updated 05/05/2006 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/06/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET
After 18 years of touring around the world, Celine Dion has embraced a life of domesticity – sort of.
OK, so she doesn’t really do much vacuuming these days. “It doesn’t mean I won’t do it again, but I’m fortunate that I don’t have to do it now,” says the singer, who reportedly earned an estimated $38.5 million in 2005 and has sold more than 175 million albums over the years.
Dion and her husband Ren Ang lil have settled into a happy routine in Las Vegas, where they live in a suburban three-bedroom home 30 minutes off the strip with a little guy who is the world to them: 5-year-old son Ren -Charles. “I love being a mom – it relaxes me to read stories to him, do finger painting, play with Play-Doh,” says Dion. “I think people have a hard time imagining I can have a normal life, but I do.”
Well, that might be stretching it. Four or five nights a week Dion sells out the 4,148-seat theater at Caesars Palace, where fans pay up to $225 to see the five-time Grammy winner perform songs like her 1998 hit “My Heart Will Go On.”
Sunday, May 7 will mark her 500th show. “It’s like I blinked and it’s 500,” says Dion, 38, who has extended the three-year contract, reportedly for $100 million, that she signed in 2001 to the end of 2007. Even fellow stars like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears have been to the show.
Dion’s favorite fan so far? Her son, who saw the show for the first time last year. She was a ball of nerves knowing he was in the audience with dad Ang lil, 64, who is also Dion’s manager. “It was the only time I felt nauseous before a show,” she says. “My son was going to be there looking at me as a performer and not as a mom reading stories at bedtime.”
After all, a stable routine is the reason she took the gig in the first place; no longer touring the world, the family enjoys that normal life she was talking about. “I am a full-time mom. That’s my priority,” she says. “Then I go and sing a few songs at night.”
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