The King Lives Again With Unforgettable Celine Dion & Elvis Presley Live Duet On American Idol

American Idol had a big surprise for viewers when Celine Dion came out for a duet with the King! Yes, the one and only Elvis Presley came back for one last hurrah in 2007, 30 years after his death. Thanks to hologram technology, the King was able to join Dion for a powerhouse duet on his 1968 hit “If I Can Dream”.

Presley opened the song with that legendary voice, and then he and Dion traded lines. They then joined their voices together for the chorus, with Dion’s mezzo-soprano soaring in the high register over Presley’s rich baritone. The one-off performance really highlighted how special Presley was, and seeing his stage presence and one-of-a-kind charisma live in the 21st century was really something.

The duet was quite the hit on YouTube, with 26 million viewers tuning in to see the King ride again. The virtually enhanced duet was incredibly convincing, with the close shots of Presley’s face being taken from his performance of the same song at his ’68 Comeback Special. An Elvis impersonator was used to help fill out the performance with wide shots. Dion, meanwhile, performed the song five times while different angles of her performance were captured to enable the video to be cut together.

Disney digital media designer Joe Husung commented on how creating the duet was possible, saying, “Rotoscoping allows you to take one image from a pre-existing piece of video and put it in a whole new environment – a completely new use of that same piece of video.” You can watch Presley’s original performance of “If I Can Dream” at his iconic ’68 Comeback Special below, which famously revived his career as a recording artist at the time, after a seven-year period focusing on films.

Viewers at home loved to see Presley’s return, adding comments such as “I love both Elvis and Celine. Two of the greatest performers of all time. There will never be another Elvis” and “You can really hear how powerful his voice is. He was at his prime here. His voice 100%, his looks 100%, his stage presence 100%, his coolness 100%. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

“If I Can Dream” held a special place in the heart of Presley. Composer Billy Goldenberg teamed up with lyricist Walter Earl Brown to write the song in 1968. The latter was aware of Presley’s profound grief following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr earlier that year, and wrote the song with Presley in mind.
The lyrics have similarities with King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. The lyrics went right to the heart of Presley, and after hearing the song, he declared “I’m never going to sing another song I don’t believe in. I’m never going to make another movie I don’t believe in.”

Enjoy unforgettable performances from the legendary Elvis Presley by subscribing to his YouTube Channel. You can also connect with fellow fans and keep up with all things Elvis by following his official Facebook page. Witness the King’s unique charisma and unmatched talent, with standout performances like his powerhouse duet with Celine Dion, an incredible feat achieved through hologram technology.

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