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The Prayer (Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)

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Title: The Prayer (Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)  
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Subject: Mulan, Anthony Callea, Quest for Camelot, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Sogno, Australian Idol discography, Garðar Thór Cortes
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The Prayer (Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli song)

"The Prayer"
Released March 1, 1999 (1999-03-01)
Format Promotional recording
Recorded 1998 Chartmarker Studios, Sony Sound Stage, Criteria Recording Studios
Genre Pop, Christmas, Christian, classical
Length 4:29
Label Columbia, Epic
Writer(s) David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa, Tony Renis
Producer David Foster, Tony Renis, Carole Bayer Sager

Céline Dion singles chronology
"On ne change pas"
"The Prayer"
"Treat Her Like a Lady"
Andrea Bocelli singles chronology
"Je vis pour elle"
"The Prayer"
"Canto della Terra"

"The Prayer" is a popular song written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis. It is most commonly known as a duet between Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It is the second single from Dion's Christmas album These Are Special Times and the first from Bocelli's album Sogno, and was released as a promotional single on March 1, 1999.[1] The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.


Originally "The Prayer" was recorded as two separate solo versions, Dion's in English and Bocelli's in Italian. They appeared on the Quest for Camelot soundtrack in May 1998. The duet was included on albums by both artists, released a few months later. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1999 film Quest for Camelot, the second win in a row for a Celine Dion song. In that film, Dion sang it as a solo with slightly different lyrics. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000. Dion performed it with Bocelli at both ceremonies.

It was also featured on Dion's compilation The Collector's Series, Volume One (2000) and greatest hits My Love: Ultimate Essential Collection (2008). A re-recorded solo version by Celine Dion (renamed "A Mother's Prayer") appeared on her 2004 album Miracle. Dion performed "The Prayer" live during her Taking Chances Tour as a virtual duet with Bocelli on the screen; the performance was released in the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD. The song appeared also on Bocelli's 2007 compilation The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere. Both Dion and Bocelli have sung the song with other artists, and various other artists have recorded the song, either as a duet or a solo.

"The Prayer" was popular on the adult contemporary charts in Canada and the United States, peaking at number 8 and number 22 respectively. It has also become popular during Christmas, and in some cases, funerals.

Critical reception

Paul Verna from Billboard called this song "gorgeous duet."[2] Chuck Taylor from Billboard reviewed "The Prayer", calling it "a breathtaking, ultra-lush song, and the tour de force combination of Dion and Bocelli [which] will send a half-dozen chills up your spine." Although he felt that the song is "an unorthodox track for the radio," Taylor called it "affecting," "heartwarming," "absolutely exquisite" and "one of Dion's most radiant performances ever."[3]

Celine Dion and Josh Groban cover

Celine Dion performed "The Prayer" live with Josh Groban, during her CBS TV special That's Just the Woman in Me, aired on February 15, 2008. This version was released as a music download in the U.S. and Canada, two days earlier. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 70 and appeared on a few other Billboard charts: Pop 100 at number 50, Hot Digital Songs at number 32 and Hot Digital Tracks at number 29. The single has sold 37,531 copies in its first week. In Canada, the song peaked at number 37 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 19 on the Canadian Top Digital Downloads.

Groban also sang "The Prayer" live with Celine Dion 6 years earlier, at the Concert for World Children's Day in 2002. The two first sang the song together in 1999, when Groban filled in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsal for the 1999 Grammy Awards. Nearly 10 years later, Groban and Bocelli performed the song together for the first time during the 50th Annual Grammy Awards.

Formats and track listings

1999 North American promotional CD maxi single

  1. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) – 4:29
  2. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion) – 2:48
  3. "The Prayer" (Andrea Bocelli) – 4:10

2008 North American digital single

  1. "The Prayer" (Celine Dion and Josh Groban) (live) – 4:38


Chart (1999) Peak
Canadian BDS Adult Contemporary Chart[4] 8
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[5] 6
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[6] 22
Chart (2008) Peak
Canadian Hot 100[7] 37
Canadian Top Digital Downloads[8] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 70
US Billboard Hot Digital Songs[10] 32
US Billboard Hot Digital Tracks[11] 29
US Billboard Pop 100[12] 50

