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Canadian Celebrities
 

Alanis Morisette
Ottawa native Alanis Morisette got her start in the music business at age 10 and had a successful career as a teenaged pop star. But it was her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill that boosted her to international stardom. The album, with songs such as You Oughta Know and Ironic, went on to sell 15 million copies. Morisette's latest achievement, Under Rug Swept, with its best-selling single, Hands Clean, has already topped the Billboard charts.

Barenaked Ladies
The Barenaked Ladies had humble beginnings, holding jam sessions in the basements of their parents' homes in Scarborough, Ontario. The band was a Canadian success story for years, with such hits as the remake of Bruce Cockburn's Lovers in a Dangerous Time, and Alternative Girlfriend. In 1998, the BNL released Stunt, which went instantly to the number three position on the Billboard chart, and went on to achieve international recognition. The band, composed of childhood friends Steven Page and Ed Robertson, as well as Jim and Andrew Creeggan, and Tyler Stewart, hasn't lost touch with its Canadian roots. They were most recently sighted hosting the 2002 Juno Awards, which recognize achievement in the Canadian music industry.

Celine Dion
After a self-imposed break from the music industry to have a baby, singing sensation Celine Dion is back in full force, with her latest album, A New Day Has Come. Born and raised in a large family in Quebec, Dion began singing at age five, and was successful in many French-speaking countries by the time she was in her early twenties. In 1991, she released her first English-speaking album, called Unison, which contained her breakout hit, Where Does My Heart Beat Now. Since then, Dion's albums have consistently topped the charts, making her an international phenomenon, with hits such as You Made Me Love You, All By Myself, and of course, My Heart Will Go On from the movie Titanic. Now living in the U.S., Dion's ties to Canada, in particular Quebec, remain strong, as much of her family still lives here.

Sarah McLachlan
Halifax-born Sarah McLachlan released her first album, Touch, in the late 80s and was a solid success in Canada from that point onward. Her third album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy , became a success south of the border in the U.S. McLachlan's international profile also increased when she founded Lilith Fair, a hugely successful tour featuring two stages and female-led acts. McLachlan, who recently released a remake of the Beatles classic Blackbird for the movie Sam and I, lives in Vancouver.

Jim Carrey
The star of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber and How The Grinch Stole Christmas had humble beginnings in Ontario, where he made his comedy club debut at 16. Since that time, Jim Carrey's irreverent sense of humour has translated into box-office gold. Born in the early 60s to middle-class parents in Ontario, Carrey's road to success wasn't easy: as a child, he was forced to quit school and work as a janitor when his family fell upon hard times. Carrey made a name for himself in Los Angeles comedy clubs before scoring a role on a short-lived television series called the Duck Factory. Supporting roles in films such as Earth Girls are Easy followed, as did a successful stint on the hit comedy, In Living Colour. But it was his role as the wacky pet detective in Ace Ventura that paved his way to Hollywood superstardom. He has also won critical acclaim for his work, picking up Golden Globes for The Man on the Moon and The Truman Show.

Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen may not yet be a household name outside of Canada and the U.S. but he soon will be, when Episodes 2 and 3 of Star Wars are released. The Vancouver-born actor, who was raised in Toronto, got his start in commercials at a young age, followed by a role on Canada's Family Passions. Subsequent projects of Christensen's include roles in Life as a House starring Kevin Kline, Sofie Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, and the Fox television series Higher Ground, filmed in Vancouver.

Pamela Anderson
This bleached blonde beauty was first noticed at a Vancouver football game wearing a Labatt's beer T-shirt. When Anderson was shown on the stadium's big screens, the crowd went wild. And the rest is history. Anderson went on to become a spokesperson for Labatt's, which helped launch her career as a popular Playboy cover girl and star of the hugely successful syndicated series Baywatch. Anderson, who was raised on Vancouver Island, left Baywatch to star in her own series called V.I.P. Never far from the tabloid headlines, Anderson, formerly married to rocker Tommy Lee, is now engaged to Kid Rock.


Sources: yahoo.com; rollingstone.com; starwars.com


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