Celine Dion may be from Canada, but tonight at the American Music Awards the iconic singer was representing France.
As a tribute to the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Dion performed “Hymne à L’Amour,” a song that was originally written by Édith Piaf to memorialize her lover, French boxer Marcel Cerdan, who died in a plane crash in 1949.
“We felt it was important to show our solidarity in light of the recent events in Paris and all around the world,” AMA producer Larry Klein said in a statement earlier this week. “Celine’s performance will help us express our feelings through song, when words do not suffice.”
The most poignant passage of the song translates in English to:
If one day life tears you away from meIf you die than you will be far from meWhat's it matter if you love meBecause I will die too.We will have for us, eternityIn the blue of all the immensityIn heaven, no more problemsMy love do you believe that we love each otherGod, reunite those who love each other.
In his introduction of Dion’s performance, actor and musician Jared Leto recalled the concert that his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, played at the Bataclan theater just a few months before nearly 100 people were gunned down there on November 13 during an Eagles of Death Metal show.
“Tonight, we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world,” Leto said. “France matters, Russia matters, Syria matters, Mali matters, the Middle East matters, the United States matters. The entire world matters, and peace is possible.”
In reference to the loud opposition to the admittance of Syrian refugees currently fomenting on the right, Leto noted that many artists in the audience are the children of immigrants, along with Steve Jobs, whose father immigrated from Syria, and President Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya.