A sombre Céline Dion returned to her Las Vegas residency Tuesday night, less than 48 hours after the deadly shooting that saw 58 people killed and more than 500 injured just a few kilometres down the road.
The Quebec chanteuse appeared onstage at Caesars Palace alone before her show started, let out a big breath and launched into a five-minute talk about the shooting and why she decided to perform.
She dedicated the show to the victims, their families and first responders.
“I hope that you’re doing OK,” Dion said.
Part one of @celinedion speech before the show tonight. #VegasStrong #CelineDionVegas
Credit to owner pic.twitter.com/uLQChHEiAf
“I never start the show like this: standing in front of the curtain just talking. But tonight is very different.”
Dion called the shooting a “nightmare” and said she didn’t cancel because she wanted to show “love and support for those who are affected.”
Several Las Vegas shows, including all of Cirque du Soleil’s performances, were cancelled Monday in wake of the attack, the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Jennifer Lopez, who also has a residency in the city, cancelled all of her performances this week.
“We lost too many beautiful, innocent souls and so many are still suffering, but tonight we are going to let those families know that we are supporting them and that we will help them through their tragic loss,” Dion said.
“They are going to need a lot of love. A ton of emotional support.”
Dion told the crowd proceeds from Tuesday’s show would be donated to the shooting victim’s families. The singer has held an on-and-off residency at Caesars since 2003.