My Heart Will Go On

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For the episode of Supernatural, see My Heart Will Go On (Supernatural).
"My Heart Will Go On
(Love Theme from Titanic)"
Single by Céline Dion
from the album Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture and Let's Talk About Love
Released December 8, 1997 (1997-12-08)
Format CD single, cassette single, mini CD single, 12" single
Recorded May 22, 1997; Wallyworld, The Hit Factory
Genre Pop ballad
Length 4:40 (album version)
5:11 (soundtrack version)
Label Columbia, Epic
Writer(s) James Horner (music), Will Jennings (lyrics)
Producer(s) Simon Franglen, James Horner, Walter Afanasieff
Céline Dion singles chronology
"The Reason"
(1997)
"My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic)"
(1997)
"Immortality"
(1998)
Music sample

"My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic)" is the main theme song to the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. With music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings, and production by Simon Franglen, James Horner and Walter Afanasieff,[1] it was recorded by Céline Dion.[2] Originally released in 1997 on the Titanic soundtrack album and Dion's album Let's Talk About Love, the romantic song went to number 1 all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom and Australia. "My Heart Will Go On" was released in Australia and Germany on December 8, 1997, and in the rest of the world in January and February 1998.[3] It became Dion's biggest hit, and one of the best-selling singles of all time, and was the world's best-selling single of 1998.[4][5]

History[edit]

James Horner had originally composed the song as an instrumental motif that is used in several scenes during Titanic. He then wanted to make a full vocal song out of it, for use in the end credits of the film. Director James Cameron did not want such a song, but Will Jennings went ahead anyway and wrote the lyrics. When Dion originally heard the song, she did not want to record it.[6] Horner showed the piano sketch to Simon Franglen, who was working with him on electronic textures and synthesizers for the film score. Franglen had worked with Celine Dion for several years on many of her major hits to date.[7] He programmed and arranged an extensive demo to take to Dion. In Tommy Mottola's book, "Hit Maker - The Man and his Music" he claims that Celine Dion recorded the song in one take, and that demo is what was released. Tommy states that since so much money was on the line for James Cameron's film, that Cameron felt obligated to include a theme song to promote the movie.

Celine's manager and husband René Angélil convinced her to sing on this demo version, which was something she hadn't done for many years. Horner waited until Cameron was in an appropriate mood before presenting him with the song. After playing it several times, Cameron declared his approval, although worried that he might be criticised for "going commercial at the end of the movie." Cameron also wanted to appease anxious studio executives and "saw that a hit song from his movie could only be a positive factor in guaranteeing its completion."[8]

The original Horner/Franglen produced version of the ballad appears on the Titanic soundtrack and has an extended ending with longer, segmented vocalizations by Dion. Franglen mixed the final film and soundtrack version, expanding on the demo and adding orchestra to the final chorus. The single also played over the ending credits of the film.[9] When the single was to be released to radio, it was produced further by Walter Afanasieff who added string and electric guitar, as well as rearranged portions of the song. This version appears on the 4-track maxi single as well as on Dion's album, Let's Talk About Love.[10] In the Let's Talk about Love album booklet, the lyrics of the song contain an additional line between a second chorus and the final verse. The words, "There is some love that will not go away", are not performed by Dion in any available version of the song, however, they are still included on Dion's official site.[11]

The music video was directed by Bille Woodruff and released at the end of 1997. It was included later on the All the Way... A Decade of Song & Video DVD and on the Titanic (Three-Disc Special Collector's Edition) DVD release in October 25, 2005. In addition to Dion's Let's Talk About Love and the Titanic soundtrack, "My Heart Will Go On" appears on several other albums, including VH1 Divas Live, Au cœur du stade, All the Way... A Decade of Song, A New Day... Live in Las Vegas, Complete Best, My Love: Essential Collection, Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert, and Céline... une seule fois / Live 2013. It was also included on the following DVDs: Au cœur du stade, All the Way... A Decade of Song & Video, Live in Las Vegas: A New Day... and Celine: Through the Eyes of the World.

At the height of the song's popularity, some radio stations in the US and the UK played an edited version of the song, that had dramatic moments of dialog from the Jack and Rose lead characters in the film inserted in between Dion's vocal lines. It was included later on the Back to Titanic second soundtrack album. In France, "My Heart Will Go On" was released as a double A-side single with "The Reason."

Coincidentally, some survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster, which has drawn comparisons to the Titanic disaster, have claimed that the song was playing in a restaurant when Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia first made impact with a rock, which eventually caused the ship to partially sink on the night of January 13, 2012.[12][13][14]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine in album wrote that this song "shines the most brilliantly" and marked it as a standout track.[15] In Allmusic review for single editor Heather Phares, rating the single 4 out 5 stars, wrote: "Indeed, her performances of it on VH1 Divas, the 1998 Academy Awards (wearing the film's "Heart of the Ocean" pendant, no less), and on her 1997 album Let's Talk About Love have cemented "My Heart Will Go On" as the quintessence of Dion's sweeping, romantic style." [16]

Chart success[edit]

