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19 February 2021, 14:38
Footage of Celine Dion singing 'Because You Loved Me' at the 1996 World Music Awards as an enraptured Michael Jackson looks on has resurfaced online.
The video sees Celine Dion giving a breathtaking performance in 1996 as none other than the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, looks on from the front row of the audience.
Singing her hit record 'Because You Loved Me', the young Celine proved to the world just what a force she was to be reckoned with in an era that her 1995 album D'eux became the biggest selling French album of all time.
The extraordinary moment took place at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo, after a 28-year-old Celine Dion was introduced on stage by singing legend Tony Bennett and actress Bo Derek, before receiving her award for the best-selling Canadian artist.
"Thanks for all the sleep Michael," Bo joked to a sheepish Michael Jackson in the front row of the audience.
"None of us can sleep in this city because of Michael and all the people who love him," she explained. "They're outside the window, all night long! Otherwise, it's nice to be here, isn't it Tony?"
"Nice? I'm on the French Riviera with Bo Derek, I hate showbiz!" Tony Bennett laughed.
"This year's best selling Canadian artist happens be French-Canadian," he continued, "and her recent album has songs she recorded in French also happens to be the biggest selling album in the history of the French recording industry."
Bo Derek took over: "She's here tonight to perform her worldwide hit theme from the motion picture Up Close & Personal...she's singing 'Because You Love Me', here is Celine Dion!"
A young Celine then proceeds to give a flawless performance as an enraptured audience, including Michael Jackson sitting front and centre alongside artists including Seal and Shania Twain, look on.
The World Music Awards were founded in 1989 by Prince Albert of Monaco as a ceremony to honour the best-selling artists from each major territory, and were held each year until 2014.
Nine of the awards on the night were voted for by the public with all proceeds going to building schools, hospitals and orphanages through the Monaco Aide et Presence Foundation.
The most awarded artist in the show's 25-year history was Mariah Carey, with an impressive 19 gongs, including a 'Millennium' award that both she and Michael Jackson were given in 2000 to honour the best-selling recording artists at that time.
Other artists were given the special 'Legend' award, a tribute to those who have made outstanding contributions to the music industry, with past winners including David Bowie, the Bee Gees, Elton John, Prince, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross.
Perhaps the most prestigious of all of the awards given at the Monte Carlo ceremony, however, was the 'Diamond' award, a prize honouring the best-selling artists who had been certified as selling over 100,000,000 albums in their career.
The honour was only ever awarded to six artists in the show's 25-year run, with recipients reading as a who's who of musicals legends.
The six award winners were Rod Stewart (2002), Mariah Carey (2003), Celine Dion (2004), Bon Jovi (2005), Michael Jackson (2006) and the Beatles (2007).
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