A barrage of camera flashes greeted Celine Dion as she entered the Folies Bergère Music Hall dressed in a dramatic jumpsuit with a plunging neckline. The edgy outfit was just one of many jaw-dropping numbers the Montreal-born singer wore during her recent trip to see Paris Fashion Week’s runway shows. “I want to feel strong, beautiful, feminine and sexy,” the performer recently told The Sun. “I’m doing this for me.”

While some hailed her “The Queen of Fashion Week,” not all critiques were so positive. Commenters voiced concern about the already thin singer’s obvious weight loss. Still more gossiped about her relationship with the handsome younger man holding her hand and escorting her around the City of Lights. To her critics, Celine, 50, had one message: “I want to wear whatever I want. I want to do whatever I choose. [If you don’t like it] don’t bother. Don’t take the picture.”

Celine Dion

Three years after the death of her beloved husband and manager, René Angélil, Celine has been spreading her wings. “I think I’m at the best of my life right now and I really want to enjoy and embrace every moment,” she said. “I’m having a second wind. I’m having a good time.”

In a huge departure, Celine will conclude her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace in June. For the first time since 2011, her life won’t be ruled by a strict schedule. “It was perform, go to bed, rest, train your voice, rest, perform, go to bed, shower, go perform,” she said of her exhausting itinerary. “Right now, I feel like I [should] find a balance. I have many, many opportunities to do many things.” She’d like to take advantage of the offers coming her way, and “she’s been talking about acting,” an insider exclusively revealed to Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “She wants to concentrate on that more.”

In preparation, Celine’s been regularly training and dancing with Pepe Muñoz, the attractive man who squired her around Paris. “We’re friends, we’re best friends,” she has said. But don’t get the wrong idea! Celine insisted that Pepe, 39, a backup dancer in her Vegas show, is not her lover. “The press said, ‘Oh my God, René just passed and now there’s another man.’ Yeah, there’s another man in my life but not the man in my life,” she explained, adding emphatically, “I am single.”

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She also brushes off talk about her weight loss. “She’s very private about her health,” a friend told Closer. “She is very thin but she says she feels fine. She eats. She loves pasta and ice cream, but she has a fast metabolism and she finds it hard to relax.”

Celine’s looking forward to spending more leisure time with her sons René-Charles, 18, and twins Eddy and Nelson, both 8, once her commitments in Las Vegas are done. “She wants more freedom,” said the friend. “Her boys are getting bigger fast. She wants to be able to see them more in the evening and travel with them. They want to go on an African safari.”

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There’s no doubt Celine is excited about her many choices. “Turning 50 has been great for me, because five is my lucky number,” said the star, who will be the subject of a new biographical feature film slated for release in late 2020. “I feel now that I have a voice. I feel like I am finally grown up enough to say, ‘I’d rather do this than that.’”

For more on Celine Dion, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!