The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)

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"The Prayer"
Single by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli
from the album 'Quest for Camelot soundtrack, These Are Special Times and Sogno'
Released March 1, 1999 (1999-03-01)
Format Promotional recording
Recorded 1998 Chartmarker Studios, Sony Sound Stage, Criteria Recording Studios
Genre Pop classical
Length 4:29
Label Columbia, Epic
Writer(s) David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, Tony Renis
Producer(s) David Foster, Tony Renis, Carole Bayer Sager
Céline Dion singles chronology
"On ne change pas"
(1999)
"The Prayer"
(1999)
"Treat Her Like a Lady"
(1999)
Andrea Bocelli singles chronology
"Je vis pour elle"
(1997)
"The Prayer"
(1999)
"Canto della Terra"
(1999)

"The Prayer" is a popular song written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis. It is most commonly known as a duet between Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It is the second single from Dion's Christmas album These Are Special Times and the first from Bocelli's album Sogno, and was released as a promotional single on March 1, 1999.[1] The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.

History[edit]

Originally "The Prayer" was recorded as two separate solo versions, Dion's in English and Bocelli's in Italian. They appeared on the Quest for Camelot soundtrack in May 1998. The duet was included on albums by both artists, released a few months later. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1999 film Quest for Camelot, the second win in a row for a Celine Dion song. In that film, Dion sang it as a solo with slightly different lyrics. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000. Dion performed it with Bocelli at both ceremonies.

It was also featured on Dion's compilation The Collector's Series, Volume One (2000) and greatest hits My Love: Ultimate Essential Collection (2008). A re-recorded solo version by Celine Dion (renamed "A Mother's Prayer") appeared on her 2004 album Miracle. Dion performed "The Prayer" live during her Taking Chances Tour as a virtual duet with Bocelli on the screen; the performance was released in the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD. The song appeared also on Bocelli's 2007 compilation The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere. Both Dion and Bocelli have sung the song with other artists, and various other artists have recorded the song, either as a duet or a solo.

"The Prayer" was popular on the adult contemporary charts in Canada and the United States, peaking at number 8 and number 22 respectively. It has also become popular during Christmas, and in some cases, funerals.

Critical reception[edit]

Paul Verna from Billboard called this song a "gorgeous duet."[2] Chuck Taylor from Billboard reviewed "The Prayer", calling it "a breathtaking, ultra-lush song, and the tour de force combination of Dion and Bocelli [which] will send a half-dozen chills up your spine." Although he felt that the song is "an unorthodox track for the radio," Taylor called it "affecting," "heartwarming," "absolutely exquisite" and "one of Dion's most radiant performances ever."[3]

Track listing[edit]

1999 North American promotional CD maxi single[edit]

  1. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) – 4:29
  2. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion) – 2:48
  3. "The Prayer" (Andrea Bocelli) – 4:10

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Canadian BDS Adult Contemporary Chart[4] 8
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[5] 6
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[6] 22

Celine Dion and Josh Groban version[edit]

"The Prayer (Live)"
Single by Céline Dion and Josh Groban
Released 2008
Format digital download
Genre Pop classical
Writer(s) David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, Tony Renis

Celine Dion first performed "The Prayer" live with Josh Groban, in 1999, when Groban filled in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsal for the 1999 Grammy Awards. (Nearly 10 years later, Groban and Bocelli performed the song together for the first time during the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.) The two performed the song during her CBS TV special That's Just the Woman in Me, aired on February 15, 2008. This version was released as a music download in the U.S. and Canada two days earlier. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70 and appeared on a few other Billboard charts: Pop 100 at number 50, Hot Digital Songs at number 32 and Hot Digital Tracks at number 29. The single sold 37,531 copies in its first week. In Canada, the song peaked at number 37 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 19 on the Canadian Top Digital Downloads.

Track listing[edit]

2008 North American digital single[edit]

  1. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion and Josh Groban) (live) – 4:38

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Canadian Hot 100[7] 37
Canadian Top Digital Downloads[8] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 70
US Billboard Hot Digital Songs[10] 32
US Billboard Hot Digital Tracks[11] 29
US Billboard Pop 100[12] 50

Anthony Callea version[edit]

"The Prayer"
Single by Anthony Callea
from the album Anthony Callea
Released 19 December 2004
Format CD single
Genre Pop classical
Length 4:16
Label Sony BMG
Producer(s) John Forman
Certification 4x platinum (ARIA)
Anthony Callea singles chronology
"The Prayer"
(2004)
"Rain"/"Bridge over Troubled Water"
(2005)
Music video
"The Prayer" on YouTube

Background[edit]

Callea first performed this song during Australian Idol 2004, in the week of 'contestants choice'. He received a standing ovation for this performance. He would go on to be runner-up in this series.

At the completion of the show, Callea was signed to Sony BMG, and he released "The Prayer" as his debut single.

It was released in Australia on 19 December 2004 and debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Charts. It stayed there for five weeks and was certified 4x platinum by ARIA. It became the fastest selling single by any Australian artist, and was the second highest selling single in Australia in the last decade overall, and for an Australian artist.[13][14] The song was included on Callea's debut album Anthony Callea.

Callea has performed "The Prayer" at numerous concerts as well as the Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne. In 2006, he performed the song in front of Queen Elizabeth at a Commonwealth Day Service [15] He also performed it as a duet with Tina Arena on her Symphony of Life CD/DVD, released in 2012.

Tracklist[edit]

"The Prayer" was released as a two-track CD single [16]

  1. The Prayer (4.16)
  2. The Prayer (Sterling Remix) (4:03)

Video[edit]

The video includes excerpts of Callea recording the song and was released in 2004. [17]

Charts[edit]

"The Prayer" debuted at #1 in Australia and remained at #1 for five weeks.

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 1[18]
End of year chart (2005) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 1[19]
Chart (2000–09) Position
ARIA Singles Chart 2

Certifications[edit]

Country Certifications
Australia 4× Platinum[20]

Other notable versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5. 
  2. ^ "Billboard - Google Książki". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Billboard - Google Książki". Books.google.com. 1999-03-20. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  4. ^ Canadian BDS Adult Contemporary Chart
  5. ^ Adult Contemporary - Volume 69, No. 4, May 17 1999. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
  7. ^ Canadian Hot 100
  8. ^ Canadian Top Digital Downloads
  9. ^ Billboard Hot 100
  10. ^ Hot Digital Songs
  11. ^ Hot Digital Tracks
  12. ^ Pop 100
  13. ^ Cashmere, Paul (29 January 2005)Anthony Callea Premature Sales Announcement.undercover.com.au. Archived from the original on 31 January 2005. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  14. ^ ARIA’s End Of Decade Charts*(PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  15. ^ "The Prayer Anthony Callea sings for Queen Elizabeth 2006". YouTube. 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  16. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Prayer - Single by Anthony Callea". Itunes.apple.com. 2004-12-19. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  17. ^ "Anthony Callea - The Prayer". YouTube. 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Anthony Callea - The Prayer". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2005". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  20. ^ ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Singles.Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 25 January 2012.
  21. ^ "Nick Palance". YouTube. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  22. ^ "Adam Lambert and Noa Dori Sing The Prayer by David Foster, Arrangement by Sharon Farber". 2009-03-15. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 
  23. ^ "'Heavensong' hits No. 1 on Billboard's chart". Retrieved June 22, 2011.