Fans of Celine Dion gathered outside the offices of Rolling Stone on Friday afternoon to protest the superstar vocalist’s exclusion from our recent list of The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.
The small but vociferous cadre of Dion devotees sang and shouted and held signs that read “How Can You Forget Celine?”, “The Power of Celine,” “Justice for Celine,” “Celine is No Longer By Herself,” and “I Drove All Night to Be Here!” Our personal favorite, however, was definitely “Rolling Stone is Stoned,” which also was a popular chant in-between songs.
The protest appeared to be organized by a group of Dion fans who call themselves the Red Heads, with videos of them preparing posters appearing on the Instagram fan account @celinedionaddicts_official. Also featured in those videos was the French-Canadian broadcaster Julie Snyder, who appeared outside our offices as well, holding a microphone for her own television show. (With that in mind, it wasn’t exactly clear the extent to which this whole thing was an organized stunt).
“She’s won Oscar, Grammy, American Music Awards,” Snyder told Rolling Stone’s Ilana Woldenberg, along with mentioning some of Dion’s famous performances, like at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and at the Tribute to Heroes following the Sept. 11 attacks. “You forgot her! You’re stoned guys, it’s OK!”
Woldenberg also asked Snyder about the choice to stage this protest on Jan. 6. (As it happened, there was another protest across the street from the RS offices at the New York Public Library, calling on Attorney General Eric Garland to indict those involved with the Jan. 6 insurrection).
“Yeah, it’s very important, the other protest, we believe in the other protest,” Snyder said. “But we think also we can protest with our heart and our song and that the song can help people to get better… But you work for the music industry, even if it’s a sad day today for you guys.”
As for what the protesters hoped they would achieve, Snyder was frank: “We hope that Rolling Stone will admit they made a mistake.”
The in-person protest came after a week of grumbling from Dion stans after the list went up on Jan. 1. In this publication’s defense, however, we are nothing if not consistent: Dion didn’t appear on our initial 2018 list of the 100 Greatest Singers — though, the mononymous Sixties crooner Dion did (and he made the cut the second time around, at Number 154).