A New Day Has Come is the seventh English-language studio album by Canadian singer Celine Dion, released by Sony Music Entertainment on 22 March 2002. It was her first new studio album since 1997’s Let’s Talk About Love. Dion returned to the music scene after a two-year hiatus when she gave birth to her first child in 2001. She collaborated on A New Day Has Come with various producers, including Anders Bagge and Peer Åström for the first time.
A New Day Has Come garnered mostly positive reviews from the music critics, who noticed that Dion explores a “broader, more adventurous” range of pop music and “dips its toe” into modern music, particularly dance (“Sorry for Love”). However, the album also contains the usual adult contemporary songs, including power ballads like “I Surrender”, “Have You Ever Been in Love”, and the title track. Critics also praised “Ten Days”, “Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word)”, “I’m Alive”, “When the Wrong One Loves You Right”, “The Greatest Reward”, and two covers: “Nature Boy” and “At Last”.
A New Day Has Come became a commercial success throughout the world and entered number one in more than seventeen countries. It has sold 3.3 million units in the United States and was certified three-times Platinum by the RIAA. In Canada, after shipping 600,000 copies, the album was certified six-times Platinum. The IFPI certified it three-times Platinum for selling three million units in Europe. Overall, A New Day Has Come has sold twelve million copies worldwide.
The first single, “A New Day Has Come” was released in March 2002 and peaked inside the top ten in Canada and Europe. In the United States, it reached number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and broke the record for most weeks at number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, staying on top for twenty-one weeks. The next single, “I’m Alive” was issued in August 2002 and also peaked inside the top ten in numerous European countries. The last commercial single, “Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word)” was released in November 2002 and performed moderately on the charts, reaching the top forty in Europe.
After the farewell millennium concert on 31 December 1999 in Montreal, Dion decided to take a break from the public scene for two years to focus on her family. On 25 January 2001, she gave birth to René-Charles Angelil, her first son. Since then, she had performed publicly only a handful of times, including 21 September 2001, when she sang a live rendition of “God Bless America” at the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon honoring victims of the September 11 attacks, and 28 September for Montreal’s companion fund-raiser, A Show for Life, singing “L’amour existe encore”.
According to Dion, the album’s title, A New Day Has Come, acknowledged a new chapter in her life and career. However, she was also deeply affected by the events of 11 September and wanted the words to serve as a reminder of the tragedy. “It represents my child, because I gave life,” Dion said. “Obviously, it also marks my return with a new album. But a new day has also come in the lives of other people because something bad has happened, because we’ve lost lives, because there’s a scar on our world now”. Dion struggled over an appropriate image for the cover of the album, feeling that a portrait reflecting her good fortune was in poor taste. She suggested to Sony Music Entertainment that the album cover not include her picture. However, after much discussion, the photo shoot for A New Day Has Come took place in Montreal in late December 2001 with well-renowned photographer Melvin Sokolsky. On 30 and 31 January 2002 an additional photo session for the album took place in Florida, on a beach near Dion’s home by the French photographer Patrick Demarchelier. The album cover for A New Day Has Come by Demarchelier was released on 28 February 2002.
René Angélil, Dion, and the Sony family began selecting prospective songs at the beginning of 2001, and on 28 August 2001 she started recording vocal tracks for nearly two dozen songs at Montreal’s Piccolo Studios. Because of Dion’s unwillingness to leave her seven-month-old baby, the album’s collaborators traveled to Montreal. “I didn’t feel the pressure to try and outdo anything,” Dion said of her time in the studio. “I proved myself before, so now I can enjoy. I was relaxed, I just let go. It was such a pleasure”. The album was scheduled for release internationally on 25 March 2002 and in North America on 26 March 2002. However, it was first released in Australia, on 22 March 2002.