Other notable versions

  • Southern gospel artists Lauren Talley and David Phelps recorded a duet of the song on Lauren's self-titled album (2001)
  • Angie Stone performs the song live with Josh Groban on the Josh Groban in Concert (2002) bonus DVD
  • Charlotte Church and Josh Groban's duet is found on Church's Enchantment album and Groban's debut album, and it was performed as the closing song of the 2002 Winter Olympics Closing Programme and in other concerts
  • Chloë Agnew, the youngest member of Celtic Woman, covered the English version of this song for both her self-titled (2002) and Walking in the Air albums with the help of her composer David Downes (also on her solo DVD and on Celtic Woman: A New Journey)
  • Sissel Kyrkjebø sang the song with Josh Groban at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in December 2002
  • Russell Watson recorded the song with Lulu on his album Encore (2002)
  • Daniel Rodriguez and Kristin Chenoweth recorded it for Rodriguez's 2003 album From My Heart
  • Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin recorded their version on McClurkin's 2003 album Again
  • Anthony Callea – his debut single, released in Australia on December 19, 2004 at number 1 on the ARIA Charts and stayed there for five weeks; certified 4x platinum by ARIA. It became the fastest-selling single by any Australian artist, and was the second highest selling single in Australia last decade, overall and for an Australian artist.[13][14] The song was included on Callea's debut album Anthony Callea.
  • Sandi Patty recorded the song with her husband Don Peslis on her 2004 album Hymns of Faith...Songs of Inspiration; they recorded it again on her 2009 album Christmas Live.
  • Adam Lambert performed the song several times pre-American Idol, most notably with Noa Dori at the "Celebration of Life" concert honoring the late Yitzhak Rabin.[15]
  • Former Celtic Woman member Deirdre Shannon and her brother Matthew Gilsenan, a Celtic Tenor, sing the song on Shannon's self-titled album (2006)
  • A live version by Bocelli and Heather Headley was included on his Under the Desert Sky DVD/CD (2006) and Vivere Live in Tuscany DVD/CD (2007).
  • Andrea Ross sings the song with English-only lyrics on her debut album Moon River (2007)
  • RyanDan, the Canadian identical twin duo recorded it on their self-titled debut album in 2007. It was dedicated to their mother who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (the song was one of her favourite songs ever).
  • Filipina singer Charice Pempengco and Andrea Bocelli sang their version at Teatro del Silenzio in Italy in 2008
  • Katharine McPhee first sang it on American Idol when she met Andrea Bocelli. When the singing competition ended, Bocelli asked McPhee to go on tour with him for a few dates, where they sang it together. Their duet is featured on David Foster's Hit Man CD/DVD.
  • Peter Jöback and Sarah Dawn Finer performed the duet in Swedish, as "Min Bön", which appears on Jöback's 2008 Christmas album En god jul och ett gott nytt år
  • Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban also sang the duet at the 2008 Grammys in honor of the life of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti who had died previously that year
  • Toshi, vocalist of Japanese Band X-Japan, released on the CD "Toshi Duet I" (September 30, 2008, with Tierra and Kaori Moritani). The lyrics have been completely rewritten by Toru "Masaya" Kurabuchi.
  • Chris M. Allport and Ariana Richards released their single version in December 2008. This recording is available on CD and as a digital download. A portion of the proceeds of this record are donated to the David Foster Foundation.
  • Rhydian, X Factor runner-up, recorded it on his 2008 self-titled debut album
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed a choral arrangement of the song on their 2010 album Heavensong, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard charts for a crossover album[16]
  • Marcelito Pomoy sang this song distinctively on the grand finals of Pilipinas Got Talent (season 2) (2011)
  • Filipina singer, Jolina Magdangal made a cover of the original version from the film Quest for Camelot on August 3, 2011
  • Josh Groban and Jewl Anguay sing a version on a 9/11-themed Verizon commercial aired on 9-11-11
  • The Young and the Restless singing her original English-only arrangement in 2002 and sang on the original version in the film Quest for Camelot.
  • Jackie Evancho and Susan Boyle duet on Evancho's CD Dream With Me (2011) and CD/DVD Dream With Me In Concert, which was broadcast as a PBS special beginning in 2011
  • The Chilean tenor Tito Beltrán performed a duet with Jennifer Boldt at the TV Show Calle 7 as an honoring to the victims of the 2011 Chilean Air Force CASA 212 crash
  • Mary Ann Acevedo and Jometh Andujar sang a Spanish version the song called "La Oración" in the concert tour of Los Favoritos, and is included on her 2012 album Génesis in a duet with Rawy Torres.
  • Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli performed the song to much fanfare on Britain's Got Talent in March 2012
  • Christina Aguilera and Chris Mann performed the song on the NBC reality singing competition The Voice. A studio recording was released, and entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles at No. 87 and No. 35 on the digital singles chart
  • Jessica Sanchez performed it during the Vegas rounds and on the American Idol finale on May 22, 2012
  • Filipina Singer, Jolina Magdangal recorded again with a duet with Hamden, Connecticut-based singer, The 465 CT Transit driver during GMA Network's Sunday Variety Show, Sunday All Stars on September 29, 2013. This video was sent to YouTube and broadcast in The Philippines and worldwide via GMA Pinoy TV on October 2013.


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