When Elvis Presley joined Celine Dion on stage for a mind-blowing duet 30 years after his death (Yes, really)

5 March 2021, 17:15

Elvis Presley stunned the world when he walked out on stage to join Celine Dion on American Idol in 2007.
Elvis Presley stunned the world when he walked out on stage to join Celine Dion on American Idol in 2007. Picture: Fox/American Idol

By Giorgina Hamilton

Elvis Presley was brought to life to sing with Celine Dion in a stunning duet of The King's song 'If I Can Dream' during a special one-off performance on American Idol in 2007.

The moment Elvis Presley walked out on stage during a live episode of American Idol in 2007 has gone down as one of the most extraordinary moments in TV history.

The world couldn't believe its eyes as The King himself joined Celine Dion on stage for a special performance of his 1968 hit 'If I Can Dream', 30 years after his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 42.

See more: Elvis Presley facts: The King's parents, wife, daughter, films and death explained

70 million people watched as the duo stood side by side and sang a bittersweet version of the classic song, which saw Elvis completely steal the show with his incredible stage presence and flawless melodies.

The moment Elvis Presley walked out on stage during a live episode of American Idol in 2007 has gone down as one of the most extraordinary moments in TV history.
The moment Elvis Presley walked out on stage during a live episode of American Idol in 2007 has gone down as one of the most extraordinary moments in TV history. Picture: Fox/American Idol
A Las Vegas Elvis tribute artist was used in the wide shots (pictured).
A Las Vegas Elvis tribute artist was used in the wide shots (pictured). Picture: Fox/American Idol
Even an eagle-eyed expert would struggle to spot the difference between fantasy and reality during the duet between Celine Dion and The King.
Even an eagle-eyed expert would struggle to spot the difference between fantasy and reality during the duet between Celine Dion and The King. Picture: Fox/American Idol

See more: Tom Jones recalls astounding moment Elvis Presley sang his own song to him the first time they met

But just how on earth did they really do it?

Even an eagle-eyed expert would struggle to spot the difference between fantasy and reality during the duet between Celine Dion and The King.

See more: When Jack Black perfectly sang 'Kiss from a Rose' on American Idol with Seal watching on

The word "hologram" has been used for many years to describe the illusion of bringing deceased singers back to life for one-off performances, and the Elvis performance is a brilliant example of just how far the technology has come.

Insiders explained that while in the past Celine Dion would have had to stand in front of a green screen for Elvis Presley to be projected next to her, for the American Idol performance a Las Vegas Elvis tribute artist was used and his body was shown in the wide shots

See more: This video of Celine Dion singing in 9 different languages is absolutely incredible

For the close ups of Elvis' face, footage was taken from an HD video of Elvis singing the same song at his famous 1968 Comeback Special.
For the close ups of Elvis' face, footage was taken from an HD video of Elvis singing the same song at his famous 1968 Comeback Special. Picture: Fox/American Idol
The three-minute video has had millions of views on YouTube and still moves fans to tears to this day.
The three-minute video has had millions of views on YouTube and still moves fans to tears to this day. Picture: Fox/American Idol

See more: Michael Jackson watching Celine Dion perform 'Because You Loved Me' in 1996 is so powerful

For the close ups of Elvis' face, footage was taken from an HD video of Elvis singing the same song at his famous 1968 Comeback Special, where footage of his body was also used to bring his performance with Celine to life.

Reports says Celine sang the song five times as she was shot from different angles and it was edited together to become the final video the world saw.

See more: When unknown Adam Lambert sang 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at American Idol audition and nearly didn't get through

The three-minute video has had millions of views on YouTube and still moves many Elvis fans to tears.

"This is so real that is almost painful to watch... Elvis would be extremely happy and proud of it," one commentator wrote on Youtube.

Watch the original Elvis Presley footage from 1968 below:

The American Idol footage came 30 years after Elvis Presley's untimely death 30 years after his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 42.
The American Idol footage came 30 years after Elvis Presley's untimely death 30 years after his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 42. Picture: Getty

"When this came out, it shocked me," exclaimed another. "What a wonderful idea somebody had and delivered!

"Also, I really admire Celine for backing off when Elvis is singing and she no way tries to upstage him."

See more: The tragic life of Elvis' daughter: The story of Lisa Marie Presley's father, husband and son

"Not much to add to that spectacular performance," another said firmly. "He was the King and he has proved it over and over and over. He was the greatest there ever was."

The 2007 video is more popular than ever and considering it's 14-years-old, just imagine what technology can do now...

See next: Extraordinary moment Adam Lambert brings Cher to tears with mournful cover of dance hit 'Believe'