"My Heart Will Go On" is the theme song of the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. With music by James Horner and lyrics by Will Jennings, it was recorded by Céline Dion. Originally released in 1997 on Dion's album Let's Talk About Love, it went to number 1 all over the world, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. My Heart Will Go On was released in Australia and Germany on December 8, 1997, and in the rest of the world in January and February of 1998. It became one of the best-selling singles of all time, and was the world's best selling single of 1998.
Horner had originally composed the song as an instrumental motif that is used in several scenes during Titanic. He then wanted to make a full vocal song out of it, for use in the end credits of the film. Director James Cameron did not want such a song, but Horner went ahead anyway and got Jennings to write the lyrics. Dion was Horner's first choice to sing it, but when she heard the song, she did not want to record it. It was her manager and husband, René Angélil, who convinced her to record a demo version, which was something she hadn't done for many years. Horner waited until Cameron was in an appropriate mood before presenting him with the song. After playing it several times, Cameron declared his approval, although worried that he might be criticised for "going commercial at the end of the movie."
The song was recorded in one take and without instrumental accompaniment. Horner, Dion, and later Sony Music Entertainment decided to use this first recording because "Dion's voice was perfect."
The music video was directed by Bille Woodruff and released at the end of 1997. It was included later on the All the Way… A Decade of Song & Video DVD.
In addition to Dion's Let's Talk About Love and the Titanic soundtrack, "My Heart Will Go On" appears on several other albums, including Au cœur du stade, All the Way… A Decade of Song, A New Day… Live in Las Vegas, Complete Best and My Love: Essential Collection. It was also included on the following DVDs: Au cœur du stade, All the Way… A Decade of Song & Video and Live in Las Vegas - A New Day….
At the height of the song's popularity, some radio stations in the U.S. and the UK played an edited version of the song, that had dramatic moments of dialog from the Jack and Rose lead characters in the film inserted in between Dion's vocal lines. It was included later on Back to Titanic second soundtrack album.
In France, "My Heart Will Go On" was released as a double A-side single with "The Reason."
"My Heart Will Go On" is Céline Dion's biggest hit and one of the best-selling singles in history. In the U.S. the song debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed in that position for 2 weeks. It spent 10 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and was also number 1 for 2 weeks on the Hot 100 Singles Sales. Only a limited number of copies was released - 690,000 - which were sold out in a few weeks. The single was eventually certified gold in the U.S. The song became also number 1 on few other U.S. charts: Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (for 10 weeks), Top 40 Mainstream (10 weeks), Hot Latin Pop Airplay (4 weeks) and Hot Latin Tracks (1 week). "My Heart Will Go On" was the first English-language song to top the Hot Latin Tracks chart and Dion was given a Billboard Latin Music Award for that achievement.
"My Heart Will Go On" was number 1 all over the world, spending many weeks at the top position, including: 17 weeks on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, 15 weeks in Switzerland, 13 weeks in France and Germany, 11 weeks in the Netherlands and Sweden, 10 weeks in Belgium Wallonia, Denmark, Italy and Norway, 7 weeks in Belgium Flanders, 6 weeks in Ireland, 4 weeks in Australia and Austria, 2 weeks in Spain and the UK, and 1 week in Finland.
In Germany, "My Heart Will Go On" has sold over 2 million copies and was certified 4x platinum. It has also sold over a million copies in the United Kingdom (1,315,000) and France (1,200,000), and became 2x platinum and diamond single respectively. Other certifications include: 3x platinum in Belgium (150,000), 2x platinum in Australia (140,000), Netherlands (150,000), Norway (40,000), Sweden (40,000), Switzerland (100,000), platinum in Greece (40,000) and gold in Austria (25,000). "My Heart Will Go On" was released twice in Japan. The regular edition from January 1998 has sold 210,000 and was certified 2x platinum (200,000). The remixes edition from June 1998 has sold 115,000 and was certified separately gold (100,000) due the fact that maxi-singles are treated as an album.
"My Heart Will Go On" won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Original Song. It dominated the Grammy Awards of 1999, winning Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. "My Heart Will Go On" won also the Golden Globe Award in 1998. Other awards include: Billboard Music Award for the Soundtrack Single of the Year, Blockbuster Entertainment Award for the Favourite Song from a Movie, Billboard Latin Award for the First English-language Song to Top Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks Chart, Japan Record Award for the Special Achievement and Japanese Gold Disc Award for the Song of the Year.
The song appeared on The Hits' 50 Greatest Love Songs at number 3 in 2006.
Also in VH1 "50 Best Movies Songs" chart it reached number 1.
In a 2006 poll for a program on Five called Britain's Favourite Break-up Songs, "My Heart Will Go On" was voted tenth. It has been named one of the Songs of the Century. It is one of the best-selling singles ever in the UK. It was, worldwide, the best selling single of 1998. It was ranked at number 14 on AFI's 100 Years… 100 Songs, celebrating the 100 greatest songs in American film history.
Due to the song's large popularity when it was released, it is considered to be Céline Dion's signature song. Today, along with two other songs from film soundtracks, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard and Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it is considered one of the biggest love ballads of the 1990s.
After the song had become a huge worldwide hit, many movie studios and record labels tried to duplicate its impact. Although many soundtrack singles had become hits before "My Heart Will Go On," a string of similar songs followed afterward, such as Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" from Armageddon and Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" from Pearl Harbor. Each followed in the footsteps of the "Titanic" theme, a love ballad for a tragedy. Although those two songs became hits, they did not achieve the success of "My Heart Will Go On."
Horner himself repeated the formula of making a song from his film themes with movies such as A Beautiful Mind, Bicentennial Man and The Perfect Storm.
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