Why are they famous? Celine Dion

Main claim

Full-blown belter of high-octane songs. Like Whitney, Barbra and Elaine, our heroine is equipped with bionic vocal cords, but, um, some of us don't want to leap round in our underwear mouthing her melodies. Seen at the Oscars in a white smoking jacket worn back-to-front, teamed with star- burst shades and rakish white fedora, she resembled a more-money-than- sense Connecticut housewife getting a break in Vegas from her third husband- to-be. Plans a year out for a baby. "We want kids," says her manager-husband. "That's our main goal."

Appearance

Karen Carpenter meets Sheryl Crow while elongated in hall of mirrors. Early-Seventies rhinestone diva meets dissatisfied mother of high- school teen queen. Antonia de Sancha meets reader makeover slimmed down with a spot of nifty camerawork.

Showgirl

The superstar with the voice of a steroid-fuelled angel boasts a 105- member entourage, 500 shoes and a private plane. She won two Grammies for her Number One hit from Titanic, "My Heart Will Go On", her last album sold 8 million in the US and she boasts worldwide sales of 100 million. Yet she manages simultaneously to be intensely annoying. Wedged between vomit and indifference, there must be a fan base: some middle-of-the-road Middle England invisible to the rest of us. Grannies, tux-wearers, overweight children, mobile phone salesmen and shopping centre devotees, presumably.

Rags to riches

Celine gave the first of many shrieks 31 years ago in Quebec. She was the youngest of 14 children born to an indigent butcher and his wife. Celine recorded her first song when she was 12 and her parents sent it to manager Rene Angelil. Rene, 57, managed the prodigy at 12, dated her at 20, and wed her a few years later. But Rene is no Svengali, you understand.

Fame prospects

Excessively bullish. Old divas never die - they just end up in Vegas. Enough said.

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