Grief isn’t silent: It roars in people’s hearts and in their heads. For Eurovision 1988 winner Celine Dion, it also comes out through song, as she showed last night at the American Music Awards. Singing Edith Piaf’s painful ballad “Hymne à L’Amour” (Hymn to Love), she honoured the victims of the Paris Attacks with a stirring performance set before a rolling montage of Paris landmarks. Speaking to Billboard ahead of the show, AMA producer Larry Klein said he wanted to include the tribute to show solidarity with France: “Celine’s performance will help us express our feelings through songs, when words do not suffice.”

Members of the audience were visibly moved by the performance — not just because of Celine’s touching performance, but also because of the content of the song. Regardless of whether you speak French, the song’s tone and mood are instantly recognisable. In 1949, Piaf penned the lyrics to the song, which honors Marcel Cerdan, a French boxer and her long-time lover. He died in a plane crash later that year, and she recorded the song in his memory seven months later.

If one day life tears you away from me
if you die then you will be far from me
what’s it matter if you love me
because I will die too.
We will have for us, eternity
in the blue of all the immensity
in heaven, no more problems
my love do you believe that we love each other
God, reunite those who love each other.

Celine Dion covers Edith Piaf at American Music Awards

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8 years ago

It wasn’t Dion’s best performance vocally (and there are real reasons behind it), but it was VERY emotional. Her performance made me cry. ((

8 years ago

It was such a stunning, raw and powerful performance, you could clearly hear all the emotion in Celine’s voice.

8 years ago

The picture you chose is not very flattering for Céline… 😀