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Dion ends five-year Vegas stint

16 December 07 12:55 GMT

Singer Celine Dion has played her final show at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas after nearly five years.

The Canadian singer has performed her A New Day concert 717 times since March 2003, taking more than $400m (£198m).

But she told her last-night audience that the stage spectacular was almost derailed by pregnancy and bad reviews.

"At one point, it was like feeling like the Titanic was about to sink again," she said. "But we believed and we went on with it."

The Grammy award-winning singer originally signed a $100 million (£49.5 million) contract to perform A New Day in 2003 and its run was later extended.

A theatre was built and designed especially for the show, and producers claim nearly three million people have attended since it opened.

Rose petals

But in a pre-show video Dion confessed that, while the concert was in development in 2000, she became pregnant and told her husband-manager Rene Angelil she did not want to continue.

"I had a life for the first time," she said. "I knew then that I wanted to have more success as a mother than a singer."

Angelil convinced her to go ahead with the show - and the couple soldiered on despite unfavourable press.

"The vibe was not that positive for us," the singer admitted.

After the show's encore, Dion invited her husband and son, Rene-Charles, now seven, to join her on stage.

Rene-Charles repeatedly reached down to grab rose petals that rained down on the final bow, giving them to his mother.

"Most of us have left our families behind to give ourselves every night," said the star. "I can assure you it was worth it."

Dion, whose hits include My Heart Will Go On and I'm Your Angel, will launch a 96-date world tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Valentine's Day 2008.

It is due to touch down in the UK in May, when she will play Manchester's MEN Arena, and stretches into 2009, with the last scheduled date in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 30 January.

Comedian and singer Bette Midler will take her place at Caesar's Palace, with a production called The Showgirl Must Go On.

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