Quebec (AFP)

Some 20,000 delirious fans attended Wednesday's first concert of Céline Dion's new world tour "Courage" in Quebec, a smashing comeback of the Quebec superstar in her home province after 16 years in the United States.

The crowd at the Vidéotron Center, which was full, rose in thunderous applause to greet the return of the Canadian singer, who let out tears of joy by thanking her loyal audience.

"I'm very, very nervous, it's the first time I'm involved so much in a show, before I had a partner who was not worse in it," she said, moved, with a gesture towards the sky in reference to her late husband, René Angélil. "Tonight I would like him to be proud of me and the whole team".

At the age of 51, the Canadian singer presented a show with almost two hours of mastery and enjoyed the rhythm of her fifteen musicians' chords on a colorful stage.

Changing her outfits several times, from sequins to lace, the stage beast confided in her audience, and danced while throwing jokes at the crowd between each song.

"You're hot + (awesome!) We could all go on tour together," she joked in front of an excited audience.

The diva, still playing her powerful voice, mixed her biggest hits like "I'm Alive", "S? It was enough to love", "My Heart Will Go On" to unpublished excerpts from her new album " Courage ", available November 12.

"It was really impossible to miss Celine at home," said Nicolas Delivre, a French university exchange student in Montreal, at AFP. "I grew up so it's okay to come and see her live."

"Celine, she is part of our family, since we are children we know her, we grew up with her, we love her, she is like a member of our family, and she is proud to be a Quebecer. ", said Donald Berard, living in Quebec City.

If only sixty dates in North America have so far been unveiled, "+ Courage + is a gigantic tour," assured AFP his record company.

After nine dates in Quebec City and Montreal, the singer with nearly 250 million albums sold will then perform throughout North America until April 2020, then on other continents.

- Major change -

On June 8, the singer decided to turn a page of her career by leaving her American residency in Las Vegas after 16 years, during which she presented two shows in the auditorium of the famous Caesars Palace casino, "A New Day "from 2003 to 2007, and" Céline "from 2011 to 2019.

Nearly 4,500,000 fans came to see the superstar on stage during its 1,141 performances in the "city of sin", generating a total of 875 million Canadian dollars (600 million euros), according to the figures of its concert promoter AEG Live.

During her residency in Las Vegas, Celine Dion made short tours, mostly in Europe and Asia, but her last international, "Taking Chances World Tour", dates back to 2008-2009.

The world tour "Courage" marks a major change in his career with "the first show created completely without René (Angélil)," said Yves Aucoin, designer of the show and close collaborator of the star for 30 years, the Journal from Quebec.

Céline's husband and impresario, René Angélil, passed away at age 73 in January 2016 with throat cancer.

Their meeting, when Céline Dion was 13 years old, shaped the career of the singer. They married in 1994 and had three children.

© 2019 AFP