Céline Dion’s brother, 59-year-old Daniel, is near death less than 24 hours after the death of her husband, René Angélil, according to a report from TMZ. Céline’s rep confirmed the news to Entertainment Tonight. As if that isn’t tragic enough, he is dying from cancer, the same disease that took the life of her husband. Daniel has been fighting brain, tongue, and throat cancer and is not expected to live another week. René died of throat cancer. Daniel lives in Céline’s hometown of Montréal.
Céline’s sister, Claudette, spoke to Us Magazine, about the troubling situation.
“It’s very painful. It’s a matter of days or hours. It looks a lot like René, he had cancer of the throat, tongue and brain. Our family is very experienced.”
It’s not known how long Daniel Dion has been battling cancer, but it has recently spread very quickly. Claudette Dion also told Entertainment Tonight that the family had gathered at the hospital at Daniel’s side, among them their 88-year-old mother, Therese Dion. She says that family is with him constantly, never leaving his side. She has also stated that the family has made the decision to stop the medications that have been prolonging his life and to simply keep him comfortable throughout his remaining days.
Céline Dion’s rep told Hollywood Life that doctors had expected Daniel to die sooner and that his death could happen at any moment, certainly no longer than a week. Céline is in Las Vegas with her children, still trying to wrap up funeral plans for René. She will be at her brother’s side as soon as possible. Daniel lost his sister to cancer last year.
Upon the passing of René, a representative of AEG made the following statement.
“We are heartbroken to hear this news, not only because René was a great friend and mentor and an extraordinary partner with us in these shows at Caesars Palace for the last 13 years, but even more because he and Celine were so devoted to each other; their relationship has been a model for us all.”
Céline and René met when she was 12 and he was 38. They began dating seven years later. Hundreds of fans, as well as the media, gathered outside the Notre Dame Basilica on the day the couple wed. David Foster and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney were among the 500 guests. René mortgaged his home to pay for Céline’s debut album, La Voix Du Bon Dieu.
Céline and René had been married since 1994. They had a very public struggle with infertility, but in 2001 Céline gave birth to their first child, René-Charles. After another multi-year battle with infertility, she gave birth to five-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson.
René battled cancer for decades prior to his death, having been diagnosed with it in 1999. His final bout with throat cancer was his third such battle. He was 73-years-old. There is expected to be both a funeral in Montréal and a “celebration of life” in Las Vegas related to René’s death.
Celine Dion's brother Daniel is also battling cancer and family fears he only has 'hours to live' https://t.co/RoQ0R4IBxh
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) January 15, 2016
Céline is the youngest of 14 children. Dion began her singing career performing in a piano bar her parents owned in Montréal. In 1980, she recorded her first song. Her brother sent it to René, who contacted her family about an audition. Céline has said that when René cried during her audition, she knew she had done well. She quit school in 1985 to focus on her career.
Céline cancelled her Vegas show following René’s death and is not expected to return to the stage until February 23. She is 47-years-old.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]