Music News

Celine Dion pays tribute to late composer Ennio Morricone: "Thank you for this precious gift"

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Celine Dion has paid tribute to Ennio Morricone, the legendary composer who died Monday at age 91.  In a career that spanned decades, Morricone set the scenes for hundreds of films, from the Italian-produced so-called “Spaghetti Westerns” of the 1960s that made Clint Eastwood a star, to Oscar-winning films like The Untouchables and classics like Once Upon a Time in the West.

Celine tweeted a clip of herself performing as part of a tribute to Morricone at the 2007 Oscar ceremony. She wrote, “Ennio Morricone was a special person, a wonderful composer whose exquisite songs will live on for years to come. I had the great privilege of recording one of his beautiful songs. Thank you for this precious gift, Mr. Morricone. May you rest in peace.

The song in question is “I Knew I Loved You,” which Celine recorded for a 2007 tribute album called We All Love Ennio Morricone.  The song’s lyrics were penned by legendary songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman to Morricone’s composition “Deborah’s Theme,” from the 1984 Robert DeNiro movie Once Upon a Time in America.

In addition to Celine, other artists who recorded Morricone’s songs for that album include Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, Metallica, Herbie Hancock and Roger Waters.

Morricone won the Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight. He was also nominated for Academy Awards for the scores of 1978’s Days of Heaven, 2000’s Malena, 1986’s The Mission and 1987’s The Untouchables, and for the 1991 film Bugsy.

By Andrea Dresdale
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