Celine Dion donates Vegas show proceeds as she returns after 'nightmare' shooting
Celine Dion arrives at the world premiere of "Beauty and the Beast" at the El Capitan Theatre on Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017 5:14PM EDT
LAS VEGAS - Celine Dion delivered an impassioned speech on Tuesday night as she returned to her Las Vegas show two days after a mass shooting in the city.
The Quebec singer stepped in front of the closed curtains before the show got underway and acknowledged that many in the audience might be struggling with whether it was appropriate to attend a concert so soon after the “nightmare” killings.
She said it was a question she asked herself too.
“The reason that I decided to do the show so soon is more than to just sing,” Dion said in video footage posted by fans online.
“It is to show love and support for those who are affected.”
Dion has long been a staple of the Vegas scene with her various residencies at Caesars Palace over the past 15 years. It raised questions about whether she would decide to forgo some performances after at least 59 people were killed and 527 wounded at a nearby music festival.
Other performers have cancelled shows this week, including pop singer Jennifer Lopez and Cirque du Soleil.
Instead of backing out, Dion began by dedicating the show to the victims, their families and first responders and doctors.
“On Sunday we lost too many beautiful, innocent souls and so many are still suffering, but tonight we are going to let these families know that we are supporting them,” she said.
“They are going to need a lot of love. A ton of emotional support as well as a great deal of financial aid.”
The singer then announced that proceeds from Tuesday's show would be donated to the shooting victims' families. She then took a deep breath and began the first song of the night.