The Unforgettable Celine Dion & Elvis Presley Duet on American Idol

American Idol surprised viewers when Celine Dion performed a duet with the King himself, Elvis Presley, in 2007, 30 years after his death. Thanks to hologram technology, Elvis joined Dion for a powerful rendition of his 1968 hit “If I Can Dream.”

Elvis started the song with his legendary voice, and then he and Dion took turns singing. Their voices blended beautifully in the chorus, with Dion’s high notes soaring over Elvis’s rich baritone. This special performance highlighted Elvis’s unique talent and charisma, bringing his magic to the 21st century.

The duet was a big hit on YouTube, attracting 26 million viewers. The close shots of Elvis’s face were from his 1968 Comeback Special, while an impersonator helped with wide shots. Dion performed the song five times from different angles to create the seamless video.

Joe Husung, a Disney digital media designer, explained how the duet was created using rotoscoping. This technique allows a pre-existing video image to be placed in a new environment, making the virtual duet possible.

Viewers loved seeing Elvis again, leaving comments like “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” was special to Elvis. Written by Billy Goldenberg and Walter Earl Brown in 1968, the song was inspired by Elvis’s grief over Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The lyrics echoed King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, and the song resonated deeply with Elvis. After hearing it, 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.”

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