ABC announced it days ago, but little could prepare viewers of Sunday night’s American Music Awards for Celine Dion’s heartfelt tribute to Paris in the wake of Nov. 13’s terrorist attacks.
Taking the stage after a somber, politically charged introduction by actor-musician Jared Leto, Dion sang an impassioned version of famous French troubadour Edith Piaf’s song “Hymne��à L’Amour” (“The Hymn to Love”).
The French-Canadian pop star summoned the same passion that Piaf never failed to bring to the tune, which was written for her true love, boxer Marcel Cerdan, who was killed in a plane crash while traveling from Paris to New York to visit her.
— American Music Awards (@AMAs) November 23, 2015
The tune has since been the ultimate homage to loss, which was fitting as the memory of the violent attacks and loss of 130 lives in the French capital still loomed large in the public’s mind.