The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)

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"The Prayer"
Promotional single by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
from the album These Are Special Times
ReleasedMarch 1999 (1999-03)
Recorded1998 Chartmarker Studios, Sony Sound Stage, Criteria Recording Studios
GenreOperatic pop
  • David Foster
  • Carole Bayer Sager
  • Tony Renis

"The Prayer" is a song performed by Canadian singer Celine Dion and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. It was song written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Tony Renis and Alberto Testa.

"The Prayer" was originally recorded in two solo versions for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot, in English by Dion and in Italian by Bocelli. A duet between Dion and Bocelli later appeared on their respective studio albums, These Are Special Times (1998) and Sogno (1999), and was released as a promotional single in March 1999. "The Prayer" won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000. It received highly positive reviews from music critics and entered adult contemporary charts in Canada and the United States in 1999.

In 2008, Dion released a live version of "The Prayer" as a duet with Josh Groban. This music download entered the Canadian Hot 100 at number 37 and the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70.


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 on Sogno and These Are Special Times. Bocelli sang original Italian while Dion translated into English. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 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. Dion joined Bocelli to perform the song in his Concerto: One Night in Central Park concert in 2011; the performance was subsequently released on CD and DVD. Both Dion and Bocelli have sung the song with other duet partners, and various other artists have recorded the song, either as a duet or a solo.

The original version of "The Prayer" failed to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, but reached number 6 and number 22 on the adult contemporary charts in Canada and the United States, respectively. It has also become popular during Christmas, weddings and, in some cases, funerals and religious services.

Critical reception[edit]

Paul Verna from Billboard called this song a "gorgeous duet".[1] 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."[2]

Track listing[edit]

US promotional CD single

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



Celine Dion and Josh Groban version[edit]

"The Prayer (Live)"
Single by Celine Dion and Josh Groban
Released12 February 2008
GenreClassical crossover
Celine Dion singles chronology
"A World to Believe In"
"The Prayer (Live)"

Celine Dion first performed "The Prayer" live with Josh Groban in 1999, when then 17-year old Groban filled in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsal for the 41st Annual Grammy Awards. Nine years later, the two performed the song during her CBS TV special That's Just the Woman in Me, aired on 15 February 2008. This version was released as a music download in the United States and Canada two days earlier. It proved to be much more successful than the original, entering the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70, becoming Groban's highest-charting song to date as an individual act (he and Dion would both go on to reach number two as members of Artists for Haiti with the song "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" in 2010). It also 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 the US. In Canada, the song peaked at number 37 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 19 on the Canadian Top Digital Downloads.[12]


Chart (2008) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 70
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[15] 50

Anthony Callea version[edit]

"The Prayer"
Single by Anthony Callea
from the album Anthony Callea
Released19 December 2004
GenreClassical crossover
LabelSony BMG
Producer(s)John Forman
Anthony Callea singles chronology
"The Prayer"
"Rain" / "Bridge over Troubled Water"
Music video
"The Prayer" on YouTube

Callea first performed this song during Australian Idol 2004, in the week of "contestants choice". He received a standing ovation for this performance and the "Grand Royal Touchdown" from judge Mark Holden. 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 4× platinum by ARIA. It became the fastest-selling single by any Australian artist, and was the second-highest-selling single in Australia within the 2000s overall, and for an Australian artist.[16][17] The song was included on Callea's debut album Anthony Callea. The music video includes excerpts of Callea recording the song and was released in 2004.[18]

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 II at a Commonwealth Day Service.[19] He also performed it as a duet with Tina Arena on her Symphony of Life CD/DVD, released in 2012.

Track listing[edit]

Australian CD single[20]

  1. "The Prayer" – 4:16
  2. "The Prayer" (sterling remix) – 4:03


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[21] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Position
Australia (ARIA)[22] 82
Chart (2005) Position
Australia (ARIA)[23] 1

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–09) Position
Australia (ARIA)[17] 2


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[24] 4× Platinum 280,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Verna, Paul, ed. (14 November 1998). "Albums: Spotlight". Billboard. p. 22. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  2. ^ Taylor, Chuck, ed. (20 March 1999). "Singles: AC". Billboard. p. 25. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b Sam Jaspers (2006). Ultratop 1995-2005. Book & Media Publishing. ISBN 90-5720-232-8.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 8130." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Céline Dion & Andrea Bocelli – The Prayer". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Palmarès de la chanson anglophone et allophone au Québec" (in French). BAnQ. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Celine Dion Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Classical Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  11. ^ "RPM 1999 Top 100 Adult Contemporary". RPM. 13 December 1999. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Flo Rida Makes It Nine Straight Atop Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  13. ^ "Celine Dion Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Celine Dion Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Celine Dion Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Cashmere, Paul (29 January 2005)Anthony Callea Premature Sales Archived from the original on 31 January 2005. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  17. ^ a b ARIA's End Of Decade Charts*(PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Anthony Callea - The Prayer". YouTube. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  19. ^ "The Prayer Anthony Callea sings for Queen Elizabeth 2006". YouTube. 6 April 2008. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  20. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Prayer - Single by Anthony Callea". 19 December 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Anthony Callea – The Prayer". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  22. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2004". ARIA. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  23. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2005". ARIA. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.

External links[edit]