Last night was Celine Dion's last-ever show at Caesars Palace and, believe it or not, some of us actually care. More to the point: We care about understanding the psyches of those crazed Celine Dion fans. Though while we think of Celine as a sort of Quebecois sideshow attraction, others think she is God. One such person is M J Wylie, a 49-year old woman from Denver, CO who took special care in preparing for last night's performance (her 62nd). Not only did she attend in black-tie attire, but she also wore a pendant bearing the show's logo, and carried a Judith Leiber clutch bearing the show's logo (not to mention her own body, on which the show's logo is also tattooed).
Such devotion is why Canadian reporter Carl Wilson set out to investigate what exactly makes people love Celine in his just-published book Let's Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste. "It's hard to imagine an audience that could confer less cool on a musician," muses Wilson in his tale of the big voice, the saccharine lyrics, and the insane fans. For months, Wilson listened and listened and listened to nothing but Dion, hoping to overcome his visceral hatred for her and her music and understand what so impassions her fans. His conclusion? "Her voice itself is nouveau riche... a luxury item, and Céline wants to share its abundance with her audience...It deals with problems that don't require leaps of imagination but require other efforts, like patience, or compromise" and while it may be "lousy music to make aesthetic judgments to," it "might be excellent for having a first kiss, or burying your grandma, or breaking down in tears."