Videos by American Songwriter
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be printing excerpts from the new book, Chicken Soup For the Soul: The Story Behind The Song.
BECAUSE YOU LOVED ME
From the film “Up Close & Personal”
Recorded by Celine Dion
I wrote “Because You Loved Me” for the movie “Up Close & Personal” (1996). I saw the film with the director, Jon Avnet, on a Friday. I thought, “What would I want to hear at the end of the movie?” Jon played me a tape of a gospel singer to give me a sense of what he was looking for – something really soulful.
I went into my office on Saturday, the following day, and the chorus came quickly. Michelle Pfeiffer’s character is thanking Robert Redford’s character for believing in her. The song became personal at the same time that it was telling the story of the film. Once I began, it became a way of thanking my dad for everything he did for me and the support he has always given me. He believed in me and my music from the time I was a little girl. When I was 15, he took me around to music publishers. Not only did he support my goals, he supported me financially while I was struggling in the beginning.
I had to wait for months to see if my song would be chosen to use in the film or if they would select one of the other four submissions. Thank goodness I had just started therapy! It got me through it.
This was the song that brought me to another level. The song was better than I was at the time.
This was the one time I thought I would get the Oscar, but I didn’t. There have been so many versions from gospel to dance, Spanish versions and recordings all over the world. I am super proud of that song.