Céline Dion’s husband René Angélil lost his long battle to cancer. Dion’s husband and long-time manager died on Thursday at the age of 73. According to Us Weekly, the first major development to come from Angélil’s death is the cancellation of Céline Dion’s Las Vegas residency.
The singer, who took a hiatus from her residency at the Caesars Palace, returned to the stage despite her ailing husband, because that was his wishes. In the wake of his death, a rep for Dion announced on the singer’s website that the weekend concert’s are cancelled.
“With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that Celine performances Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace have been cancelled. Celine earlier today announced the death of her husband Rene Angelil after a long fight with cancer. The couple had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary last month. Celine will return to The Colosseum on February 23 to resume performances.”
To honor René Angélil’s life, Caesars Palace put up a marquee right under a photo of Dion. The memorial features a headshot of Angélil along with the following message.
“We will miss you friend. From your Caesars Palace family. Rene Angelil 1942-2016.”
— Robin Leach (@Robin_Leach) January 15, 2016
Dion has been open about Angélil’s battle with cancer, which resurfaced in December of 2013, after he beat his illness in 1999. Back in March, Céline Dion broke down in tears as she discussed her husband’s very personal battle with cancer, and how she has become his caretaker, while raising their three children René-Charles, Nelson, and Eddy. During the hiatus from the stage, the singer paused from taking care of René, and sat down with ABC News’ Deborah Roberts.
Before she took a hiatus from her Las Vegas residency, Dion said that her fans knew something was up when she would hit the stage, because she was distracted. “Oh, come on. I mean, the fans, they know I’m an open book. I sing, that’s the only thing I know.”
— Mirror Celeb (@MirrorCeleb) January 15, 2016
She went on to reveal Angélil’s declining health, and how he lived on a daily basis with cancer.
“He can’t use his mouth, he can’t eat, so I feed him. He’s got a feeding tube. I have to feed him three times a day. I do this myself, and so I feed my husband and I feed my kids.”
At the time, Dion said despite his devastating diagnosis that she was hopeful.
“We are taking life one day at a time, but we are choosing to live.”
Céline Dion met her husband René Angélil in 1980 after a demo tape was sent to Angélil when the singer was 12-years-old. It’s said that they didn’t begin their relationship until she was much much older. In an interview Dion said, “I went to his office and I sang in front of him and I was 12-years-old, and we’ve been working together since that time. So maybe at 17, 18-years-old, my feeling started to change for him. I kind of saw him differently.”
The pair became engaged in 1991 and married in a ceremony at Notre Dame Basilica, in Montréal, Québec in 1994.
In the wake of his illness, René Angélil stepped down from being Dion’s long-acting manager in June 2014. Exec. Aldo Giampaolo, the former head of Cirque du Soleil, stepped in to manage Dion’s career. The last public appearance we saw of Dion was in December, when she performed for Michael Bublé’s Christmas in Hollywood TV special.
[Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images]