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Celine Dion

James Horner: How 'My Heart Will Go On' set pop's tempo in 1998

James Horner: How 'My Heart Will Go On' set pop's tempo in 1998

A decade and a half ago, “My Heart Will Go On” did even more than it promised. Co-written by composer James Horner, missing since a plane he owned crashed Monday in the Los Padres National Forest, the theme from “Titanic” condensed that movie’s epic melodrama into five endlessly re-playable minutes of sweeping faux-Celtic majesty. The song also solidified Celine Dion’s place as one of music’s most reliable (and shameless) emoters, a role that soon led the singer to huge success in Las Vegas. But “My Heart Will Go On” had another effect too: It helped make 1998 an amazing year for big pop ballads. Though it went on to sell...

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