"My Heart Will Go On" is Céline Dion's biggest hit and one of the best-selling singles in history, having sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.[17] In the United States, the song was given a limited number of copies - 690,000. Regardless, it debuted at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, with sales of 360,000 copies,[18] where it stayed for two weeks. In addition, the song spent ten weeks at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, and was number one for two weeks on the Hot 100 Singles Sales. As a testament to the popularity of the song on the radio, the song broke the record for the then-largest radio audience ever, garnering 117 million listeners in February 1998.[19] The single was eventually certified gold in the United States.[20] Ask Billboard reported that the digital copy of the single has sold 1,133,000 units since being available bringing total sales to 1,791,000 copies sold in the US.[21]

In addition "My Heart Will Go On" reached number one in several other U.S. charts, including, Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks,[18] Top 40 Mainstream,[18] Hot Latin Pop Airplay, and Hot Latin Tracks. For the latter, the single became the first English-language song to top the Hot Latin Tracks chart,[18] to which Dion was given a Billboard Latin Music Award for that achievement.

Internationally the song was phenomenally successful, spending many weeks at the top position in various countries, including 17 weeks on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, 15 weeks in Switzerland, 13 weeks in France and Germany, 11 weeks in the Netherlands and Sweden, ten weeks in Belgium Wallonia, Denmark, Italy, and Norway, seven weeks in Belgium Flanders, six weeks in Ireland, four weeks in Australia and Austria, two weeks in Spain and the United Kingdom, and one week in Finland.

In Germany, "My Heart Will Go On" was certified 4x platinum for selling over two million copies,[22] and was ranked as one of the most popular singles ever released, there.[23] It sold over 1.2 million copies in France, being certified Diamond. Additionally, the song was certified 3× Platinum in Belgium, 2× Platinum in Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, Platinum in Greece, and Gold in Austria. "My Heart Will Go On" was released twice in Japan. The regular edition from January 1998 sold 210,000 and was certified 2× Platinum, for 200,000 copies sold. The remixed edition released in June 1998 sold 115,000 copies and was certified Gold for 100,000 copies sold, due the fact that maxi-singles are treated as an album.

In the United Kingdom the song sold 1.48 million copies,[24] and was Dion's second single to sell a million there. This made her the only solo female artist to have two million-selling singles in the UK, a record which stood until early 2012 when Rihanna's singles "Only Girl (In the World)" (2010) and "We Found Love" (2011) both topped a million sales.[25]

Accolades[edit]

"My Heart Will Go On" won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Original Song.[26] It dominated the 1999 Grammy Awards, winning Record of the Year — marking the first time to be won by a Canadian — Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.[27] "My Heart Will Go On" won also the Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song – Motion Picture" in 1998.[28]

The song also won a Japanese Gold Disc Award, for Song of the Year,[29] as well as a Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack Single of the Year.[30][31]

In a 2006 poll for a program on Five called Britain's Favourite Break-up Songs, "My Heart Will Go On" was voted tenth. It has been named one of the Songs of the Century.[32] It is one of the best-selling singles ever in the UK,[33] selling over a million copies, the second single released by Dion to do so. She is the only female artist to date to have released two million-selling singles in Britain.[34] It was ranked at number 14 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs, celebrating the 100 greatest songs in American film history.[35] In April 2010, the UK radio station Magic 105.4 voted the single the "top movie song of all time" after listeners' votes.[36] In December 2007, the song peaked #21 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 90's."[37] However, despite the song's immense popularity, Rolling Stone readers rated "My Heart Will Go On" the 7th worst song of the '90s in 2011.

Due to the song's widespread popularity when it was released, it is considered to be Céline Dion's signature song.[38] Today, along with two other songs from film soundtracks, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard and Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it is considered one of the biggest love ballads of the 1990s.

It is not so popular with Kate Winslet, who played Rose DeWitt Bukater – the notional protagonist of the song – in the film. She admits that the song makes her feel "like throwing up", due to people's tendency to start playing it when she is around: "I wish I could say, 'Oh listen, everybody! It's the Celine Dion song!' But I don't. I just have to sit there, you know, kind of straight-faced with a massive internal eye roll."[39]

Influence[edit]

After the song had become a huge worldwide hit, many movie studios and record labels tried to duplicate the process. Although many soundtrack singles had become hits before "My Heart Will Go On," a string of similar songs followed afterward, such as Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" from Armageddon and Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" from Pearl Harbor. Each followed in the footsteps of the "Titanic" theme, a love ballad for a tragedy. Although those two songs became hits, they did not achieve the success of "My Heart Will Go On."

Horner himself repeated the formula of making a song from his film themes with films such as A Beautiful Mind, Bicentennial Man, The Perfect Storm, and Avatar.

