Okay, so Celine Dion doesn’t really do much vacuuming these days. “It doesn’t mean I won’t do it again, but I’m fortunate that I don’t have to do it now,” says the singer, who reportedly earned an estimated $38.5 million in 2005 and has sold more than 175 million albums over the years. That’s not to say the star hasn’t embraced the domestic life. After 18 years of touring around the world, she and husband René Angélil have settled into a happy routine in Las Vegas, where they live in a suburban three-bedroom home 30 minutes off the strip with a little guy who is the world to them: 5-year-old son René-Charles. “I love being a mom—it relaxes me to read stories to him, do finger painting, play with Play-Doh,” says Dion. “I think people have a hard time imagining I can have a normal life, but I do.”
Well, that might be stretching it. Four or five nights a week Dion sells out the 4,148-seat theater at Caesars Palace, where fans pay up to $225 to see the five-time Grammy winner perform songs like her 1998 hit “My Heart Will Go On.” May 7 will mark her 500th show. “It’s like I blinked and it’s 500,” says Dion, 38, who has extended the three-year contract, reportedly for $100 million, that she signed in 2001 to the end of 2007. Even fellow stars like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears have been to the show.
Dion’s favorite fan so far? Her son, who saw the show for the first time last year. She was a ball of nerves knowing he was in the audience with dad Angélil, 64, who is also Dion’s manager. “It was the only time I felt nauseous before a show,” she says. “My son was going to be there looking at me as a performer and not as a mom reading stories at bedtime.” After all, a stable routine is the reason she took the gig in the first place; no longer touring the world, the family enjoys that normal life she was talking about. “I am a full-time mom. That’s my priority,” she says. “Then I go and sing a few songs at night.”
She’s not the only performer in the family. “Oh, he’s a rocker,” says Dion of her son. “He pretends to play guitar and shakes his head to rock songs—he loves listening to Sirius’s Revolution channel. It’s pretty heavy.” And he’s already got the lifestyle down. “Since he’s been born, he’s had the same schedule as we have,” says Angélil. “He’s a night bird like Mom,” adds Dion, who doesn’t get home from her show until 11 p.m. “We jump into each other’s arms and have a snack, and I’ll ask him about his day.” Hitting the sack by 2 a.m., the family rises late, as well. They’ll have a leisurely brunch, and play golf or swim until Dion leaves for Caesars at 5. “I stay in my pj’s until it’s time to go!” says Dion. Not that she isn’t still a clotheshorse. “I can’t hit the stores so the stores come to me,” she says. “I’ll look at magazines and tear out sheets for [my assistant] and say, ‘Can you help me, please?'”
She’ll have more shopping to do when she decorates the new oceanfront home she and Angélil are building in Florida. They plan to move there after Dion’s final show next year. “I’d love to tour again and I’d love to do movies. It’s just a matter of timing,” she says. “Let’s finish here, let’s get my son in school in Florida, take a break, maybe have another baby. Then we’ll see.”