France Album Sales: Celine Dion

PART I: THE EARLY DAYS 1981-1988

Du Soleil Au Coeur (1983) Era

The career of Celine Dion started in her native Quebec, the French-speaking area of Canada, in 1981. That year saw the release of two albums, La Voix Du Bon Dieu in early November and Christmas album Celine Dion Chante Noel barely three weeks later. Both albums had some success in Quebec, although former Canadian RPM charts weren’t reflecting Quebec sales, explaining why the artist never entered Canadian charts before 1990. Those albums were not released outside Canada, just like her third album Tellement J’Ai D’Amour issued in 1982.

This album included the song D’Amour Ou D’Amitié yet, that became a sizable #5 hit in France in 1983. If Tellement J’Ai D’Amour still hasn’t been issued, this success led Pathé Marconi label to drop a compilation in France of her early songs, Du Soleil Au Coeur. This record failed to chart due to the restricted Top 30 available by late 1983, but still sold 50,000 units during its first years. Not available in CD until 2002, this album wasn’t a strong beneficiary of her upcoming success, but we will get into those points later.

Les Oiseaux Du Bonheur (1984) Era

As her popularity was not as strong in France as in Quebec, following years the same logic was used with regular studio albums released in Canada and only compilations of them issued in France. Thus, Les Chemins De Ma Maison (1983), Chants Et Contes De Noël (1983), Mélanie (1984), Les Plus Grands Succès De Celine Dion (1984) were Canadian only releases and their songs got mostly covered on Celine Dion second album to be issued in France, the compilation Les Oiseaux Du Bonheur. Lacking a hit single, this album sold an estimated 15,000 copies only and has never been issued as a CD since, being out of print for many years.

Incognito (1987) Era

C’Est Pour Toi (1985), live set Celine Dion En Concert (1985), compilation Les Chansons En Or (1986), the artist first release involving a CD format, were released in Canada but not in France. Celine Dion was needing some extra help to confirm the previous success of D’Amour Ou D’Amitié in France.

This help came in April 30, 1988. On that date, Celine Dion represented Switzerland with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi at Eurovision song contest. It was close as she got 137 points against UK singer 136 points, but the Canadian singer ended wining the competition.

In May the song was released all over Europe and by June, The Best Of Celine Dion, covering her first seven years of career, was issued too to benefit from Eurovision exposure. Later in the year, the artist last album Incognito, released one year before the Eurovision in Canada, was released in France with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi song added to the tracklist. Once again, the success was still not met as only the single charted, at #36. Both albums still respectively sold an estimated 40,000 and 20,000 units.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi – 829,000
  2. D’Amour Ou D’Amitié – 686,000
  3. Mon Ami M’A Quittée – 263,000

7 thoughts on “France Album Sales: Celine Dion”

  1. I have been waiting this article so long. Thank you very much!I cant wait to read France Album Sales: Barbra Streisand, it must be a big project.

  2. Article très intéressant. Je pense que ce site prend tout son sens avec ce genre d’artistes à la carrière très étendue et variée. Vivement un article sur Nana Mouskouri !

  3. Wow! Céline numbers in France are unrivalled! I can’t believe she outsold Madonna for such a large margin! France is the crown of her empire.

    1. Actually, Canada is the crown,😂or it used to be as she’s got 6 diamonds (million albums) and the former album with the most copies sold in the debut week (Let’s Talk About Love, but now replaced by 25) there.
      Plus I’ve got a question. I thought D’eux has sold more than 4.5m copies thus far. And figures for 1 Fille & 4 Types and On ne change pas seem to be a bit bigger than I previously imagined. I had thought Sans Attendre has outsold 1 Fille & 4 Types!!!

      1. Hi Oye,

        Those figures you post about France seem to refer to old figures claimed by infodisc website which is one more highly inaccurate site. Chart runs are OK on it but sales estimates are very amateur.

  4. Congratulations for your amazing job! But could you add now sales numbers for Encore Un Soir et update those for Sans Attendre as it has made appearances quite often in the comprehensive charts for 15 months now? Thanks!

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