Celine Dion photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Celine Dion photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Celine Dion, likely still reeling from the death of her husband and mentor a year ago, will perform a new original song for Disney’s live-action film “Beauty and the Beast” that may touch on her own sad ordeal.

“How Does A Moment Last Forever,” described as “an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments,” will also be included on the film’s soundtrack.

The Canadian’s singing star’s husband, Rene Angelil, is buried in Montreal after dying last Jan. 14, two days before his 74th birthday. He’s often credited with discovering her and guiding her singing and performing abilities on the way to stardom. She was 47 when he died.

The new song was written by composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”) and lyricist Tim Rice (“The Lion King,” “Evita”), both multiple Academy Award winners.

Dion originally performed the duet “Beauty and the Beast” — featuring Menken’s melody and two-time Oscar-winner Howard Ashman’s lyrics — with Peabo Bryson for the 1991 animated film. That song went on to receive an Academy Award, Golden Globe and three Grammys.

“Being a part of the original `Beauty and the Beast’ was such a magical experience in my life, and I’m truly honored to be a part of this film again,” Dion said.

Mitchell Leib, president of music for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production, approached the five-time Grammy winner about recording one of the three new songs written for the film.

“Celine was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers and studio to perform this song,”  Leib said, “and everyone involved with the film is thrilled she agreed to be part of this new live-action adaptation.”

Menken also provides the film score, along with new recordings of the classic songs from the animated film written by himself and Ashman. The soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on March 10.

The film’s cast includes Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Belle’s father; Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

–City News Service 

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