Track listing[edit]

Remixes[edit]

  • Richie Jones Radio Mix – 4:17
  • Richie Jones "Go On" Mix – 4:58
  • Richie Jones Bonus Beats – 5:10
  • Richie Jones Club Mix – 10:04
  • Tony Moran Radio Mix – 4:21
  • Tony Moran Club Mix – 9:41
  • Soul Solution Bonus Beats – 3:31
  • Soul Solution Radio Mix – 4:18
  • Soul Solution Percapella – 4:16
  • Soul Solution "Drama at Sea" Club – 8:54
  • Matt & Vito's Penny Whistle Dub – 3:23
  • Matt & Vito's Unsinkable Epic Mix – 9:53
  • Cuca's Radio Mix – 4:22
  • Cuca's Dance Mix – 4:56
  • Piano Vocal Mix – 4:52
  • DJ Rinaldo Icecold Mix – 4:24

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"It's like That" by Run–D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins
German Singles Chart number-one single
January 30, 1998 – April 24, 1998
Succeeded by
"Männer sind Schweine" by Die Ärzte
Swiss Singles Chart number-one single
February 8, 1998 – May 17, 1998
Preceded by
"Vivo Per Lei (Je vis pour elle)" by Andrea Bocelli and Hélène Ségara
French SNEP Singles Chart number-one single
February 7, 1998 – May 2, 1998
Succeeded by
"La Copa De La Vida" by Ricky Martin
Preceded by
"Doctor Jones" by Aqua
UK Singles Chart number-one single
(first run)

February 15, 1998 - February 21, 1998
Succeeded by
"Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
February 14, 1998 – March 21, 1998
Succeeded by
"It's Like That" by Run–D.M.C. vs Jason Nevins
Australia ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
February 15, 1998 – March 8, 1998
Preceded by
"Breathe" by Midge Ure
Austrian Singles Chart number-one single
February 15, 1998 – March 15, 1998
Succeeded by
"Alane" by Wes
Preceded by
"En El Jardín" by Alejandro Fernández and Gloria Estefan
US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks number-one song
February 21, 1998
Succeeded by
"Vuelve" by Ricky Martin
Preceded by
"It's Like That" by Run-D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins
Swedish Singles Chart number-one single
February 27, 1998 – May 8, 1998
Succeeded by
"This is How We Party" by S.O.A.P.
Preceded by
"Nice & Slow" by Usher
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 28, 1998 – March 7, 1998
Succeeded by
"Gettin' Jiggy wit It" by Will Smith
Preceded by
"Vivo per lei (je vis pour elle)" by Andrea Bocelli and Hélène Segara
Belgian Walloon Ultratop 40 number-one single
February 28, 1998 – April 2, 1998
Succeeded by
"Je me souviens" by Marianne Molina
Preceded by
"Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
March 2, 1998 – April 6, 1998
Succeeded by
"Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
Preceded by
"Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia
Belgian Flemish Ultratop 50 number-one single
(first run)

March 7, 1998 – March 14, 1998
Succeeded by
"Formula" by DJ Visage
Preceded by
"Frozen" by Madonna
UK Singles Chart number-one single
(second run)

March 8, 1998 - March 14, 1998
Succeeded by
"It's Like That" by Run-D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins
Preceded by
"Formula" by DJ Visage
Belgian Flemish Ultratop 50 number-one single
(second run)

April 18, 1998 – May 16, 1998
Succeeded by
"Last Thing on My Mind" by Steps
Preceded by
"Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden
Top 40 Mainstream number-one single
February 7, 1998 – April 18, 1998
Succeeded by
"Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden
Preceded by
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight by Elton John
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks number one single
January 31, 1998 – April 4, 1998
Succeeded by
"Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden

Cover versions[edit]

Hong Kong singer Sally Yeh and Angela Pang covered this song in Cantonese.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Singer Bette Midler performed an uptempo version of the song, using her stage character, Delores DeLago (a wheelchair-bound mermaid, who longs for success) in her 1999 tour, "Divine Miss Millennium." She also sang a small segment of the song during her stint at Caesars Palace, in 2008-09.[107]
  • On September 11, 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song No. 11 on his list of the "100 Worst Songs Ever," while stating a new rule: "From now on, the Canadian warbler, and not the captain, has to go down with this ship" in reference to the Titanic.[108]
  • The song was also featured as an episode title for the The CW series, Supernatural in 2011. The episode featured a character going back in time to stop the Titanic from sinking and save its passengers purely because he hated the song and wanted to remove the reason for its existence.[109]
  • The song appears in the Sacha Baron Cohen film Brüno, in a parodical sequence wherein the eponymous character and his gay lover strip and embrace in front of an irate crowd towards the end of the movie.
  • "My Heart Will Go On" is sung by Jonas Brothers as cupid statues in part of Night at the Museum 2, when Larry hears them sing it, he recognizes it and refers to it as, "love theme from Titanic".
  • For the 2014 memorial day concert Jackie Evancho performed My Heart Will Go On.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ All Time Songs TSORT. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
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  8. ^ James Cameron's Titanic Media Awareness Network Retrieved 05-05-2011
  9. ^ Leona Lewis Will Sing 'Avatar' Theme Song… Ropes of Silicon Retrieved 2010-05-12
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  107. ^ "Bette Midler Takes Final Curtain Call for The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesars Palace". Edge Boston. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  108. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Five of Five". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  109. ^ Supernatural: "My Heart Will Go On" Review IGN Entertainment Date: 2011-04-16 Retrieved: 2012-01-11

External links[edit]