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Why Celine Dion Almost Didn't Record Her Titanic Hit "My Heart Will Go On"

"I'm so happy that my people don't listen to me," the music icon told Jimmy Fallon.

By Christopher Rudolph

Our hearts will always go on (and on) for Céline Dion, but the music icon almost didn't record her Titanic mega-hit, "My Heart Will Go On."

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Dion made a rare television appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in July 2016 —  just one year shy of the 20th anniversary of the 1997 blockbuster. During her interview, the Grammy-winning music superstar gave her stamp of approval of Ariana Grande's impersonation of her, pulled of her own impression of Grande's impression, and even took an impressive turn at Jimmy Fallon's Wheel of Musical Impressions game herself. 

RELATED: What Celine Dion Said on Her NBC Special About Having Stiff Person Syndrome

Dion also revealed that she was initially hesitant to sing "My Heart Go On," which would become one of the biggest songs of all time. The Titanic soundtrack staple went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, along with Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammys.

"I'm glad I sang the song. I think I said it before, but I don't do television so much... I didn't want to record the song," she told a shocked Fallon.

"I'm so happy that my people don't listen to everything I say," she continued, joking, "I just hit my chest and I go on."

In November 2019, while on Watch What Happens Live!, Dion provided a few more details about why she was originally hesitant to record what's become a classic.

“It didn’t appeal to me. I was probably very tired that day — very tired," she told Andy Cohen. "My husband [René Angélil] said, 'Let’s hold on.' He talked to the writer and he said, ‘Let’s try to make it, like, a little demo.'"

RELATED: How to Watch Celine Dion's Interview Special with Hoda Kotb on NBC (DETAILS)

Celine Dion sings next to Jimmy Fallon.

Celine Dion says "My Heart Will Go On" nearly didn't make it on Titanic's soundtrack

“I sang the song once and they built the orchestra around it. I never re-sang it for the recording actually," Dion told Cohen. "So the demo is the actual recording. But after that, I’ve sang it about three gazillion times.”

And it turns out Dion wasn't the only one unsure about "My Heart Will Go On." In a Vogue video from April 2024, Dion recalled how Titanic director James Cameron didn't want a pop song in the movie. Again, Angélil took her to a studio in L.A. to sing a demo of the track anyway, and sway Cameron to include it in his film.

"So I start to sing the song, he tells me about the story of the movie a little bit. I'm already in tears," said Dion. And the rest is film history.

On Tuesday, June 11, Dion sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb for her first broadcast interview since she revealed in 2022 that she has the rare neurological condition, Stiff Person Syndrome. The primetime special also featured footage from the upcoming Amazon documentary I Am: Céline Dion.