both English and French.
“Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy.”
Celine also posted old pictures of herself and her husband standing alongside James Horner.
Will Jennings, the writer of “My Heart Will Go On”, opened up about the story behind the Oscar-winning song in a May, 2006, interview. According to Jennings, it all started when he visited the home of James Horner.
“He played me the theme that he had, and I just took it from there. I didn’t see any footage or read any of the script, but he told me the story, and then I had an inspiration and wrote the song.”
When it came to finding the perfect person to sing the song for the film, Jennings confirmed that Celine Dion was actually James Horner’s first choice.
Jennings and Horner apparently wanted to work with Celine on a song for a movie long before Titanic was even released.
According to Jennings, he and James worked on the 1991 animated film, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West together. Celine Dion wanted to sing the song, “Dreams to Dream,” for the movie, but the job went to “Somewhere Out There” singer Linda Ronstadt instead.
Fortunately, another opportunity to work with Celine Dion came around with “My Heart Will Go On” — and James apparently jumped at the chance to make it happen.
“James wanted to play it for her and of course, the rest is history.”
What many fans and critics of the award-winning song don’t know is that it almost never happened. Multiple reports claim that Titanic director James Cameron initially did not want any song in the film — he just wanted James Horner to create a score.
However, James Horner secretly worked with Will Jennings and Celine Dion on “My Heart Will Go On.” When Horner presented Cameron with a demo tape of the recording, the director loved it and decided to add it the closing credits of the film.
RIP James Horner. Celine Dion ~ My Heart Will Go On TITANIC Music by James Horner http://t.co/fg9oq393qR
— Nina L. Diamond (@ninatypewriter) June 23, 2015
At the age of 29, Celine Dion had found the biggest hit of her career thanks to James Horner, Will Jennings, and James Cameron.
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion playing in my taxi cab at 4:30 am on my way to the airport. Not a bad way to start the day.
— Scott McAdams (@scottiemac100) June 23, 2015
I’ve just discovered Celine Dion nailed “My Heart Will Go On” in one take, ONE TAKE.
— Al Kogan (@ABoschiero) June 21, 2015
You always know it’s going to be a good day when “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion comes on shuffle during my workout.
— Sydney Vaughn (@sydneyvaughn) June 18, 2015
Among its extensive list of awards and accolades, “My Heart Will Go On” won four Grammy awards. It also helped Celine Dion to make history by becoming the first Canadian singer to win “Record of the Year” at the 1999 Grammy Awards ceremony.
The song also won the 1997 Academy Award and 1998 Golden Globe Award for “Best Original Song.”
— Natasha Zouves (@10newsnatasha) June 23, 2015
Nearly twenty years after the song was first released, Celine Dion still enjoys performing it on stage. In a June 2012 interview with the Today show, Dion stated that “My Heart Will Go On” gave her “the opportunity to be associated with a classic forever.”
[Image Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images]